The VMWare KB and multiple blogs state that long running snapshots are bad for both performance reasons and integrity. They have valid points.
Granted this is not with ESXi but rather Workstation\VirtualBox on a *NIX server I do see many blogs touting using LVM (or even ZFS) snapshots. Assuming LVM they essentially store their VMDKs on an LVM volume and take all the snapshots they want.
I don't see how this solution is practically any different than simply using the VMDK snapshots but VMWare mentions nothing bad about it from a performance or integrity perspective. A lot of blogs tout this as a snapshoting solution.
With that being said are Long running VMWare snapshots bad if they are not true VMWare snapshots but rather the VMDK on an LVM\ZFS volume?
A long-running snapshot is a snapshot that runs for a long time, even continuously. Let's assume I set up a few Windows VMs, snapshot them at the LVM level, and run them for a few weeks or months (perhaps even shapshotting throughout). When I want to roll back I simply roll back the snapshot to return to a previous version.
The VMWare KB specifically states (for native VMWare snapshots)
"Use no single snapshot for more than 24-72 hours. Snapshots should not be maintained over long periods of time for application or Virtual Machine version control purposes."
As we all know people run LVM\ZFS snapshots for enormous amounts of time with no ill effects.