Fixing storage misalignment – Part 2

After installation and configuration of NetApp Virtual Storage Console one has to identify virtual machines which are misaligned. VSC during VMFS scanning identifies misaligned virtual machines and groups them into three groups:

  • Aligned
    • Functionally aligned
    • Actually aligned
  • Misaligned
    • online migration – can be performed by Virtual Storage Console without outage on VM
    • offline migration – can be performed only using third party tools such as VMware converter or NetApp command line tool.
  • other – usually virtual machines with new version of operating systems such as Windows 2008 R1 SP1, RHEL 6.X which are virtualization “aware” and usually have disks aligned.

VCS VM groups

Identifying misaligned virtual machines.
  • From a vSphere client Home got to –> IBM N-Series –> Optimization and migration –> Scan manager
  • Choose datastores which would you like scan and start Scan selected
Scan selected datastores VCS

Scan selected datastores VSC

What exactly is happening in background ? VSC plugin takes snapshot of each and every machine on selected datastores, analyse virtual disks and remove snapshots. Depending on numbers of VMs it might take a while to finish scan process. When it’s finished list of virtual machines can be found in Optimization adn Migration –> Virtual Machine Alignment.

In folder structure misaligned virtual machines are divided into several folders such as online migration, offline migration. As mentioned above, online alignment can be performed by VSC plugin and offline either by VMware converter or mbrtool command line utility.

VSC Aligment VM's

Online virtual machine disk alignment
  • From VSC plugin main screen go to Optimization and Migration –> Virtual Machine Alignment
  • From online migration folder mark virtual machine or machine which you would like to migrate and click Migrate button
migrate or migrate all

migrate or migrate all

  • Choose target storage controller
  • use existing datastore or create a new one
  • Verify information in summary window and Apply
  • Finish to start storage alignment of selected virtual machines
new or existing datastore

new or existing datastore


Artur Krzywdzinski

Artur is Consulting Architect at Nutanix. He has been using, designing and deploying VMware based solutions since 2005 and Microsoft since 2012. He specialize in designing and implementing private and hybrid cloud solution based on VMware and Microsoft software stacks, datacenter migrations and transformation, disaster avoidance. Artur holds VMware Certified Design Expert certification (VCDX #077).