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Growing a local datastore from the command line in vSphere ESXi 4.x and 5.0

Purpose

VMFS Datastores in vSphere 4.x and 5.0 can be increased in size by adding a new extent on a different storage device (spanning), or by increasing the size of the existing storage device and then growing the existing datastore extent to fill that available adjacent capacity.

VMFS Datastore extents may be contained within Primary or Logical partitions, following the MBR/EBR partitioning scheme. VMFS Datastores on the ESX boot device are contained within a Logical partition, and those on an ESXi boot device are contained within a Primary partition.

  • Datastore extents within a Primary partition and on a non-Local storage device can be grown into adjacent space using the vSphere Client. For more information, see the Changing VMFS Datastore Properties section of the ESX/ESXi Server Configuration Guide for your version of vSphere.

  • Datastore extents within Extended and Logical partitions on a Local or Boot storage device cannot be grown into adjacent space using the vSphere Client. This is the default layout for an ESX 4.x installation. For more information, see Growing a local datastore from the command line in vSphere ESX 4.x (1009125).

  • Datastore extents within Primary partitions on a Local or Boot storage device cannot be grown into adjacent space using the vSphere Client. This is the default layout for an ESXi 4.x and 5.0 installation. This article provides steps for growing an existing VMFS Datastore in a Primary partition to fill available adjacent space on the local boot device.

Notes:

  1. This article assumes that the underlying storage volume has already had its capacity increased from the hardware perspective, possibly by adding additional disk to a RAID set. For more information, engage your hardware vendor.

  2. A Datastore on a LUN detected as a snapshot cannot be grown. For more information, see vSphere handling of LUNs detected as snapshot (1011387).

  3. A Datastore's partitions can only be grown into contiguous adjacent space on the disk. Ensure that the partitions in question are at the end of the disk.

Warning: Be very careful to not overlap the any Primary and Logical partitions. This could result in data loss.

Resolution

To increase the size of a Datastore on a local boot storage device, recreate the partition layout to accommodate the larger filesystem, and then grow the Datastore to fill the larger partition.

  1. Use the boot device hardware's management tools to add additional disk capacity to the device. For more information, engage your hardware vendor.

  2. Open a console to the ESXi host. For more information, see   Using Tech Support Mode in ESXi 4.1 and ESXi 5.0 (1017910)

  3. Obtain the device identifier for the Datastore to be modified (eg: naampxeuivml, etc). For more information, seeIdentifying disks when working with VMware ESX (1014953).

    # vmkfstools -P "/vmfs/volumes/DatastoreName

    Example output:

    VMFS-3.33 file system spanning 1 partitions.
    File system label (if any): DatastoreName
    Mode: public
    Capacity 145223581696 (138496 file blocks * 1048576), 43937431552 (41902 blocks) avail
    UUID: 4a14d968-88bf7161-700f-00145ef48f76
    Partitions spanned (on "lvm"):
    mpx.vmhba0:C0:T0:L0:3


  4. Record the amount of free disk space on the Datastore. For more information, see Investigating disk space on an ESX or ESXi host (1003564).

  5. Equipped with the device identifier, identify the existing partitions on the device using the partedUtil command. For more information, see Using the partedUtil command line utility on ESX and ESXi (1036609).

    # partedUtil get "/vmfs/devices/disks/mpx.vmhba0:C0:T0:L0"

    For example, a disk containing an ESX 4.x installation with 8 existing partitions:

