Benchmarks: VMware vSphere 4.0 vStorage Thin Provisioning

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Last week VMware released an interesting new benchmark study about the thin provisioning feature launched with vSphere 4.0.

The 14-pages paper compares the performance of traditionally pre-allocated VMDK virtual disks (called thick) with the one of new thin provisioned VMDK virtual disks (called thin) in a Fibre Channel SAN.

Compared to thick VMDKs, the thin disks’ space is created and zeroed at the very moment the capacity is needed, so this may have an impact on performance for disk intensive guest applications. 
Besides that, the study suggests that the thick and thin disks perform in very similar ways, during the zeroing phase and after that: