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Maximum Datastore size in VM ESXi 4.1

Posted on 2011-02-23
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
I understand the maximum datastore size for ESXi 4.1 is 2GB ( - a few MB's), but is there a way to split a disk group with a 4X1.5TB Raid 5 (4.5TB essentially) so that you have multiple datastores on one LUN?  I understand using extents to combine multiple LUNS into a large single datastore, which is not a good idea, but how do you split one big 4.5TB LUN into two 2GB datastores?  Here is the detail of what I would like to do:

Dell R710 Server with 4 X 1.5TB drives i na Raid 5:

LUN 0 = 4.23TB's

Create

Datastore A = 1.95 TB's
Datastare B = 1.95 TB's
Datastore C = remaining space left on RAID 5
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Question by:Beratung
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coolsport00 earned 500 total points
ID: 34965760
You can try creating logical partitions on your array in your RAID Config Utility and see if you can create separate datastores that way. But, you still have 'all your eggs in 1 basket' so to speak (all your VMs on 1 array, albeit on different datastores). Do you have enough bays on your host for more disks to have 2 arrays?

~coolsport00
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LVL 119
ID: 34965781
Do you have a H700 or H800 RAID controller?
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LVL 119
ID: 34965799
Check this controller specification, the Dell H700/H800, you can create Virtual Disks (VDs) of specfiic size and RAID. I believe this is specific to H700/H800, I don't think this feature is available on normal PERC/DERCs.

Page 89.

"You can use part of the available disk space to create one virtual disk and then use the rest of the disk space to create another virtual disk or disks."

http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/storage/Storlink/H700H800/en/UG/PDF/H700H800.pdf

So I'm sure you should be able to card up the 12TB, into less than 2TB chuncks, and either create approx 6 datastores, or add extents.
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LVL 119
ID: 34965814
ignore the nonsense at the end! (another question!)
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LVL 119
ID: 34965825
Create one large array, and then carve it up into smaller chunks, these will all appear as different datastores in VMware ESX, what I call logical disks, but I think dell calls them virtual disks.
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Author Comment

by:Beratung
ID: 34965858
Forgot to add the Controller info.  Sorry.  It is a PERC 6i, which from what I can see (or not see) in the BIOS conif utility is you can't carve up the array.  uh!
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Author Comment

by:Beratung
ID: 34965870
More info.

Six 1.5tb disks configured this way on PERC 6i

2X1.5TB for RAID 1 array
4X1.5TB for RAID 5 array
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Expert Comment

by:coolsport00
ID: 34965887
Is there a reason why you don't want to have 3 1.5TB RAID1 arrays?

~coolsport00
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Author Comment

by:Beratung
ID: 34965896
To coolsport00's question...

There will be database servers on this VM that we would lose the advantage of RAID 5 write performance as well as only get 4.5 TB out of it instead of 6TB using RAID 1 and 5
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Author Comment

by:Beratung
ID: 34965900
Correction RAID 5 READ performance would be lost
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LVL 119
ID: 34965991
No, unfortunately, you do not have the function on the PERC.
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Expert Comment

by:coolsport00
ID: 34966191
Hmm..ok, well, without the option to create logical (virtual) drives in your controller, you have no other option than to 1. increase the drives you have in your bay (if there are open bays), or 2. create 3 RAID1's, which you've already mentioned you aren't wanting to do. Your problem is having a 2TB limit.

~coolsport00
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Author Closing Comment

by:Beratung
ID: 34966201
This actually was the solution.  Was able to add multiple VD's in Controller Bios after wiping out existing. Createing multiple VD's create multiple LUNs in the VM Server which translate to many smaller Datastores.
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