HenrikElm
Contributor
Contributor

VMFS 3.31 expandable?

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Can VMFS 3.31 datastores be expanded after upgrade to vSphere, or can only the new 3.33 (?) vSphere VMFS be dynamically expanded?

/Henrik

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mcwill
Expert
Expert

Henrik,

Yes they can, I have successfully expanded both VMFS 3.21 & 3.31 since upgrading to vSphere.

Regards,

Iain

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AndreTheGiant
Immortal
Immortal

Cause the difference are minimal I suppose that is possible.

VMFS of ESX 3.5 and 4 are quite the same.

http://virtualizationreview.com/blogs/everyday-virtualization/2009/06/vstorage-vmfs-version-notes.as...

Andre

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Andre | http://about.me/amauro | http://vinfrastructure.it/ | @Andrea_Mauro
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mcwill
Expert
Expert

Henrik,

Yes they can, I have successfully expanded both VMFS 3.21 & 3.31 since upgrading to vSphere.

Regards,

Iain

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AndreTheGiant
Immortal
Immortal

Interesting, you say that you have expanded also VMFS 3.21 .

But using extent (old mode) or the new extend function?

Andre

**if you found this or any other answer useful please consider allocating points for helpful or correct answers

Andre | http://about.me/amauro | http://vinfrastructure.it/ | @Andrea_Mauro
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mcwill
Expert
Expert

Yes, using the new extend/expand method.

Regards,

Iain

HenrikElm
Contributor
Contributor

So.. All these years the filesystem was capable of dynamic expand? Why did VMWare have us use extents then, if it was merely a question of using another vCenter command to the host?

I would guess/hope that the VMKernel layer wasn't capable until now, altough the filesystem obviously was?

/Henrik

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HenrikElm
Contributor
Contributor

But are you 100% sure? I can only hot-expand 3.33 VMFS partitions. With 3.31 I don't get the option?

/Henrik

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mcwill
Expert
Expert

Absolutely certain.

Storage was on an Equallogic LUN, first we expanded the LUN on the EQL box and then expanded the VMFS volume on the LUN utilizing the expand option.

I'm afraid I don't know what the pre-requisits are to the option being available.

Regards,

Iain

HenrikElm
Contributor
Contributor

How very strange.. If I remove the VMFS and recreate a new one with the exact same size, all of a sudden I get the option to expand (it finds spare space to use). But.. I also dont get the option to create an extent which is also strange and makes me believe that I have some other issue here..?

It's good to know that it SHOULD work, now I only have to MAKE it work! Smiley Wink

/Henrik

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TomHowarth
Leadership
Leadership

Can VMFS 3.31 datastores be expanded after upgrade to vSphere, or can only the new 3.33 (?) vSphere VMFS be dynamically expanded?

/Henrik

No they cannot do that you would have to reformat the VMFS partition structure. this is a distructive task and not to be utilsed lightly.

If you found this or any other answer useful please consider the use of the Helpful or correct buttons to award points

Tom Howarth VCP / vExpert

VMware Communities User Moderator

Blog: www.planetvm.net

Contributing author for the upcoming book "[VMware vSphere and Virtual Infrastructure Security: Securing ESX and the Virtual Environment|http://my.safaribooksonline.com/9780136083214]”. Currently available on roughcuts

Tom Howarth VCP / VCAP / vExpert
VMware Communities User Moderator
Blog: http://www.planetvm.net
Contributing author on VMware vSphere and Virtual Infrastructure Security: Securing ESX and the Virtual Environment
Contributing author on VCP VMware Certified Professional on VSphere 4 Study Guide: Exam VCP-410
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mcwill
Expert
Expert

I my experience, VMFS 3.21 and later can be expanded.

As there appears to be some confusion about this I've documented a small test...

(Partition was in use at time of test.)

Part 1. (Limited to 3 images per post)

Pic1 shows a 220G vmfs 3.21 partition on an EQL LUN that has been resized to 230GB

Pressing "Increase..." shows Pic2 where vSphere has detected the partition can be expanded.

Next to Pic3.

(Continued in next post.)

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mcwill
Expert
Expert

(Continued...)

Pic4 is selecting size of expansion.

Pic5 confirmation.

And finally Pic6 shows the expanded partition to confirm we haven't added an extent.

Hopes this clears up the confusion,

Iain

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HenrikElm
Contributor
Contributor

Excellent Iain!

My current experience is kind of what Tom says, but of course it would be quite stupid to say that what you just did can't be done! Smiley Wink

So.. I currently have customers asking about this issue. "Can we use the new grow-capability to expand our current (3.31 or so) VMFS on LUNs that we extend".

