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From ilya musayev <>
Subject Re: Vmware Full Clones vs Linked Clones
Date Thu, 12 Jun 2014 06:17:54 GMT
This topic comes up many times, it all depends what backend storage, 
number of spindles, workload type and SLAs during issues.

Linked Clones


VM comes up online within 1 minute or less (2 minutes if you are running 
slower backend storage)
You are saving on diskspace, if the rate of change on ROOT is small and 
data does NOT reside on ROOT volume
If you storage uses FAST technology and moves frequently accessed data 
blocks to something like SSD, initial boot up time improves greatly

You are leveraging VmWare Snapshot technology and changes are written in 
the form of deltas, which means if you create a 5GB file and delete it, 
your vmdk delta file will still be 5GB in size and will most likely only 
Corruption to a parent vmdk on the primary datastore will impact other 
VMs that are dependent on it - hence reliable storage is needed.
Perfomance may degrade overtime if rate of change is high - also pending 
your storage backend
Snapshotting (using vmware snapshot feature), will work, but if you have 
a complex snapshot three and some delta vmdk under this tree get 
corrupted, you may loose your data (until good working state) - this 
issue applies to snapshots in general

Full Clones:

Gets your independent disks with no delta complexity, at the expense of 
extra storage and some IO if you dont have FAST technology enabled.
Corruption to a vmdk file, affects only 1 VM.
If the VM has heavy read and write IO, you should consider running it as 
full clone as you will avoid delta complexity.

There are probably more reasons, just cant think of them now,


On 6/11/14, 7:42 AM, Steve Searles wrote:
> Can someone speak about using Linked Clones vs Full Clones in a production CS environment?
 What is the performance impact on the parent virtual machine? What type of density can be
expected if all the child vm’s are performing read operations from the same snapshot of
the parent VM? What are the dangers of using linked clones in this manner? What are the best
practices from the CS community?
> Steve Searles

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