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December 13, 2006

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Chris M Evans

Chuck, I agree with the hype comment however there are and were times when thin provisioning can be useful. I first used it in 1996 on mainframe systems with STK Iceberg. For volumes such as paging disks where we didn't want more than a small file on there, it was perfect. The issue was concurrent access to a volume (now solved with PAVs) so allocating more smaller used volumes was a simple way to solve the problem.

The Iceberg implementation wasn't without problems, most notably the reporting didn't cope well with snapshots and could underreport the amount of used storage.

Glenn Dekhayser

Chuck:

I'm a storage VAR in NJ, and I find it refreshing to see that a storage industry exec sees things the same way I do on the topic of thin-privisioning. I see this very much as a solution that was invented (more likely discovered) without a valid problem to attach itself to.

Would you build a house on a foundation that was 'thin-provisioned', not knowing if the builder really put enough concrete into it, only to find out once your house crumbles to the ground?

Seems like total folly to me, and with the ability to both grow and shrink virtual volumes these days, it's largely unnecessary, and I'm usually able to talk my clients out of trying it.

Great article, IMHO.

Glenn Dekhayser
Voyant Strategies, Inc.

tc

I totally agreed with what you said. I think the small player is using this as a selling tools more than benefits the end user really. How much space you going to save with the disk is getting bigger and bigger and cheaper and cheapr. It's like you spending $10 to save $12 of disk space, good job, but have to absorb all the performance, management issue over time.

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Chuck Hollis


  • Chuck Hollis
    Chief Strategist, VMware SAS BU
    @chuckhollis

    Chuck has recently joined VMware in a new role, and is quite enthused!

    Previously, he was with EMC for 18 years, most of them great.

    He enjoys speaking to customer and industry audiences about a variety of technology topics, and -- of course -- enjoys blogging.

    Chuck lives in Holliston, MA with his wife, three kids and four dogs when he's not travelling. In his spare time, Chuck is working on his second career as an aging rock musician.

    Warning: do not buy him a drink when there is a piano nearby.
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