You ever notice how some of your VMs lean a little to the left, or a little to the right? No, of course, you don’t, that’s absolutely ridiculous! :)
But seriously, the matter of VM Disk Alignment is a very serious one which should not be ignored! Up until this point the means of correcting it was driven around due diligence, and annoying steps to correct existing VMDK, VHD, etc file types. Well, through the power of UBERism, Nick Weaver rockstar has turned this problem on its side!
In his recent blog post: Straighten up with a new UBER tool : Presenting UBERAlign he outlines, details and takes you through *everything*, Okay seriously my first impression of this? I saw this originally mentioned in an internal email announcing it, and as I read the high-lights in the email I teared up a little bit (oddly, I’m doing it again!) Why? This is a seriously OMG moment for those of you who have suffered through this problem! If you don’t know if you suffer from VM Disk alignment? Then, chances are you do. It’s actually that simple ;) If you know you’ve taken very specific steps to correct alignment, then and only then can you almost ‘ignore’ this, but still I encourage you to check it out!
Some of the highlights and features I’d like to mention! (Stolen directly from Nicks Blog Post, so Nyah! ;))
- Allows for fast alignment checking of virtual machines with detailed logging.
- Can perform alignment to any offset you want. Even the crazy ones that you shouldn’t choose.
- Works with both Windows 2000/XP/2003/2008 (NTFS) and Linux Distros (EXT2/EXT3/EXT4).
- Is able to work on NTFS boot drives perfectly. It does this by rewriting NTFS Metadata (the right way).
- Auto detects Windows 2008 and Windows 7 native installs (alignment not needed). Will not touch a System Reserved Partition (important for Windows 2008).
- Preserves all Windows drive mapping (AFAIK only one to do so). This means no having to remap drive letters and complete support for non “C:\”system drives with some Windows builds (some Citrix stuff).
- Doesn’t trash the NTFS and Boot mirrors like other tools.
- Handles Primary and Extended partitions like it is no big deal on both Windows and Linux.
- Has the ability to handle multiple disks for a VM.
- Multiple disks + Multiple Partitions + Multiple types (primary, logical) + Multiple file systems (NTFS, EXT#) = no problem
- Also allows for optional Space Reclamation on both NTFS and Ext! That’s right: you can choose to do space reclamation at the same time as an alignment or as a option to itself. This means you can retrieve space no longer used on Thin VM’s using UBERAlign.
AND OMG MORE MORE MORE MORE MORE MORE!!!!! Yea seriously!
This is the kind of tool which dreams are made of. Yes, those kind of dreams which often cost a serious amount of money to solve for a problem too! WOWMG FREE?!?! Yea baby. If I’m mistaken there, let me know.. :)
I highly encourage you check out the original blog post Straighten up with a new UBER tool : Presenting UBERAlign so you can get ALL the details including the videos walking through the use of the tool! It’s pretty damn exciting, and quite a major epic scale accomplishment! From Nick’s videos alone you can make walk-through screenshot tutorials on how to do things too! I would, but seriously! Just check out the videos. If there is enough demand for it… I’ll do that, but hey, you’re lucky I’m writing a blog post in the first place! ;)