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How to create/ increase VMDK file size larger than 250GB

Posted on 2012-04-11
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Last Modified: 2012-06-21
Hi Experts,

I have vmware esxi4.1 installed. Datastore is VMFS 3.4 with block size 1MB. I understand from this link http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=1003565 that I can't create VMDK file larger than 250GB.

Is there anyway to create VMDK file larger than 250GB if VMFS3 block size is 1MB?

Could you let me know if there is any work around to increase VMDK file larger than 250GB?

Thanks
Rgds
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Question by:bominthu
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13 Comments
 
LVL 7

Expert Comment

by:BelushiLomax
ID: 37834446
yes, I have made 2, 3 or 4 VMDK files then from MS, Disk management combine into one big drive.

Another option if on a SAN is Raw device mapping to get around the 254GB limit
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LVL 124

Accepted Solution

by:
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 2000 total points
ID: 37834448
you need to increase the block size of the datastore, which means backup the VMs, change the datastore block size by re-formatting, and restore the VMs.

• 1MB block size – 256GB maximum file size
• 2MB block size – 512GB maximum file size
• 4MB block size – 1024GB maximum file size
• 8MB block size – 2048GB maximum file size

alternatives

1. ESXi 5.0
2. You could create a new vritual disk on the datastore, and expand/strip in the OS. So you VM would have two virtual disks, striped and expanded in the OS.
3. Present a iSCSI LUN to the VM using Microsoft iSCSI Initiator.
0
 
LVL 40

Expert Comment

by:coolsport00
ID: 37834471
The ONLY way to do what you need is to change the block size as @hanccocka mentions. And, the only way to change the block size is to delete/remove the datastore and re-add it, using the appropriate block size. You obviously need to backup all data off your datastore first because a reformat happens when re-adding the datastore.

~coolsport00
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LVL 4

Author Comment

by:bominthu
ID: 37834648
Hi

Thanks all for your quick responds. I know the only way is to delete and recreate Datastore. I'm just trying to know if there is work around because I heard that there is work around without deleting Datastore.

If I can't get to know what is workaround, I think the only easy way I can see for me now is to stripe the volumes. I have don't that before long time ago in physical machine but I can't remember I did for system drive volume (C: and D:) or I did for non system volume (D: and E:) .
I mean C: is my operating system volume.

Could you let me know if I can stripe all volumes including system drive (C: D: E:) to become one big dynamic volume in VM? I just worry of anything will happen to system volume

Thanks
0
 
LVL 40

Expert Comment

by:coolsport00
ID: 37834682
The closest I believe are these articles:
http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1012683
and
http://www.gabesvirtualworld.com/change-blocksize-of-local-vmfs/

That is for a local volume (i.e. same disks that have both ESX/i installed and the VMFS). Except for moving data, removing/re-adding is for the most part your best bet. And, personally, I would even copy/backup my data even before trying to use vmkfstools

~coolsport00
0
 
LVL 124
ID: 37834690
I would not recommend striping a system C: volume. Just stripe a data volume.
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LVL 4

Author Comment

by:bominthu
ID: 37834775
Hancoocka,

Anyway can we include C: drive volume together with the rest volume in striping?
It is just risky ?

If it is that we can stripe and just risky, I'll test in another VM first.
Could you let me know if you have done or tested striping C: volume ?
In my case, I need to extend C: volume especially that's why

Thanks
0
 
LVL 124
ID: 37834933
spanning not supported on system, boot drive C:, spanning options not available.

so your options to extend your C: drive would be to increase the virtual disk size requiring blocksize change.

what requirement do you have, could you use Mount in the following empty NTFS folder, if its a filer server? on the c: drive?

A Windows Junction or Unix Style mount point.
0
 
LVL 4

Author Comment

by:bominthu
ID: 37838603
Hi hanccocka

I have MSA2012 storage created multiple LUNs.
How can I connect to specific LUNs using Microsoft iSCSI connector ?

Thanks
0
 
LVL 124
ID: 37838623
Enabled Microsoft iSCSI initiator, and assign the iSCSI IQN to the LUN on the SAN.
0
 
LVL 4

Author Comment

by:bominthu
ID: 37838941
Hi Hanccocka,

My server is exchanger server, recently database size and logs file size is growing too much.
I think I got an idea. I'll just attach one more VMDK file to the VM and create new database in that VMDK and migrate some mailboxes to it,

Thanks a lot for your help
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LVL 124
ID: 37838959
Personally I would split the datastores across, mutlple LUNs and Disks.
0
 
LVL 124
ID: 37838964
and the database on single virtual disks, and logs on another disks, on different datastores or LUNs
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