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svillar
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Esxi upgrade 6.7 to 7.0 U3 -- upgrade vs reinstall boot partitions

Hi Community,

I had a 10GB boot disk boot-from-SAN running at 6.7 and I wanted to upgrade it to 7.0 U3, latest and greatest.  My understanding is that the boot drive needed to be 32GB, so I expanded the drive presented to the host.  I ran the upgrade via cli.  I had no issues.  From LifeCycle Manager, I patched it.  Again, no errors or issues.

Here's my question:

The bootbank0 and bootbank1 partitions are 500MB, not the 4GB as expected per ESXi System Storage Changes | VMware.

I want to understand why the upgrade did not use the full 4GB and what will the affect be.  Will my partitions be big enough as is?  Is it better to reinstall from scratch?  If so, why?  If the 4-10GB drive is enough, why is the recommendation 32GB?  I read that the Bootbank and ESX-OSData partitions are expandable.  Does this need to occur and if so, how?

Thanks for the help!

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DCasota
Expert
Expert

 

Spoiler
 

Hi,

 

There is a default media size, see ESXi System Storage Overview  and Boot option to configure the size of ESXi system partitions (81166) Every size below diminishes the autopartitioned system storage e.g. bootbank partitions. The more features e.g. VSAN,NSX, etc. are used, the more the bootbank size, holding the vibs, becomes important.

Here a thread about increasing a bootbank partition.

Hope this helps.

 

 

 

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IRIX201110141
Champion
Champion

Right now we create 128GB  luns/partitions for ESXi because the OS_DATA max size is up to 132 or so. We dont want to reinstall when ESXi9 or so comes out.

About your 500MB vs. 4GB.  I may depends on if the ESXi Installer identity your disks as local or not.

Regards,
Joerg

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a_p_
Leadership
Leadership

Although the question has been asked a week ago already, please allow me add a quick comment.

I want to understand why the upgrade did not use the full 4GB ...

The upgrade from ESXi 6.x to 7.x will only resize the partitions if these's free disk space adjacent to the OS partitions. In case there's a VMFS partition on the installation disk/LUN, you need to delete it prior to running the upgrade.

André

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DCasota
Expert
Expert

Hi,

please allow me add a quick comment.

I want to understand why the upgrade did not use the full 4GB ...

At the concurrent time of ESXi 6.7 and 7.0, there were somewhat many 8GB SD card/USB boot devices in the field.

 

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svillar
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

I'm sorry, but something doesn't make sense--

The upgrade was via LifeCylce Manager not via an ISO.  How would I make the system change the partition size?  Is that really necessary or will the partition (32GB) resize itself (both bootbanks and the OSDATA partition) automatically?  Right now, I have 32GB and only 10 GB used.  Something doesn't add up here.

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DCasota
Expert
Expert

Assuming it’s a home lab, distinction: Is it a nested vSphere environment and/or a physical vSphere environment with boot-from-SAN ?

Life Cycle Manager applies an appliable setup. If you‘ve chosen a VMware ESXi image for a physical host, implicitly you might have lost hardware sensors and vendor specific interoperabilities. Life Cycle Manager cannot resize the ESXi 7 system storage after the initial setup. With a scripted install you could specify the initial system storage sizes. In a nested vSphere environment with boot from SAN, the netto system storage size could be smaller than 32GB I think.

It depends on hardware.

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a_p_
Leadership
Leadership

Right now, I have 32GB and only 10 GB used. Something doesn't add up here.

I agree, this doesn't add up.
What I did with upgrade from 6.x to 7.x so far is to delete the local VMFS partition prior to starting the upgrade. With this procedure,the upgrade resized the partitions automatically. Btw. for the last SAN boot environment that I upgraded, the SAN boot LUNs were configured with 130GB. Taking into account that most modern storage systems only allocate used disk space (thin provisioning) this is not really a waste of disk space.

Please check the partition layout on the SAN LUN to find out which partitions exist.
With ESXi 7.0, the VMFS partition has partition number 8 (in ESXi 6.x it was partition 3) by default.

André

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