begs4399
Contributor
Contributor

Unable to add extent to ESX 3 server

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On ESX 3.02 / VC 2.02, I try a local SCSI Raid expansion. The server is an HP Proliant DL380G5 with added HP Raid P400

I've added a disk and upgraded HP Raid and Logical disk OK.

After a reboot of ESX server, the size of the vmhba0 has grown from 65G to 130G

I cannot add a VMFS extent as nothing show up in storage properties. - I suppose I has to do some CLI fdisk and vmkfstools

Now on to fdisk: here's what I got:

-


# esxcfg-vmhbadevs

vmhba0:0:0 /dev/cciss/c0d0

# fdisk /dev/cciss/c0d0

The number of cylinders for this disk is set to 17840.

There is nothing wrong with that, but this is larger than 1024,

and could in certain setups cause problems with:

1) software that runs at boot time (e.g., old versions of LILO)

2) booting and partitioning software from other OSs

(e.g., DOS FDISK, OS/2 FDISK)

Command (m for help): v

143300048 unallocated sectors

Command (m for help): p

Disk /dev/cciss/c0d0: 146.7 GB, 146745262080 bytes

255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 17840 cylinders

Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System

/dev/cciss/c0d0p1 * 1 13 104391 83 Linux

/dev/cciss/c0d0p2 14 650 5116702+ 83 Linux

/dev/cciss/c0d0p3 651 8584 63729855 fb Unknown

/dev/cciss/c0d0p4 8585 8920 2698920 f Win95 Ext'd (LBA)

/dev/cciss/c0d0p5 8585 8653 554211 82 Linux swap

/dev/cciss/c0d0p6 8654 8907 2040223+ 83 Linux

/dev/cciss/c0d0p7 8908 8920 104391 fc Unknown

Command (m for help): n

No free sectors available

-


I'm unable to add a new partition "No free sectors available"

Thanks for any help!

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wila
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In the same way "vmkfstools -K" expands a VM to a non contiguous extent (i suppose!)

Yes i am aware about the capability of vmkfstools to extent a partition or a VM disk. The option for extending a vmdk file is -X (not -K) and works great. Afaik, It does not chop up the VM disk, but rewrites it as one large contiguous file.

However since i've not yet used the particular feature of extending a host partition using vmkfstools myself, it is not that good an idea imho to recommend it to others.

I'd prefer hands on experience over hearsay.

The option to do that using vmkfstools is the -Z option or the --extendfs synonym.

Type:

man vmkfstools

on the linux command line to see all the options.

Well I could not either add storage, as the vmhba0:0:0 was already used.

but in your previous notes somewhere the new storage was found under vmhba0:0:3 ... or am i so daft now Smiley Happy

All SAN has the ability to add drives to the array then expand a LUN.

Yes a SAN has a few more features as a local raid system.

I'm trying the same here, but on a local RAID.

I had to make it work quickly so I reinstalled from scratch and restored the VMs. Not what I'd expected, but it wasn't very long to do.

One of the many reasons why i really like the product.

I could try it again sometime in a test environment.

Well yes i'm still a bit curious myself now, so i am going to replay this myself in the lab, unfortunately i didn't have the time to do so now, or i could have given you better directions.

Thanks much for support!

You're most welcome!

PS: If it helped you might also click the helpful/correct buttons which assign official reward points

| Author of Vimalin. The virtual machine Backup app for VMware Fusion, VMware Workstation and Player |
| More info at vimalin.com | Twitter @wilva

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wila
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First extents are not really a recommended way of extending your drive capacity. They have the tendency of bringing trouble in the future... The suggested way is to carve up a new LUN, ditch the old one, copy the data.

Anyways, i'm reasonably sure that you don't need the CLI in order to get your extents, this should work from within the VI client, have used it that way myself before.

First refresh your storage, then add your extents via "Properties", Click "Add Extent" there and follow the steps in the wizard.

| Author of Vimalin. The virtual machine Backup app for VMware Fusion, VMware Workstation and Player |
| More info at vimalin.com | Twitter @wilva
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begs4399
Contributor
Contributor

I'm new to ESX, and this is a deception for me! Every system I know can be upgraded without reinstalling partitions, and this has been that way since Netware 3.11 days - 2 decades ago!!!... ESX must have that "basic" feature!

Will ESX 3.1 correct this?

Back to my problem, In VIC, in storage1 properties, I see that vmhba0:0:0 has a 136G capacity, and the extent vmhba0:0:0:3 has 60G - so ESX sees the real new size. In Add extent, I see no Extent device to select.

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wila
Immortal
Immortal

I'm new to ESX, and this is a deception for me! Every system I know can be upgraded without reinstalling partitions, and this has been that way since Netware 3.11 days - 2 decades ago!!!... ESX must have that "basic" feature!

Will ESX 3.1 correct this?

It works in ESX as well and IS supported. But i advice against using it and with me quite a few others.

