vSphere 6.7 core storage “what’s new” series:
In vSphere 6.5, a new version of VMFS was introduced–VMFS-6. A behavior that many noted was that it was not always the default option for their storage. ESXi (unless told otherwise) would default to formatting some storage with VMFS-5. So when you installed ESXi, the default datastore that gets created would be VMFS-5.
The issue with this was that VMFS-5, was well not VMFS-6. Not automatic UNMAP etc. Furthermore, there is no upgrade path besides deleting the file system and then reformatting with VMFS-6. This of course was a bit annoying for many.
Continue reading What’s New in Core Storage in vSphere 6.7 Part II: Sector Size and VMFS-6
With VMFS-6, space reclamation is now an automatic, but asynchronous process. This is great because, well you don’t have to worry about running UNMAP anymore. But since it is asynchronous (and I mean like 12-24 hours later asynchronous) you lose the instant gratification of reclamation.
So you do find yourself wondering, did it actually reclaim anything?
Besides looking at the array and seeing space reclaimed, how can I see from ESXi if my space was reclaimed?
Continue reading Monitoring Automatic VMFS-6 UNMAP in ESXi
EnableBlockDelete is a setting in ESXi that has been around since ESXi 5.0 P3 I believe. It was initially introduced as a way to turn on and off the automatic VMFS UNMAP feature introduced in 5.0 and then eventually canned in 5.0 U1.
The description of the setting back in 5.0 was “Enable VMFS block delete”. The setting was then hidden and made defunct (it did nothing when you turned it off or on) until ESXi 6.0. The description then changed to “Enable VMFS block delete when UNMAP is issued from guest OS”. Continue reading In-Guest UNMAP, EnableBlockDelete and VMFS-6
So vSphere 6.5 introduced VMFS-6 which came with the highly-desired automatic UNMAP. Yay! But some users still might need to run manual UNMAP on it for some reason. Immediate reasons that come to mind are:
- They disabled automatic UNMAP on the VMFS for some reason
- They need to get space back quickly and don’t have time to wait
When you run manual UNMAP one of the options you can specify is the block count. The UNMAP process since 5.5 iterates through the VMFS, by issuing reclaim to a small part of the VMFS, one at a time, until UNMAP has been issued to all of the free space. The block count dictates how big that segment is. By default ESXi will use 200 blocks (which is 200 MB). Continue reading Issue with Manual VMFS-6 UNMAP and Block Count