Thin Provisioning and Reclamation of Unused Storage

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Publish Date: 
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
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Thin provisioning has proven so useful in improving storage utilization that most storage vendors offer the capability in some form. But every storage vendor manages “thin” LUNs differently. Thus, it becomes the responsibility of host-based applications to manage “thin” LUNs, and in particular, to detect unused storage capacity and reclaim it for deployment elsewhere. This presentation describes a host-based file system and volume manager that cooperate to detect space unused by file systems and reclaim it transparently to applications using the storage. The solution is hardware-independent in that it supports major storage vendors’ thin provisioning capabilities, and is readily adaptable to others. Moreover, the solution accommodates advanced data management capabilities such as data migration between fully-provisioned and thin LUNS, and snapshots.