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NetApp A-SIS DeDuplication for VMware ESX Virtual Machines using NFS

Filed under: virtualization — Tags: , , , , , , — iben @ 21:06

I just wanted to share with you all. We are using a small NetApp with NFS for hosting ESX 3.5 Update 4 and ESX 4 RC Virtual Machines.


We have about 9 Windows VMs each one using about 20 GB disk space. There are Active Directory Domain Controllers, Exchange 2003 and 2007 servers, Windows Administration and Application servers and workstations and even Solaris 10 and Windows 2008 64 bit machines.

# du -h vmnfs/
21G vmnfs/vhq/dc1
21G vmnfs/vhq/dc2
21G vmnfs/vhq/vc
21G vmnfs/vhq/wadmin
8.6G vmnfs/vhq/w2008
91G vmnfs/vhq
31G vmnfs/eng/solaris10
31G vmnfs/eng
21G vmnfs/W2K3template
21G vmnfs/SW-Node01
21G vmnfs/SW-Node02

If we include the snapshots there is 1.6TB of data available and being served up with only 21GB of disk space being used!

> df -h /vol/vmnfs
Filesystem total used avail capacity Mounted on
/vol/vmnfs/ 400GB 21GB 378GB 5% /vol/vmnfs/

> df -sh /vol/vmnfs
Filesystem used saved %saved
/vol/vmnfs/ 21GB 160GB 88%

> man nfs
The disk space savings generated by the shared space is
shown in the saved column. The space used plus the space
saved would be the total disk space usage, if no space was
shared. The %saved is calculated as [saved / (used + saved)].

Below is a list of the maximum volume size for each storage system:

Storage system (with nearstor_option enabled) Max. A-SIS deduplication volume size
FAS6070, FAS6080, N7800 16TB
FAS6030, FAS6040, N7600 10TB
FAS3070, N5600 6TB
NearStore R200 4TB
FAS3040, N5300 3TB
FAS3050, N5500 2TB
FAS3020, N5200 1TB
FAS2050 1TB
FAS2020 0.5TB

You can use MRTG to graph the disk space saved by A-SIS deduplication by volume name.

What has your experience been with using A-SIS from NetApp with ESX hosts over NFS?


Configure DataDomain NFS ESX DataStore

Filed under: virtualization — Tags: , , , , , , — iben @ 13:02

How to configure DataDomain as NFS DataStore for ESX
Follow these steps to allow a datadomain storage appliance to be used as a high capacity datastore by ESX and ESXi hosts using NFS so Virtual Machines can be moved from Production ESX cluster to test/dev ESXi hosts.

Basic steps:
1 – configure datadomain appliance nfs export
2 – add NFS datastore on ESX hosts
3 – copy VMs from Primary Storage to DDA (DataDomain Archiver).

Data Domain OS
Model 565
Active Directory Domain Admin user-id “itadmin”
DD IP Address:

Source ESX hosts’ VMkernel portgroups on network
Destination ESXi host on (VMkernel and Management are on shared Port Group)

itadmin@datadomain-lan# nfs show clients
path client options
—————- —————— —————————————-

itadmin@datadomain-lan# nfs add
nfs add [ ( ) ]
Add NFS clients to an export

itadmin@datadomain-lan# nfs add /share/vmtest
NFS export for “/share/vmtest” added.
dirodriguez@datadomain01-source# nfs add /share/vmtest
NFS export for “/share/vmtest” added.

itadmin@datadomain-lan# nfs show clients
path client options
—————- —————— —————————————-
/share/vmtest (rw,no_root_squash,no_all_squash,secure)
/share/vmtest (rw,no_root_squash,no_all_squash,secure)
—————- —————— —————————————-

Add share on ESX hosts.

Copy VMs from Source ESX SAN datastores to new shared datastore.

Copy VMs from shared datastore to local ESXi datastore and reconfigure.

Check Deduplication Compression.
You can see amount of deduplication provided by multiple VM images by running this command:

itadmin@datadomain-lan# file show compression /share/vmtest
Total files: 15; bytes/storage_used: 18.3
Original Bytes: 15,462,695,250
Globally Compressed: 2,191,220,844
Locally Compressed: 840,288,247
Meta-data: 6,953,000

In this example we are getting only 18x compression. With additional Virtual Machines the compression will increase allowing many VMs to be stored and archived.

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