Posted by: Rick Vanover
Rick Vanover, Virtual Machine File System, VMFS, VMware, vSphere
Fresh off the release of my recent SearchVMware.com tip on the inner workings of VMware’s vStorage VMFS, I came across a VMFS-hater blog post. I am a big fan of VMFS for VMware implementations, frequently referring to the popular clustered file system as the most underrated technology VMware has ever made.
In this post that the most frequent frustration with VMFS is rooted in difficulty working with large files. I’m not going to disagree that working with large files is no fun, but will add that it is not fun in Windows either. Sure, Hyper-V allows migration of .VHD files to USB disks easily. I find that working with virtual disk files (.VMDK or .VHD) is cumbersome regardless of platform and avoid the practice in favor of other mechanisms. There are networking-based solutions to exchange virtual machines (VMs) and if a number of VMs need to be transported, a more robust storage solution or transient host may make more sense.
Truth be told, the use of USB and optical media is possible with VMFS – but not exposed in the current implementation of VMFS released to ESX and ESXi hosts. Will it make its way to the mainstream product? I’m not sure. Then the next question will be for other filesystems such as ext3, ext4, reiserfs, xfs, jfs or zfs. Every feature added onto purpose-built code introduces more complexity to the thin footprint, and is complicates the updating and vulnerability situation.
Long live VMFS! Have a comment? Chime in below.