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Security Appliance disk alignment

We have several S100V appliances (v8.0.5 build 075) deployed on VMWare 5.1.  We notice that the disk alignment is not optimised for a shared-disk virtual environment, the partition offset is at sector 63 (32256 bytes) so disk activity does not align to the underlying 4k byte boundary.  We have used a NetApp tool (mbralign) to test aligning the partitions correctly but the appliance detects the change and gives an error, despite successfully booting.  These virtual appliances were deployed from OVA as per standard practice and Cisco documentation.

Can anyone provide an alternate way to deploy the S-series appliances, that results in a correctly aligned partition structure?  Or alternatively, a way to correct the alignment of the existing appliances?

We know that Cisco is aware of both the need for correct alignment, and the effects of poor alignment, as they make mention of it in documents related to other virtual appliances such as CUCM and UCS. Ref: http://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/td/docs/voice_ip_comm/cucm/rel_notes/9_1_2/CUCM_BK_C9FFFCD0_00_cucm-release-notes-912/CUCM_BK_C9FFFCD0_00_cucm-release-notes-912_chapter_011.html#CUCM_RF_CFB78EC7_00 and http://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/td/docs/unified_computing/ucs/UCS_CVDs/ucs_vspex_esxi5_vm250.html#wp598003

These appliances are very heavy devices in terms of disk I/O, and as a result of the incorrect partition offset the I/O load is magnified considerably.

Any help appreciated, even if it is just confirmation of the issue at other sites.

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