Logical Volumes (
LV) are the final storage unit in the standard LVM architecture. These units are created from the volume group, which is made up of physical volumes (
PV). If you have been following along in the series, you will have initialized your physical volumes and combined them into a volume group (
VG). We will be continuing our LVM exploration by further splicing our newly created volume group
LVMvgTEST into various logical volumes.
If you are interested in the previous articles, you can review part 1 and part 2.
As with all things, variation is the spice of life, and that's no different when it comes to technology—specifically, logical volumes. You have a few different options at your disposal here, and they each have unique use cases that sysadmins can employ to best fit a given situation. Your options are as follows:
- Linear logical volume
- Striped logical volume
- Mirrored logical volume
I will be discussing each of these volume types in further detail, walking you through examples of when and why you would want to use each one. I will also walk you through a basic configuration of each. Let's get to it!
Linear logical volume
Linear logical volumes are the LVM default when it comes to logical volume creation. They are generally used to combine one or more disks to create one usable storage unit. We created a
2G volume group called
LVMvgTEST in our last article. That volume group was created by joining two unique
1G physical volumes. Here I am going to use a small portion of that volume group to create a linear logical volume titled, very creatively,
lv_linear. Seen below:
[root@rhel ~]# lvcreate -L 500M -n lv_linear LVMvgTEST Logical volume "lv_linear" created.
You can use the
lvdisplay for detailed information on the logical volumes currently in existence on your system.
[root@rhel ~]# lvdisplay --- Logical volume --- LV Path /dev/LVMvgTEST/lv_linear LV Name lv_linear VG Name LVMvgTEST LV UUID hxBk3i-deYU-OjG1-KdR8-noDm-yeYh-EiF8Mc LV Write Access read/write LV Creation host, time rhel.test, 2020-03-12 12:38:16 -0400 LV Status available # open 0 LV Size 500.00 MiB Current LE 125 Segments 1 Allocation inherit Read ahead sectors auto - currently set to 8192 Block device 253:2
You can also use the
lvs command if verbosity isn't your thing:
[root@rhel ~]# lvs LV VG Attr LSize Pool Origin Data% Meta% Move Log Cpy%Sync Convert lv_linear LVMvgTEST -wi-a----- 500.00m root rhel -wi-ao---- <26.00g swap rhel -wi-ao---- 3.00g
These are the most common logical volume types and are very straightforward to create.
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Striped logical volume
Striped logical volumes allow the administrator to control the way that the data is written to the physical volumes. For high volume read/write scenarios, striped logical volumes would be ideal, as they allow for read and write operations to be done in parallel.
When using striped logical volumes, you can set the number of stripes (this number cannot exceed the number of physical volumes) and the stripe size. This allows the user a greater level of control over how I/O is performed on the system.
Here, we are going to create a striped logical volume of 500Mb. The
-i2 denotes the number of stripes (because we only have two physical volumes, we are using two). The
-I64 denotes the size of the stripes as the default 64Kb. We named the striped volume
lv_stripe, and it is a part of the volume group
[root@rhel ~]# lvcreate -L 500M -i2 -I64 -n lv_stripe LVMvgTEST Rounding size 500.00 MiB (125 extents) up to stripe boundary size 504.00 MiB(126 extents). Logical volume "lv_stripe" created.
Now, using the
lvdisplay command, you can see both the linear volume and the newly created striped volume:
[root@rhel ~]# lvdisplay --- Logical volume --- LV Path /dev/LVMvgTEST/lv_linear LV Name lv_linear VG Name LVMvgTEST LV UUID hxBk3i-deYU-OjG1-KdR8-noDm-yeYh-EiF8Mc LV Write Access read/write LV Creation host, time rhel.test, 2020-03-12 12:38:16 -0400 LV Status available # open 0 LV Size 500.00 MiB Current LE 125 Segments 1 Allocation inherit Read ahead sectors auto - currently set to 8192 Block device 253:2 --- Logical volume --- LV Path /dev/LVMvgTEST/lv_stripe LV Name lv_stripe VG Name LVMvgTEST LV UUID tqtkco-QZgj-TvOq-hzSk-G2Ti-jfsU-5bhMlz LV Write Access read/write LV Creation host, time rhel.test, 2020-03-13 12:42:38 -0400 LV Status available # open 0 LV Size 504.00 MiB Current LE 126 Segments 1 Allocation inherit Read ahead sectors auto - currently set to 8192 Block device 253:3
These kinds of logical volumes are really helpful in the right circumstances! If you need high volume read/write, consider striping your volumes.
Mirrored logical volume
Mirrored logical volumes do exactly what you would expect them to do. They allow you to "reflect" the data on one device to an identical copy. This ensures your data is available. If one part of the mirror breaks, the remaining drive changes its characteristics to that of a linear volume and is still accessible. LVM keeps a log on what data is where, which allows the changes to be persistent. Let's look at how to create a mirror with LVM.
[root@rhel ~]# lvcreate -L 100M -m1 -n lv_mirror LVMvgTEST Logical volume "lv_mirror" created.
You can see that we created a mirror drive of
100Mb, named the mirror
lv_mirror, and created it on the
LVMvgTEST volume group. All of this was done using the same
lvcreate command from the previous examples. We can verify creation by using the
[root@rhel ~]# lvdisplay --- Logical volume --- LV Path /dev/LVMvgTEST/lv_mirror LV Name lv_mirror VG Name LVMvgTEST LV UUID 0eTHem-rw8b-PK0J-wibU-f94M-bypL-1IM7AG LV Write Access read/write LV Creation host, time rhel.test, 2020-03-13 13:01:41 -0400 LV Status available # open 0 LV Size 100.00 MiB Current LE 25 Mirrored volumes 2 Segments 1 Allocation inherit Read ahead sectors auto - currently set to 8192 Block device 253:8
So we looked at logical volumes as a whole, the three kinds of logical volumes that LVM allows you to create, and how to configure these volumes. LVM allows you to create a storage unit to fit almost any need you may have as an administrator, and that's what makes it such a great utility. I recommend that you give LVM a try the next time you need to accomplish any disk manipulation. In my opinion, there is no better tool for the job!
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