admin6
Contributor
Contributor

vSphere 4.0 VMFS Volume grow issue - cannot select Extent after "Increase"

Hi,

I'm trying to get the Volume Grow to work but having difficulty - it's not working right. It is a fresh install of VSphere 4.0.

Using the vCenter Client, I connect to the ESX Server, then go to the Configuration Tab.

Under the DataStore details, I see:

92.25 GB Capacity

71.18 GB Used

21.07 GB Free

If I click on Properties, the Volume Details show: VMFS 3.31

Volume Properties:

DataStore Name: esx1:storage1

Total Capacity: 92.25GB

The disk capacity itself is 200GB, also reflected in the information on the right as listed (re: Device)

It lists Primary Partition Info, and Logical Partition Info, etc. on the right as well.

The Extents section in the esx1:storage1 Properties shows this:

Local VMware, Disk (mpx.vmhba0:C0:L0:T0):3

Problem is this: If I click on "Increase" button, a pop-up for Increase DataStore Capacity comes up, but it is blank.

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

I have 200 GB disk capacity, but want to grow the VMFS volume up from 92.25 GB. I am not being given any options upon selecting "Increase"

Is there a good reason it is blank (no choices, nothing to select) upon commencing the "Increase" action?

Thanks much for any insight..

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20 Replies
AndreTheGiant
Immortal
Immortal

Can you send the output of this command?

fdisk -l

Andre

Andre | http://about.me/amauro | http://vinfrastructure.it/ | @Andrea_Mauro
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admin6
Contributor
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Yup, here is the output of the command fdisk -l

Thanks, K

Disk /dev/sda: 214.7 GB, 214748364800 bytes

255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 26108 cylinders

Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System

/dev/sda1 * 1 13 104391 83 Linux

/dev/sda2 14 650 5116702+ 83 Linux

/dev/sda3 651 12718 96936210 fb VMware VMFS

/dev/sda4 12719 13054 2698920 f W95 Ext'd (LBA)

/dev/sda5 12719 12787 554211 82 Linux swap / Solaris

/dev/sda6 12788 13041 2040223+ 83 Linux

/dev/sda7 13042 13054 104391 fc VMware VMKCORE

Disk /dev/sdb: 107.3 GB, 107374182400 bytes

255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 13054 cylinders

Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System

Disk /dev/sdc: 21.5 GB, 21504196608 bytes

255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 2614 cylinders

Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System

/dev/sdc1 1 76 610438+ 82 Linux swap / Solaris

/dev/sdc2 77 331 2048287+ 83 Linux

/dev/sdc3 332 2614 18338197+ 5 Extended

/dev/sdc5 332 2614 18338166 83 Linux

Disk /dev/sdd: 105.0 GB, 105058926592 bytes

255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 12772 cylinders

Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System

/dev/sdd1 1 12772 102591026 fb VMware VMFS

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AndreTheGiant
Immortal
Immortal

/dev/sda3 651 12718 96936210 fb VMware VMFS

/dev/sda4 12719 13054 2698920 f W95 Ext'd (LBA)

/dev/sda5 12719 12787 554211 82 Linux swap / Solaris

/dev/sda6 12788 13041 2040223+ 83 Linux

/dev/sda3 is the datastore that your want to increase?

/dev/sda6 is the free space? Or is /dev/sdc?

You cannot grow your VMFS datastore cause you haven't a free partition in the same disk.

If you extra space is /dev/sdc you can use extent.

Of create simple a second datastore.

Andre

Andre | http://about.me/amauro | http://vinfrastructure.it/ | @Andrea_Mauro
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admin6
Contributor
Contributor

Yes, /dev/sda3 is the datastore that I want to increase ... the native VMFS.

To your point: I am not sure if /dev/sda6 is the free space, or /dev/sdc.

I went with an ESX install with all the default partitioning. There are 2 physical disks, thinly provisioned.

1.) One disk is 200 GB, current size 7.3 GB,

2.) Second disk is 100 GB, current size 12.6 MB

Yes, I can create a second datastore, no sweat. but that wasn't my focus. I have so much free space that I should be able to grow the volume.

