Additional Virtualization Discussions

Creating an Aggregate for VM


Hello, I am soon going to be re-creatng an aggregate that will be used for our vmware environment, and I just wanted to ask for some tips and best practices that I should implement.

So here is a little bit of info about my filer.

Its a Fas3140 filer, running  ontap

Currently I am in the process of moving volumes from this Aggregate of fiber channel disks, to an SATA Aggregate, they are all cifs volumes.

If i do aggr status <aggrname> -v I get the following;

Aggr State           Status            Options
  cifs online          raid_dp, aggr     root, diskroot, nosnap=off,
                                redirect       raidtype=raid_dp, raidsize=16,

                Volumes: vol0, finservacct, it, marketing, pmdata,
                         citrix_streams, users, gms_data, data, gcs

                Plex /cifs/plex0: online, normal, active
                    RAID group /cifs/plex0/rg0: normal
                    RAID group /cifs/plex0/rg1: normal

I know that this aggregate is using raid_dp and has 16 disks.

if I do df -Ah cifs:

Aggregate                total       used      avail capacity
cifs                    4087GB     3125GB      962GB      76%
cifs/.snapshot           215GB       61GB      153GB      29%

I see that its also taking up some space by doing aggr snapshots, which I will disable the schedule and purge those snapshots later on.

So I have about 4293GB if I take back the snapshot space.

We dont have an NFS license, we have a VMFS, so the new volumes on that aggregate will be vmfs. Is there a good way to split up that 4293GB of disk space into 2 or 4 volumes, which then on will contain a lun presented to esx?

Thank you,




Is there a good way to split up that 4293GB of disk space into 2 or 4 volumes, which then on will contain a lun presented to esx?

I am not sure I really understand a question. You just creates FlexVols on this aggregate (like you already did) and then create LUNs inside these FlexVols. Or could you explain in more details what you intend to do?


Ok, so what if I will add 5 more disks to this aggr, is it a good amount, do I need more or less is what I am trying to find out for performance.

Also, once the aggregate is ready to be split up into volumes, whats the most optimal way to divide it up?


What size disks do you have and how many available for a new aggregate? I recommend aggregates as large as possible. For example:

300GB FC disks:

3x RAID groups of 21 disks each.

450GB FC disks:

2x RAID groups of 22 disks each.

1TB SATA disks:

2x RAID groups of 12 disks each (only 23 will fit).

The performance from aggregates like this is astounding. With aggregates like this, I am never worried about I/O cross-contamination.

Stetson Webster

Professional Services Consultant

Virtualization and Consolidation



919.250.0052 Direct Phone

Learn more: <>


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