The reason is that you are now chopping up your VMs disks in a non-optimal way (your VMs will no longer be 1 continuous block of diskspace, but instead split up)

That by itself is not optimal and can have serious downsides at the time of trouble.

Back to my problem, In VIC, in storage1 properties, I see that vmhba0:0:0 has a 136G capacity, and the extent vmhba0:0:0:3 has 60G - so ESX sees the real new size. In Add extent, I see no Extent device to select.

Hmm.. now you've just confused me as i seem to recall that the vmhba id does only change if you add a new LUN, not when using extents. In that case you should be able to add a new storage instead of using the space using extends.

Under fdisk you'll see a type FB for VMFS, but fdisk doesn't support it besides displaying the info..

| Author of Vimalin. The virtual machine Backup app for VMware Fusion, VMware Workstation and Player |
| More info at vimalin.com | Twitter @wilva
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begs4399
Contributor
Contributor

In the same way "vmkfstools -K" expands a VM to a non contiguous extent (i suppose!)

Well I could not either add storage, as the vmhba0:0:0 was already used.

All SAN has the ability to add drives to the array then expand a LUN.

I'm trying the same here, but on a local RAID.

I had to make it work quickly so I reinstalled from scratch and restored the VMs. Not what I'd expected, but it wasn't very long to do.

I could try it again sometime in a test environment.

Thanks much for support!

0 Kudos
wila
Immortal
Immortal

In the same way "vmkfstools -K" expands a VM to a non contiguous extent (i suppose!)

Yes i am aware about the capability of vmkfstools to extent a partition or a VM disk. The option for extending a vmdk file is -X (not -K) and works great. Afaik, It does not chop up the VM disk, but rewrites it as one large contiguous file.

However since i've not yet used the particular feature of extending a host partition using vmkfstools myself, it is not that good an idea imho to recommend it to others.

I'd prefer hands on experience over hearsay.

The option to do that using vmkfstools is the -Z option or the --extendfs synonym.

Type:

man vmkfstools

on the linux command line to see all the options.

Well I could not either add storage, as the vmhba0:0:0 was already used.

but in your previous notes somewhere the new storage was found under vmhba0:0:3 ... or am i so daft now Smiley Happy

All SAN has the ability to add drives to the array then expand a LUN.

Yes a SAN has a few more features as a local raid system.

I'm trying the same here, but on a local RAID.

I had to make it work quickly so I reinstalled from scratch and restored the VMs. Not what I'd expected, but it wasn't very long to do.

One of the many reasons why i really like the product.

I could try it again sometime in a test environment.

Well yes i'm still a bit curious myself now, so i am going to replay this myself in the lab, unfortunately i didn't have the time to do so now, or i could have given you better directions.

Thanks much for support!

You're most welcome!

PS: If it helped you might also click the helpful/correct buttons which assign official reward points

| Author of Vimalin. The virtual machine Backup app for VMware Fusion, VMware Workstation and Player |
| More info at vimalin.com | Twitter @wilva
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begs4399
Contributor
Contributor

Well "vmkfstools -Z" is probably what I needed.

I will be testing this next week before going production.

But as reinstalling is so quick, expanding becomes less attractive as I have to do:

1) add disk(s) and expand array (OK it's done online, but takes 7-8hours)

2) expand logical drive or LUN inside the array (Online also 7-8h)

3) expand vmfs (vmkfstools -Z ) (all VM offline ???)

4) expand VM (vmkfstools -X) (VM offline)

5) expand partition and drive inside the guest

and also not mentionning that we need a full backup before almost every step!

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wila
Immortal
Immortal

3) expand vmfs (vmkfstools -Z ) (all VM offline ???)

Have never heard about that being a requirement before.

But here's a few additional links on the subject, it also discusses some of the reasons on why you shouldn't like extents much:

http://www.vmware.com/community/message.jspa?messageID=323672

http://www.vmware.com/community/message.jspa?messageID=117758

http://communities.vmware.com/message/604008

http://download3.vmware.com/vmworld/2006/tac9567.pdf

(old link)

http://www.vmware.com/support/esx2/doc/esx20admin_fsmgmt_vmfsaccess_disks.html

4) expand VM (vmkfstools -X) (VM offline)

Correct, you'll have to shutdown the VM before extending it.

and also not mentionning that we need a full backup before almost every step!

It depends, if those VMs need to be up all times then probably yes, but otherwise i would try and do several steps at once if possible in order to reduce the overhead. If you have enough storage available then temporarily copying a VM to a "local" LUN on another storage volume is pretty quick. One of the reasons i like iSCSI and NFS too.

If you can do that and don't have Virtual Center then there's you can search for a bash script i put on the forums that'll do the grunt work for you using vmkfstools.

| Author of Vimalin. The virtual machine Backup app for VMware Fusion, VMware Workstation and Player |
| More info at vimalin.com | Twitter @wilva