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How To Partition 4tb raid set for esxi4.1

Posted on 2011-04-19
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
I have 3x2tb drives in a raid5 set that results in a 4tb device.

I need to partition that into 2 logical volumes.

The hardware is a Dell 2950 with a perc5 controller.

I can't see how to do it at the controller board level or in the esxi configuration screen.

What is the best way to do this?

Thanks.

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Question by:gateguard
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LVL 33

Expert Comment

by:PowerEdgeTech
ID: 35426206
Your only real option with that large of drives is to create array "slices".  When you configure your array in CTRL-R, set your Virtual Disk (array) size to somewhere around 2TB and Initialize it (Advanced/Initialize checkboxes), then create a second array with the remaining space.  This will give you two RAID 5's across your disks, giving ESXi what will appear as two "disks" (LUN's).
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 668 total points
ID: 35426247
Make sure the virtual disk or logical disk presented to ESXi 4.1 is 2TB - 512 bytes. (not 2TB exactly). This is the maximum size for VMFS (2TB - 512 bytes).

Personally I would advise against creating datastores that size, unless really needed for large VMs.

500 - 800GB datastores are much better. "all eggs in one basket scenario" if you end up with corruption on the datastore.
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Author Comment

by:gateguard
ID: 35426380
PowerEdgeTech, I'm going to take hanccocka's advice and create 3 arrays, or try to, but the problem is that when I create the first VD (choosing 1/3 of the space) then when I go into f2-operations again the "Create New VD" is "greyed out" (unreachable with an arrow or tab key).

It shows 2.4tb free space on the drive set but I can't create the next array.

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LVL 125
ID: 35426517
Yes, I think that this function is only possible on the Dell H700 and H800 controllers. We had discussions on this before on EE.
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Expert Comment

by:PowerEdgeTech
ID: 35426519
On the main VD MGMT screen, you need to go to the section for Space Allocation to select the free/available space there to create a second (or third) array.
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Assisted Solution

by:PowerEdgeTech
PowerEdgeTech earned 664 total points
ID: 35426545
No ... PERC 5/6 will do it too.  They are limited to 2TB individual drives though, where the H700 is not.  If you still have problems, I believe there is a firmware bug in one version that won't allow it ... you'd need to udpate the firmware to get it.
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LVL 125
ID: 35426608
@PowerEdgeTech: Okay, I've just personally had mixed results advising Dell PERC 5/6 users on EE! Could be finger trouble though or firmware bug!
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Author Comment

by:gateguard
ID: 35426792
I definitely don't have access to any operations other than:

1. Create VD
2. Initialize
3. Delete VD

The space allocation is "greyed out", as is the "Create New VD" after I've created a small VD.

So I'll try upgrading the firmware.  Thanks for that suggestion.
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LVL 28

Assisted Solution

by:bgoering
bgoering earned 668 total points
ID: 35427230
Take a look at http://public.support.unisys.com/pcproducts/esx/docs/DellDocs5.4/en/Perc5i_5e/chapterh.htm 

There are a couple of other products available (other than the CTRL-R BIOS Utility) for managing your controller.

Good Luck
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