- Secure Defrag. As defragmentation products re-allocate blocks, they should write binary zeros to the released space. Although this is time consuming, it would ensure deleted space could be reclaimed by the array.
- Freespace Consolidation. File system free space is usually tracked by maintaining a chain of freespace blocks. Some defragmentation tools can consolidate this chain. It would be an easy fix to simply write binary zeros over each block as it is consolidated up.
One alternative solution from Symantec is to use their Volume Manager software, which is now “Thin Aware”. I’m slightly skeptical about this as a solution as it places requirements on the operating system to deploy software or patches just to make storage operate efficiently. It takes me back to Iceberg and IXFP….
So in summary, Thin Provisioning can be a Good Thing, however over time, it will lose its shine. We need fixes that allow deleted blocks of data to be consolidated and returned to the storage array for re-use. Then TP will deliver on what it promises.
Incidentally, I’m surprised HDS haven’t made more noise about Zero Page Reclaim. It’s a TP feature that to my knowledge EMC haven’t got on DMX or V-Max.
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