ESXi VMWare RAID addition

Posted on 2013-06-12
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-06-12
Hi all,

I have recently taken oven an environment where the previous IT made quite a mess of mail and server hardware.  That aside, I am trying to determine if ESXi can support my goal of adding in immediately needed hardware upgrade to the environment.   Exchange is going to run out of space in a matter of days, and I have no method of providing it more space to the current RAID.

This server has an HP 320i RAID controller in it.  This controller cannot expand the currently installed RAID 5.  It can however, add in a secondary logical disk as another RAID 5.  I have yet to do this, as I need to confirm that ESXi will recognize a second logical disk, and then allow me to delegate partitions of it to all 3 active virtual servers.  Another side issue?  I have no access to the ESXi interface at this time as it is using a password that is unknown.  This is a freshly built server, so it's highly likely to be V 5.1.

To recap - will ESXi see, and then be able to assign partitions of another RAID 5 I build on the controller?   Following that, do you foresee any Windows Server 2008 r2 issues with this plan (not expecting any if ESXi will let me do what I need it to).?

If you need further details to assist, let me know.
Question by:browningit
  • 2
LVL 126

Accepted Solution

Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 2000 total points
ID: 39242535
Yes, if you create an additional Logical Disk, using the HP Smart Start Array Configuration Utility on the CDROM/DVDROM, or using the Smart Array Storage Controller BIOS/Menu at bootup.

ESXi will allow you to "format" and create a new VMFS datastore.

To be able to create a VMFS datastore, you will need to connect to the server, and know the username normally root and password.

see my EE Articles

HOW TO: Install and Configure VMware vSphere Hypervisor 5.1 (ESXi 5.1)

HOW TO: Connect to the VMware vSphere Hypervisor 5.1 (ESXi 5.1) using the vSphere Client

You can try and "hack" the password, sometimes it works, sometimes, it does not, and this is not supported by VMware.

Password Reset Article here:-


the only to other way is to perform a *reinstallation* of ESXi, it will recognise the existing VMFS partition and VMs, and Ask to Preserve them, select YES!

continue the installation.

and reregister VMs with the Server....

see my article for details

HOW TO: Add and Connect a USB Device to a Virtual Machine, hosted on VMware vSphere Hypervisor ESX 4.1 ESXi 4.1, ESXi 5.0

You will be able to move your Virtual Machines to this new datastore, but do you need to resize the Virtual Machine disks, if so another of my EE Articles

HOW TO:  Resize a VMware (VMDK) Virtual Disk

also check for Snapshots.....yes you've guessed it another of my EE Articles, I've written a few!

HOW TO: VMware Snapshots :- Be Patient

Author Closing Comment

ID: 39242545
Beautiful answer.  I'll be ordering my disks now, and firing this through as soon as I can.  Thanks for re-assuring my plan will work.  I'll take a look at your articles when I hit that point.  As for the 'hack', I am sure Google will be my friend if I am unable to get the passowrds from the previous company.  If you have a hint or URL, don't feel the need to post it here, but PM me.  I'll be sure to only use it with the best intentions.  

-edit- I see that your post either suddenly expanded, or wasn't completely shown the first time I read it.  Thank you so much for all the info.

LVL 126
ID: 39242797
No problems, I posted the Link in my last post!

Password Reset Article here:-


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