When you create or clone a virtual disk, you can use the
-d|--diskformat suboption to specify the format for the disk.
Choose from the following formats:
zeroedthick(default) – Space required for the virtual disk is allocated during creation. Any data remaining on the physical device is not erased during creation, but is zeroed out on demand on first write from the virtual machine. The virtual machine does not read stale data from disk.
eagerzeroedthick– Space required for the virtual disk is allocated at creation time. In contrast to
zeroedthickformat, the data remaining on the physical device is zeroed out during creation. It might take much longer to create disks in this format than to create other types of disks.
thin– Thin-provisioned virtual disk. Unlike with the
thickformat, space required for the virtual disk is not allocated during creation, but is supplied, zeroed out, on demand.
rdm:device – Virtual compatibility mode raw disk mapping.
rdmp:device – Physical compatibility mode (pass-through) raw disk mapping.
2gbsparse– A sparse disk with the maximum extent size of 2 GB. You can use disks in this format with hosted VMware products, such as VMware Fusion. However, you cannot power on the sparse disk on an ESXi host unless you first re-import the disk with
vmkfstoolsin a compatible format, such as
Disk Formats on NFS Datastores
The only disk formats you can use for NFS are
thin formats usually behave the same because the NFS server and not the ESXi host determines the allocation policy. The default allocation policy on most NFS servers is
thin. However, on NFS servers that support Storage APIs - Array Integration, you can create virtual disks in
zeroedthick format. The reserve space operation enables NFS servers to allocate and guarantee space.
For more information on array integration APIs, see Storage Hardware Acceleration.