Once upon a time there were AIX, HP-UX, and Sun Solaris, but there were and are, then and now, nothing like Logical Volume Management, a feature that has been a part of the Linux kernel since 1999. Today, only a few distros allow you to configure LVM during installation, and something that should happen quickly is configuration by default in all distros- desktop or server.
Technically speaking, Logic Volume Management is the method of managing large volumes of data logically for the smooth functioning of your server by the partitioning of hard disks, a method that is exceedingly more flexible than the traditional method of disk partitioning, and was contributed to Linux by Sistina Software Inc., which was later acquired by Redhat. Frankly speaking, however, it is the savior of your computer storage.
To the new and amateur user, and to the more experienced user, there are several benefits of Logical Volume Management, of which the following are few.
The most appealing of the benefits of LVM, especially to a home user, is the ability to instantly and effectually resize disk partitions. On configuration of LVM, it is not needed to, like in the traditional method, to assign all available disk space immediately. After adding physical volume to the volume groups, the unused volume can be resized upwards.
The following are steps followed to configure LVM:
- Create a Physical Volume (PV) with a hard disk
- Create a Volume Group (VG), i.e., a virtual container
- Add PV to VG and create Logical Volumes (LV)
- Assign files to LV.
If after following all these steps you have ended up not allocating all available free space, then once the space in an LV is used up, you can simply allocate more space from the VG to the LV. What is even more convenient is the fact that this can be done either ‘online’ or ‘offline’, i.e., either before or after it has been un-mounted, and it is especially convenient for VPS server management.
Compared to other methods, adding storage on LVM is a trivial matter. Instead of having to fiddle with the symlinks as with other systems, you can simply add a VG to the additional pool of storage, resize the file system and then potentially move data from one LV to another. You can simply repeat the same process for future disk upgrades.
System storage requirements can be fulfilled by subsequently adding new disks and removing older, smaller disks. Provided your hardware supports it, LVM tasks can be done online without rebooting the system.
System partitions are not on the disk
Changing partitions that are physically located on the disk, as was the case before LVM, can be cumbersome. In LVM, the partitions are located one layer above the disk, and therefore allow for file systems to be re-sized on the move.
LVM compliments VPS server management, solving several disk space issues faced on configuration. While not without its drawbacks, LVM largely outweighs them with its benefits and is preferable over other options.
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