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Updated VMFS Whitepaper now available

A new version of the VMFS Technical Overview and Best Practices white paper is now available. It has been updated for vSphere 5.x & VMFS5. You can download the paper from the VMware Technical Resources web site here. This new paper has been updated with VMFS5 limits, and also includes discussions around interoperability with newer vSphere features. It also has updated information around when and where to use Raw Device Mappings (RDMs), a feature which has seens it requirements change over the years.

The paper has been maintained by a number of technical marketing personnel over the years. We hope you find this latest version useful.

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Cormac Hogan

About Cormac Hogan

Cormac Hogan is a Senior Staff Engineer in the Office of the CTO in the Storage and Availability Business Unit (SABU) at VMware. He has been with VMware since April 2005 and has previously held roles in VMware’s Technical Marketing and Technical Support organizations. He has written a number of storage related white papers and have given numerous presentations on storage best practices and vSphere storage features. He is also the co-author of the “Essential Virtual SAN” book published by VMware Press.

5 thoughts on “Updated VMFS Whitepaper now available

  1. Carl

    My only comment on the white paper is on page 11, “Why use RDM” section. It seems to miss that flat.vmdk’s have a 2TB limit so another reason to use RDM is for vdisks > 2TB.

    Carl L.

      1. Jason Antonacci

        We work around the 2TB VMDK limit using the disk management tools built into the VMware guest’s Widows or Linux operating system. I can only speak of Linux Volume Management (LVM) in depth. LVM permits aggregating and managing multiple VMDK block devices easily and most importantly without downing applications. This includes migrating, increasing and reducing storage allocated and presented to the Linux OS. If you avoid any legacy DOS partitioning a whole new world of possibilities presents itself. The 4TB limit in VMFS 5 is a welcome change and huge improvement, but we are eager for 16 TB already. The incompatibility with VMX 7 and earlier is a challenge, but not insurmountable.

  2. Glenn Campbell

    Hi Cormac
    We have a request to provision a 5Tb VM (we have never provisioned a vmdk over 250Gb before) which is fine we can use 3 vmdk’s and present it to the OS. Do you have any preferences or advice on the best way to backup VM’s this big.


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