As to your point, that I cannot grow the VMFS datastore because I haven't a free partition in the same disk, that's confusing.

I guess what I am saying is, what is the point of volume grow - if not to expand the existing partition(s) and use up the free disk space ??

Why is another "free" partition necessary on the same disk in this case? Is not the massive amt. of free disk space enough for volume grow?

(Again, I went with ESX install defaults, just testing not in production yet, so I'm a bit stumped - maybe I need to re-read the volume grow stuff)

Not the behavior I expected from volume grow ..

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AndreTheGiant
Immortal
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In ESX 3.x there was only the extent way: use a VMFS + a free partition and you obtain just a "disk concatenation".

In ESX 4.x there is also a secondo way: grow the VMFS volume using a free partition (on the same disk) that is similar to disk extend of diskpart (for example).

In your case you have to use the old extent method and not the new grow method.

See page 104 of http://www.vmware.com/pdf/vsphere4/r40/vsp_40_esx_server_config.pdf

Andre

Andre | http://about.me/amauro | http://vinfrastructure.it/ | @Andrea_Mauro
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admin6
Contributor
Contributor

Thanks Andre. That was the kicker. Appreciate the tips.

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AndreTheGiant
Immortal
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You're welcome.

BTW, remember that extent could be not "safe": if you loose the first partition you loose all your data.

Andre

Andre | http://about.me/amauro | http://vinfrastructure.it/ | @Andrea_Mauro
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HenrikElm
Contributor
Contributor

Please take a look at this thread: http://communities.vmware.com/thread/215584

Now, do you have any input in this? Is VMFS 3.33 needed to expand? My testing shows that 3.31 can't be expanded, but the dumps in the thread show that is is done!?

I'm looking for some 100% fact in this matter.. Is VMFS 3.33 needed for dynamic VMFS grow or can it be done with older VMFS versions? I can't say "maybe" to customers...

/Henrik

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Braumin
Contributor
Contributor

I am also having this exact issue.

All of our datastores were created using vSphere, and are set up with the following:

VMFS 3.33

500GB LUN

2MB Block Size

These LUNs are available to four servers in the same cluster. We are running low on space on one of the datastores, so we attempted to increase the size today. We logged in to the SAN, and allocated an additional 100GB to one of the datastores (600GB total). We then logged in to vSphere, did a rescan on all four servers so that all of the extra 100GB was shown on the FC HBA card, but when we go in to increase the size it just remains blank.

Attached is a picture of the datastore properties. You can see that it sees the size as 600GB but for some reason will not allow me to increase the datastore size. Any help would be appreciated!

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Braumin
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Moments after I posted this I figured out a way to make it work. I am not sure if all of my steps are required, but I migrated all of the servers on that datastore to the same host. I then logged in directly to that host using the vSphere client, bypassing the Virtual Center Server. From here I was able to add the space.

The one step I am not sure is required is to migrate all of the servers to that one host.

Still seems like a bug to me that I could not do that through virtual center server. The note only says this:

*

NOTE If a shared datastore has powered on virtual machines and becomes 100% full, you can increase the datastore's capacity only from the host, with which the powered on virtual machines are registered.

*

Our datastore was not 100% full when I attempted to add space. It was about 50% full, so wierd.

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HenrikElm
Contributor
Contributor

AHA!!

I just tried the same thing and was able to successfully expand a VMFS 3.31 volume (3.31 that is!) by connecting to the host. Not possible when done via vCenter. How strange?

But VERY good that we finally put that old question to rest. I can now say to anyone that may ask that 3.31 can be expanded dynamically. The same datastore with a brand new 3.33 volume the same size CAN be expanded via vCenter. Ah well...

/Henrik

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Braumin
Contributor
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Henrik did you have to migrate all of the servers on that datastore to one host? Or were you able to just connect to any of the hosts that have access to your datastore? I just want to nail that down for our procedures.