Today I would say that I had to respond that it can be done. I also guess I will point them towards this thread as well.

Tom, from where did you learn that you would need 3.33 to expand the VMFS? Could you double-check with that source to make sure we are 100% certain that the expand Iain did works with all kinds of setups/iSCSI/FC/NFS and so on?

/Henrik

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TomHowarth
Leadership
Leadership

It was just my experiance during beta Testing, I must say that I have not attempted it since the Code went GA.

If you found this or any other answer useful please consider the use of the Helpful or correct buttons to award points

Tom Howarth VCP / vExpert

VMware Communities User Moderator

Blog: www.planetvm.net

Contributing author for the upcoming book "[VMware vSphere and Virtual Infrastructure Security: Securing ESX and the Virtual Environment|http://my.safaribooksonline.com/9780136083214]”. Currently available on roughcuts

Tom Howarth VCP / VCAP / vExpert
VMware Communities User Moderator
Blog: http://www.planetvm.net
Contributing author on VMware vSphere and Virtual Infrastructure Security: Securing ESX and the Virtual Environment
Contributing author on VCP VMware Certified Professional on VSphere 4 Study Guide: Exam VCP-410
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HenrikElm
Contributor
Contributor

Ok. So for the time being, we can more or less agree that as old VMFS volumes as 3.21 can be hot extended (like Iain did...).

How very strange that VMWare had us use extents all this time then? Ah well...

You may want to adjust your reply to my other post on this matter, as someone else might read just it and not see this info in this thread and get the impression it can't be done?

/Henrik

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admin6
Contributor
Contributor

Hi Henrik,

My experience http://communities.vmware.com/message/1323621#1323621 was that I upgraded from 3.5 to 4.0 and then tried to use the Volume Grow

Simply put, I could not do it - If I clicked on the "Increase" button, a pop-up for Increase DataStore Capacity came up, but it was blank.

Meaning - I was not presented with any Extent device to subsequently select whatsoever, after clicking on "Increase", hence the next Tab was greyed out, etc.

This was from a 3.5 upgrade which went smoothly. But apparently you need a free partition (on the same disk)...or at least thats the info I have.

I am not affirmative one way or the other on VMFS version stipulations. Whats confusing is when there is a ton of free space on the disk, but you cant grow it

simply because you didnt create a separate partition to begin with. i thinly provisioned the disk, thinking that I could simply volume grow the vmfs from there, not so..

also .. i am not aware of a way to repartition the vmfs once an install is set and complete .. unless there is somthing im missing

good luck

k

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HenrikElm
Contributor
Contributor

Yes, this is also my finding. That a VMFS partition that was created in ESX 3.5 (VMFS 3.31) cannot be expanded after I upgraded to vSphere. If I tear down the partition and recreate it the same size (now VMFS 3.33), I can expand it however as I get the option to click the button to do it.

But in my thread another user actually posted screens when extending his old VMFS, so I am left a bit dizzy...

So.. Anyone able to 100% answer this would be welcome. It is actually a quite simple question in the end:

"Is VMFS 3.33 needed for dynamic extend of a VMFS partition or not"?

/Henrik

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mikrowiz
Contributor
Contributor

Were you guys ever able to successfully answer this question? I have a problem that would be easily solved if I could simply increase my datastore capacity. I can't hot vMotion one of my VM's because there isn't enough free space in the datastore (apparently for the duplicate swap file temporarily needed). I've added 10GB to the iSCSI SAN volume the datastore lives on, and in the vSphere Client while looking at the properties of the datastore I see the Device is 60GB and the Primary Partition is 50GB, but when I try to do an "Increase..." I'm given no choices to use for the expansion. Just an empty box. Shouldn't I be able to grow the datastore volume using the available10GB? It's a VMFS 3.31 volume.

The evidence presented above sure looks like I should be able to do this, but I'm just not seeing it the same.

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HenrikElm
Contributor
Contributor

Yes. Connect directly to a host and try the same operation. That worked for me. Dunno why, probably something vmware should look into..?


HEnrik

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mikrowiz
Contributor
Contributor

Henrik,

Thanks for the reply. Indeed, I do see it now. I realized after I posted that, that I was using the vSphere Client, but the actual host my VM was running on was still a 3.5 host. I had to shut it down to move it, but once it was moved to a v4 host I can now see that it is expandable using the free space when connected directly to that host. Like noted previously in this thread though, the same option is not available when connected to the vCenter Server.

One final question regarding this: Is this a non-destructive process that can be performed on a datastore where there are running guests? I don't get any warnings so I'm guessing it is.

Thanks again for this thread. It has been most useful.


HEnrik

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