Chapter 1. Introduction to VDO on LVM

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The Virtual Data Optimizer (VDO) feature provides inline block-level deduplication, compression, and thin provisioning for storage. You can manage VDO as a type of Logical Volume Manager (LVM) Logical Volumes (LVs), similar to LVM thin-provisioned volumes.

VDO volumes on LVM (LVM-VDO) contain the following components:

VDO pool LV
  • This is the backing physical device that stores, deduplicates, and compresses data for the VDO LV. The VDO pool LV sets the physical size of the VDO volume, which is the amount of data that VDO can store on the disk.
  • Currently, each VDO pool LV can hold only one VDO LV. As a result, VDO deduplicates and compresses each VDO LV separately. Duplicate data that is stored on separate LVs do not benefit from data optimization of the same VDO volume.
  • This is the virtual, provisioned device on top of the VDO pool LV. The VDO LV sets the provisioned, logical size of the VDO volume, which is the amount of data that applications can write to the volume before deduplication and compression occurs.

If you are already familiar with the structure of an LVM thin-provisioned implementation, you can refer to Table 1.1 to understand how the different aspects of VDO are presented to the system.

Table 1.1. A comparison of components in VDO on LVM and LVM thin provisioning
 Physical deviceProvisioned device


VDO pool LV


LVM thin provisioning

Thin pool

Thin volume

Since the VDO is thin-provisioned, the file system and applications only see the logical space in use and not the actual available physical space. Use scripting to monitor the available physical space and generate an alert if use exceeds a threshold. For information about monitoring the available VDO space see the Monitoring VDO section.

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