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thin provisioning aka virtual provisioning on EMC Symmetrix

July 28th, 2012

For basic information about thin provisioning, here's some excerpts from wikipedia/HDS site:

Thin provisioning is the act of using virtualization technology to give the appearance of more physical resource than is actually available. It relies on on-demand allocation of blocks of data versus the traditional method of allocating all the blocks up front. This methodology eliminates almost all whitespace which helps avoid the poor utilization rates, often as low as 10%, that occur in the traditional storage allocation method where large pools of storage capacity are allocated to individual servers but remain unused (not written to). This traditional model is often called "fat" or "thick" provisioning.

Thin provisioning simplifies application storage provisioning by allowing administrators to draw from a central virtual pool without immediately adding physical disks. When an application requires more storage capacity, the storage system automatically allocates the necessary physical storage. This just-in-time method of provisioning decouples the provisioning of storage to an application from the physical addition of capacity to the storage system.

The term thin provisioning is applied to disk later in this article, but could refer to an allocation scheme for any resource. For example, real memory in a computer is typically thin provisioned to running tasks with some form of address translation technology doing the virtualization. Each task believes that it has real memory allocated. The sum of the allocated virtual memory assigned to tasks is typically greater than the total of real memory.

The following article below shows the step how to create thin pool, add and remove components from the pool and how to delete thin pool:


And for more information about thin provisioning on EMC Symmetrix V-Max  with Veritas Storage Foundation, the following PDF file may help you.

EMC Symmetrix V-Max with Veritas Storage Foundation.pdf


1.symcfg -sid 1234 list -datadev #list all TDAT devices(thin data devices which consists thin pool, and thin pool provide the actual physical storage to thin devices)
2.symcfg -sid 1234 list -tdev #list all TDEV devices(thin devices)

3.The following article may be useful for you if you encountered problems when trying to perform storage reclamation(VxVM vxdg ERROR V-5-1-16063 Disk d1 is used by one or more subdisks which are pending to be reclaimed):




Good Luck!

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