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Is it necessary to align the Guest OS file system partition in VMware vSphere?

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Applies to

  • VMware vSphere 5 or higher
  • Legacy Guest OS types that do not support more recent versions of the ATA standard (such as ATA-7). Examples include:
    • Windows 2000
    • Windows 2003
    • RHEL 5.x

Answer

For modern operating systems, no.

Modern vendor-supported operating systems (OS) from Microsoft and Linux distributors such as Red Hat no longer require adjustments to align the file system partition with the blocks of the underlying storage system in a virtual environment.

As such, there is no need to manually adjust the partition alignment for those operating systems that support modern ATA standards.  Operating Systems that support newer ATA standards include:

  • Windows 2008, 2008 R2, 2012 and higher
  • RHEL 6.x, Ubuntu 12.x

If you are using an older OS such as Windows Server 2003 that has partitions that require alignment, contact the NetApp sales team for a copy of the obsolete TR-3747, Best Practices for File System Alignment in Virtual Environments.

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