Is it possible to make rsync VMware split .vmdk's aware?

Bas Bahlmann || Steady IT Systeembeheer bas at
Wed Mar 18 18:33:21 GMT 2009

Hi Matt,

Thanks for your fast reply!

Yeah, that would be an option too. I can pass rsync the files to use as
basis files. I'll take a look at the feature enhancement.

Your option with monolithic will work also, but will require a huge
amount of freespace on the destination server. I have got 18 customers
who use this option for Disaster Recovery and already need 1.5TB+ of
fast storage. If I rsync with monolithic files I probably need to have
1TB+ of freespace on the SAN and that's kinda expensive....

Thanks again,

Bas Bahlmann
The Netherlands

-----Oorspronkelijk bericht-----
Van: Matt McCutchen [mailto:matt at] 
Verzonden: woensdag 18 maart 2009 16:52
Aan: Bas Bahlmann || Steady IT Systeembeheer
CC: rsync at
Onderwerp: Re: Is it possible to make rsync VMware split .vmdk's aware?

On Wed, 2009-03-18 at 09:02 +0100, Bas Bahlmann || Steady IT
Systeembeheer wrote:
> -         I am making a local copy with vmware-vdiskmanager to an USB
> disk in the split "thin-disk" format of the vmdk's
> -         Then I start rsync to our datacenter to replicate the split
> "thin-disk" vmdk's

> Sometimes, because of the defragment within the VM or Exchange, the
> disk layout changes so much that a split .vmdk file that was very
> little and now becomes filled with 2Gb data. As a result rsync has to
> transfer 2Gb of data for that .vmdk which takes a lot of time. In my
> opnion that's not nessesary because the data is probably available in
> another split .vmdk because it was moved across the virtual disk.

> Is it possible to make an option in Rsync which reads out the vmdk
> config file for the split disks so it can search for known data across
> all the split .vmdk files within one virtual disk?

Specific support for VMware split images would be way too
special-purpose to justify putting it in the main version of rsync.  A
more general option to make each file transfer use multiple basis files
(or even all the existing destination files) may be reasonable.  You
could join this enhancement request, which I might then reopen:

But in this scenario, why are you using a split image?  Does it have
some advantage over a monolithic image (with which rsync would Just


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