    15360 64 32 40000001 - Geometry of the disk. Disk size in sectors is 40000001.
    4 32 8191 4 128 - Primary #4, Type 4=Fat16<32MB, Bootable, Sectors 32-8191
    1 8192 1843199 5 0 - Primary #1, Type 5=Extended, Sectors 
    8192-1843199
    5 8223 520191 6 0 - Logical #5, Type 6=Fat16, Sectors 
    8223-520191
    6 520224 1032191 6 0 - Logical #6, Type 6=Fat16, Sectors 
    520224-1032191
    7 1032224 1257471 252 0 - Logical #7, Type 252=0xFC=VMKcore, Sectors 1032224-1257471
    8 1257504 1843119 6 0 - Logical #8, Type
     6=Fat16, Sectors 1257504-1843119
    2 1843200 10229759 6 0 - Primary #2, Type 6=Fat16, Sectors 
    1843200-10229759
    3 10229760 31457279 251 0 - Primary #3, Type 251=0xFB=VMFS, Sectors 
    10229760-31457279
    | |        |        |   |
    | |        |        |   \--- attribute
    | |        |        \------- type
    | |        \---------------- ending sector
    | \------------------------- starting sector
    \--------------------------- partition number


  6. Identify the partitions which need to be resized, and the size of the space to be used. From the example in step 5, Primary Partition 3 is the last partition on the disk, and there is empty free space between this partition and the end of the disk. For example:



    8223
    520191
    52022410321911032224125747112575041843119







    Logical #5
    Type 6
    (Fat16)
    Logical #6
    Type 6
    (Fat16)

    Logical #7
    Type 252
    (VMKcore)
    Logical #8
    Type 6
    (Fat16)

    Datastore

    63
    2249099
    247401052019118432001022975910229760314572793145728040000000
    Primary
    Partition 4
    (Bootable)

    Partition 1
    Type 5 (Extended)
    Primary #2
    Type 6
    (Fat16)

    Primary #3
    Type 251
    (VMFS)

    Empty Space
    To Be Used


  7. Identify the desired ending sector number for the target VMFS Datastore's partitions. To use all space out to the end of the disk, subtract 1 from the disk size in sectors as reported in step 5 to obtain the last usable sector.

    For example, Disk sector count 40000001 - 1 = 40000000 as the last usable sector.

    Note: With ESXi 5.0 we can use the partedUtil getUsableSectors option to get the last usable sector.

    # partedUtil getUsableSectors "/vmfs/devices/disks/mpx.vmhba0:C0:T0:L0"

  8. Resize the partition containing the target VMFS Datastore using the partedUtil command, specifying the existing starting sector of the partition and the desired ending sector:

    # partedUtil resize "/vmfs/devices/disks/DevicePartitionNumber NewStartingSector NewEndingSector

    For example, to resize the Primary partition 3 from the example in step 5:

    # partedUtil resize "/vmfs/devices/disks/mpx.vmhba0:C0:T0:L0" 3 10229760 40000000

  9. During step 8, the partedUtil command may report the warning:

    The kernel was unable to re-read the partition table on /dev/Device (Device or resource busy).

    If you receive this warning, reboot the host before proceeding with the next step. For more information, see Rebooting an ESX Server host (1003530).

  10. The partition tables have been adjusted, but the VMFS Datastore within the partition is still the same size. There is now empty space within the partition in which the VMFS Datastore can be grown. For example:



    8223
    520191
    52022410321911032224125747112575041843119





    Logical #5
    Type 6
    (Fat16)
    Logical #6
    Type 6
    (Fat16)

    Logical #7
    Type 252
    (VMKcore)
    Logical #8
    Type 6
    (Fat16)

    DatastoreEmpty Space
    63
    2249099
    24740105201911843200102297591022976040000000
    Primary
    Partition 4
    (Bootable)

    Partition 1
    Type 5 (Extended)
    Primary #2
    Type 6
    (Fat16)

    Primary #3
    Type 251
    (VMFS)


  11. Grow the VMFS Datastore in to the new space using the vmkfstools --growfs command, specifying the partition containing the target VMFS Datastore twice.

    # vmkfstools --growfs "/vmfs/devices/disks/device:partition" "/vmfs/devices/disks/device:partition"

    For example:

    # vmkfstools --growfs "/vmfs/devices/disks/mpx.vmhba0:C0:T0:L0:3" "/vmfs/devices/disks/mpx.vmhba0:C0:T0:L0:3"

  12. Validate that the size of the VMFS Datastore has increased. For more information, see Investigating disk space on an ESX or ESXi host (1003564).
Based on VMware KB 2002461

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