I'm currently working on a SQL Server storage project and as part of that I'm touching a number of areas that may be of interest to the DBA.
The IT industry is full of buzz words, new fads, fashionable terms and so on; and Thin Provisioning was something I was aware of but not fully informed, not that I am now mind. Anyway sad to admit amongst the publications I read is Storage Magazine http://www.storagemagazine.co.uk/ I like to keep abreast of the latest trends which is why I also buy MSDN magazine although I can't claim to understand a great deal of it, but at least I might get an insight into what's hot or not for developers with regard to anything which might touch SQL Server.
Anyway amongst the reading material was a comments about Thin Provisioning not really working with ntfs; now thin provisioning allows you to allocate storage you don't have but trick the applications into thinking you have. The theory is that shoudl you maybe need 1 TB for a database but currently it's only using 100GB you provision the 1TB but onlygive 100GB. The application thinks it has 1TB and as storage use increases the storage pool automatically increases the actual storage. Now doesn't that sound very much like what our banks were doing with their lending?
Anyway you might like to read a general article here http://searchstorage.techtarget.com/news/article/0,289142,sid5_gci1188117,00.html and I also found a really good windows article by a Microsoft MVP, Dilip Naik, http://msftmvp.com/default.aspx his article on thin provisioning is here http://msftmvp.com/Documents/ThinNTFSv2.pdf
Now as many people know I'm fairly cynical about SAN storage and the apparent lack of performance, however I'm not going to make any comment about this subject matter - I suggest you read carefully and then be sure to ask the right questions if your storage provider has this facility. Some storage vendors have different terms for it as you might guess!
Here's an article which describes Thin Provisioning in more detail http://searchstorage.techtarget.com/news/column/0,294698,sid5_gci1134713,00.html?mboxSession=1235686994531-668391&mboxSession=1235686994531-668391#
The links to searchstorage are somewhat messy with lots of ads and popups but if you can get through the rubbish there are some good articles. I should mention that Dilip has an excellent white paper on using SSDs too and Joe Chang http://sqlblog.com/blogs/joe_chang/default.aspx is also promising some research with SSDs and SQL Server. I'm planning to buy another 4 SSDs but I'm not sure I'll ahve enough for a meaningful test.