VMware Solutions Discussions

How big are you making your NFS datastores?


HI all - as the subject reads how big are you making your NFS Datastores in your ESX/ESXi virtual environments? More smaller ones or less but larger ones? I am calling 1Tb small in this case.

My thought was if I make more smaller ones then try to limit 20-25 guests to it and the snaps would perform better and the backups within VSC as well.

What practice are you using in your environment and why?

p.s. these are created from one aggr



Chuckle 316 views over 2 months and I am the only reply


as you cannot properly multipath NFS datastores (you can for physical redundancy but not for link/speed aggregation, means you will always end up with a point to point speed of 1/10GBit so you have to scale with parallelism), i put as much machines in it as a 1/10GBit link can handle. then i create the next datastore for the next 1/10GBit link 😉

Besides that, i try to group machines of the same type (eg all win2k3 or all redhat linux) for a maximum deduplication results. backups using VSC 2.1 seem quite painless nowadays, no matter if its 2 or 200 machines.


Thanks Thomas –

Chuckle. – With all due respect how big are you making your NFS datastores? I realize the dedup benefits of same os etc on same datastores.


Our customers are between 500GB and roughly 4-5TB, depending on dedup as well as the maximum single dataset their NDMP backup can handle (i wouldnt recommend 16TB datastores if you backup these on tape).


I have 2 TB datastores, but that is just because my vmware admin does not feel comfortable with larger datastores. Personnaly I would go to 4-6 TB.


I'm not a customer obviously but I can share what see in the field. I think to Thomas point it not about the size of the datastore but the number of VMs contained within. We have tested up to 16TB datastore with VMware with great sucess. However most datastores I see are obviously much smaller than that. I see the full range in the field from a few hundred GB to 4-6 TB, some even larger.

From an average VM count, most NFS customers I know are in the 50-100 VM per datastore range with 500 VM being my high water mark.

In addition to the link limitation Thomas mentioned and the VMware snapshot limitation you mentioned (if you use them with VSC, many customer do not use them)

You also have to be aware of the maximum dedupeable volume size on your controller. (at least until we are all on ONTAP 8 and it is 16TB).

Factors such as snap schedules and replication schedules may also dictate you have more datastores, thus smaller datastores.

I know, it seemed like such a simple question right?


NetApp on Discord Image

We're on Discord, are you?

Live Chat, Watch Parties, and More!

Explore Banner

Meet Explore, NetApp’s digital sales platform

Engage digitally throughout the sales process, from product discovery to configuration, and handle all your post-purchase needs.

NetApp Insights to Action
I2A Banner