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ESXi 4.1 Install on Dell R610 server

Posted on 2010-08-30
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I have a Dell R610 server that I plan to use for training purposes.  We were expecting full Sphere 4.1 and VCenter licenses, but that does not seem to be coming true so I am forced to use the free one.

Server is a beast.
2 x X5660 processors
96GB RAM
6x600GB 10K drives (RAID5 w/ HS)

I installed ESXi 4.1 on the box using defaults.  Once installed, I connect to the system using the VMWare Sphere Client and I can manage the server.  I updated my license info and all seems good.  But when I go to have a look at the datastore, it only shows as 180GB as opposed to the 2.1TB I was expecting.  Not sure if there is a 2TB limit or not, but even that I would take at this time.  I try to extend or add and no options are available.  Why am I not seeing all my internal storage as available for VM's???
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Question by:itg_admin
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LVL 126
ID: 33559582
When you created the RAID 5 config on the Dell R610, was there 2.1TB in the raid config? Did you allocate all the disks to the raid set?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 2000 total points
ID: 33559664
I think you may find that your 6x600 RAID 5 config has confused ESX 4.1. Try a recommended smaller vmfs partition of 250 - 500GB, you'll need to adjust the logical units on your raid config for this.
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LVL 126
ID: 33559713
so if you want large vmfs partitions allocate out 2 x 1TB and 1 x 800GB in your RAID configs, and then ESX should see all three partitions for you to create the storage.

Using very large vmfs partitions can cause performance issues.

But you may want to re-visit and look at your RAID config, and maybe do, 3 RAID 1 Mirrors using Six disks.

of 600GB each RAID 1 mirror = 1 vmfs partition on 2 mirrored disks. Depends what you want to do with the server, is performance or redundancy important etc.
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Author Comment

by:itg_admin
ID: 33560133
Hey hanccocka,

Yeah, the size was the issue.  I made a RAID10 out of all 6 drives which gave me about 1.67TB or so of space and performed the reinstallation and it found the full volume for the datastore.  

Thanks for your help
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Expert Comment

by:Paul Solovyovsky
ID: 33563556
The issue is that ESX/ESXi datastore limitation is 2TB-512MB.  
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Expert Comment

by:dbyers2112
ID: 37669050
I have this same problem and want to see if there is an option that does not require the entire Server to be rebuilt and have what vm's running on it to be down? Downing, copying and moving the VM's data files is time consuming, not to mention the rebuild of the RAID.
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