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HenrikElm
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Very sorry, but this datastore that I am able to try this out on does not contain any VMs. Its blank. (So I guess I could have removed it and recreated it, but I wanted to know if it was possible to expand VMFS 3.31...)

I am interested in your findings if you were able to nail it down yourself?

/Henrik

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Braumin
Contributor
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I have not had need to expand another datastore since this happened, so I will post when I do.

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Brian_D1
Contributor
Contributor

Thanks so much - connecting directly to the host worked for me!

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HenrikElm
Contributor
Contributor

Glad to help. But the bug should still be fixed by VMWare.. Smiley Wink

/Henrik

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zxzman
Contributor
Contributor

Hi Folks,

I have a similiar issue to the OP here. I am running ESXi on HP Proliant DL360G5 servers. I originally installed version 3.5. Everything worked fine but we started running out of Disk space so I looked into increasing the datastore capacity. So I followed this procedure. I installed 2 new disks and booted the server to the HP Smartstart and went into the Array Configuration Utility. I expanded the Array and then the Logical Drive which all worked successfully. I then rebooted to ESXi and connected via the VMWare client to the ESXi server. Now I ran into a bit of trouble. Because I increased the size of the Logical Drive rather than creating a new Logical drive I could not add an Extent. So I ran up the vSphere Host Upgrade Utility and upgraded the ESXi server to version 4 Update 1. This worked successfully and I was then able to Expand the Datastore.

So I'm thinking this is great, I'll do this on the second server which is exactly the same bar the VM's on there. So I expand the array and Logical Drive and upgrade the ESXi server. One difference here though is that I also patched ESXi with 3 Firmware upgrades and 2 VMWare Tools upgrades. Now when I go into the DataStore Properties and try and increase/Expand the datastore I see the current datastore size at 63Gb in the left pand and the VMFS volume in the right pane showing as 130GB. So I click on Increase, the Increase Datastore Capacity window appears but is blank. Screen Shots attached.

Anyone got any advice, is there some issues with the firmware patches?

Thanks,

Graham.

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zxzman
Contributor
Contributor

Hi Folks,

I have a similiar issue to the OP here. I am running ESXi on HP Proliant DL360G5 servers. I originally installed version 3.5. Everything worked fine but we started running out of Disk space so I looked into increasing the datastore capacity. So I followed this procedure. I installed 2 new disks and booted the server to the HP Smartstart and went into the Array Configuration Utility. I expanded the Array and then the Logical Drive which all worked successfully. I then rebooted to ESXi and connected via the VMWare client to the ESXi server. Now I ran into a bit of trouble. Because I increased the size of the Logical Drive rather than creating a new Logical drive I could not add an Extent. So I ran up the vSphere Host Upgrade Utility and upgraded the ESXi server to version 4 Update 1. This worked successfully and I was then able to Expand the Datastore.

So I'm thinking this is great, I'll do this on the second server which is exactly the same bar the VM's on there. So I expand the array and Logical Drive and upgrade the ESXi server. One difference here though is that I also patched ESXi with 3 Firmware upgrades and 2 VMWare Tools upgrades. Now when I go into the DataStore Properties and try and increase/Expand the datastore I see the current datastore size at 63Gb in the left pand and the VMFS volume in the right pane showing as 130GB. So I click on Increase, the Increase Datastore Capacity window appears but is blank. Screen Shots attached.

Anyone got any advice, is there some issues with the firmware patches?

Thanks,

Graham.

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tlopes
Contributor
Contributor

I had this problem and after extending the datastore via direct connect vSphere client to host rather than via vCenter, it worked!

To answer your question, no I did not have to migrate all my VM's to the host. From what I could tell, if at least 1 VM in the datastore was on the host, it would extend fine, so no need to migrate ALL VM's to one host.

Thanks to all for the info in this thread! My datastores is VMFS 3.31 on ESX 4.0 U1. Several of my datastores would expand from 600GB to 1TB and they were either 2MB or 4MB block size. The one I had trouble with had a 1MB block size. Not sure if this is relevant to the bug, but that was my experience. With 1MB block size, it had to be expanded from the host and not from vCenter.

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