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Best Practice for Creating Folders and VMware vvols

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abauer
Occasional Visitor

Best Practice for Creating Folders and VMware vvols

I'm looking for clarification on how best to set up folders for vvols. Based on the info in this post (and this post) on Nick's blog, I assumed the best practice would be to create folders based on de-duplication needs and then create vvols within those folders with VMware storage policies to further tune other features such as compression, caching, snapshots, and so forth. However, this video--as I understand it--suggests we could create a single folder and use storage policies within VMware to "dictate the behavior of the Nimble array when we create new vvol volumes," which would include de-duplication. The conflict I see is some documentation states that de-dupe is enabled at the folder level, while the demo video suggests that the VMware storage policies and vvol configuration control de-dupe at the volume level.

What would be the best way to set up folders and vvols while preventing unnecessary use of the de-dupe feature?

5 REPLIES
abauer
Occasional Visitor
Solution

Re: Best Practice for Creating Folders and VMware vvols

This VMware blog confirms that de-duplication is applied at the vvol level: Virtual Volumes on Nimble OS 3 - Virtual Blocks.

ndyer39
Honored Contributor

Re: Best Practice for Creating Folders and VMware vvols

Hi Aaron,

Deduplication can be selected to be on globally (ie on the whole array) or it can be enabled on a per policy basis within the array. You'll notice if you head to the Performance Policies they have a default of whether dedupe should be on or off.

A folder can contain volumes which have dedupe both on and off.

eforgette119
Advisor

Re: Best Practice for Creating Folders and VMware vvols

Hi Aaron, it seems you found your way to the correct answer.  I just wanted to assure you that folder membership and dedupe are not related in any way.  In other words, dedupe enabled volumes in one folder will dedupe against dedupe enabled volumes in another folder.  Our folder concept is very lightweight and therefore doesn't come with any baggage.

Regarding the question "how best to set up folders for vvols", the answer is (of course) "it depends".  Our recommendation is to use as few as possible.  This is because there is no longer any performance advantages to having more than one.  The exceptions to this rule tend to be management related.  For example, if you have a requirement that leverages vCenter RBAC on datastore, then you might use more than one (so you could have different permissions on each).

abauer
Occasional Visitor

Re: Best Practice for Creating Folders and VMware vvols

Thanks, Nick! I managed to confuse myself on the global and policy application. I saw the dedupe option in the policies, but didn't fully understand the level at which they applied. I have a better grasp on it now.

abauer
Occasional Visitor

Re: Best Practice for Creating Folders and VMware vvols

Of course! I answer questions all the time with the proverbial "it depends." Thanks for the recommendation. Our goal was to create as few as possible; it's good to know we are heading in the right direction!