4 Replies Latest reply on Apr 18, 2007 1:06 AM by esiebert7625

    .vmdk disk extending

    Ross Walter Novice

      hi all!


      I am more familiar with ESX 2.5.x and "vmkfstools -X ..." to extend a virtual disk. However I need to do this for the first time in ESX 3.01 and would just like a confirmation...


      I have a VM with 3 virtual disks, and in the VM's folder in the service console, the files are as follows:


      -rw-------    1 root     root         2.0G Apr 18 12:21 DC006_1-flat.vmdk

      -rw-------    1 root     root          344 Mar 30 16:05 DC4006_1.vmdk

      -rw-------    1 root     root         2.0G Apr 18 12:21 DC4006_2-flat.vmdk

      -rw-------    1 root     root          344 Mar 30 16:05 DC4006_2.vmdk[/b]

      -rw-------    1 root     root         4.0G Apr 18 12:21 DC4006-flat.vmdk

      -rw-------    1 root     root          342 Mar 30 16:05 DC4006.vmdk

      -rwxr-xr-x    1 root     root         2.2K Apr 18 12:21 DC4006.vmx

      -rw-------    1 root     root          255 Apr 18 12:21 DC4006.vmxf


      I want to extend the DC4006_2 disk - do I run the vmkfstools -X command on the DC4006_2.vmdk file and let ESX work it out, or do I run it on the DC4006_2-flat.vmdk file?


      What are the differences in the -flat named .vmdk files and the other smaller .vmdk files please?




        • 1. Re: .vmdk disk extending
          Dave.Mishchenko Guru

          As documented at the bottom of this article, run the command on smaller (not flat) file.



          • 2. Re: .vmdk disk extending
            ITThies Hot Shot

            You have to to it on the vmdk file.

            Thats a kind of a pointer to the "real" data file - the flat file.

            • 3. Re: .vmdk disk extending
              Jeff_Shaw Enthusiast

              I agree with the previous comment. This is the .vmdk disk you have to expand.


              Btw, here is a simple 4-step procedure of .vmdk expansion: http://www.vmweekly.com/articles/expanding_the_virtual_disk_size_in_4_steps/1/


              I think this will make it easier for you.



              • 4. Re: .vmdk disk extending
                esiebert7625 Guru

                As stated already you do this on the non -flat file, below is a description of the different vmdk files...


                vmdk files – These are the disk files that are created for each virtual hard drive in your VM. There are 3 different types of files that use the vmdk extension, they are:


                o     *–flat.vmdk file - This is the actual raw disk file that is created for each virtual hard drive. Almost all of a .vmdk file's content is the virtual machine's data, with a small portion allotted to virtual machine overhead. This file will be roughly the same size as your virtual hard drive.


                o     *.vmdk file – This isn't the file containing the raw data anymore. Instead it is the disk descriptor file which describes the size and geometry of the virtual disk file. This file is in text format and contains the name of the –flat.vmdk file for which it is associated with and also the hard drive adapter type, drive sectors, heads and cylinders, etc. One of these files will exist for each virtual hard drive that is assigned to your virtual machine. You can tell which –flat.vmdk file it is associated with by opening the file and looking at the Extent Description field.


                o     *–delta.vmdk file - This is the differential file created when you take a snapshot of a VM (also known as REDO log). When you snapshot a VM it stops writing to the base vmdk and starts writing changes to the snapshot delta file. The snapshot delta will initially be small and then start growing as changes are made to the base vmdk file, The delta file is a bitmap of the changes to the base vmdk thus is can never grow larger than the base vmdk. A delta file will be created for each snapshot that you create for a VM. These files are automatically deleted when the snapshot is deleted or reverted in snapshot manager.

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