Avatar of kirret
kirretFlag for United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland asked on

ESXi 5.0, Datastore block size and virtual hard drive size

Hey guys

I took over a client who has an ESXi installed on a server. The server has 500GB HDD so the Datastore capacity is showing up as 465GB. The problem I'm having is that SBS 2011 what is installed on this ESXi is running out of hard drive space. Here's more information:

There are 2 virtual servers installed on it, SBS2011 as the production server with maximum virtual disk size of 216GB of which 210GB is allocated to the server right now.

And then there is also Server2k3 installed with some software to maintain SBS etc. Virtual HDD size 36GB.

So, 36GB + 216GB is 256GB but I cannot increase the size of SBS virtual HDD it seems.

I've done some more digging and found this: http://blog.corneredge.com/2009/07/22/data-store-size-limits-from-block-size-in-vmware-esx-and-esxi/ 

The server I'm maintaining has 1MB block size.

We have just 1 ESXi installed, it's a small business so no need for more.

What would be my best course of action to get more hard disks space for SBS2011.

Thanks
VMwareWindows Server 2008

Avatar of undefined
Last Comment
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert PRO / EE Fellow/British Beekeeper)

8/22/2022 - Mon
SOLUTION
Happy Tohelp

Log in or sign up to see answer
Become an EE member today7-DAY FREE TRIAL
Members can start a 7-Day Free trial then enjoy unlimited access to the platform
Sign up - Free for 7 days
or
Learn why we charge membership fees
We get it - no one likes a content blocker. Take one extra minute and find out why we block content.
See how we're fighting big data
Not exactly the question you had in mind?
Sign up for an EE membership and get your own personalized solution. With an EE membership, you can ask unlimited troubleshooting, research, or opinion questions.
ask a question
ASKER
kirret

We can actually have plenty of downtime, every evening + weekends.

Exchange was used in the past but now due to company policy (they are part of a nationwide company) they need to use another email provider so Exchange could go completely actually from the server.

Thanks for your input.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert PRO / EE Fellow/British Beekeeper)

ESXi 5.x, has a block size default of 1MB on a VMFS-5 datastore. This should allow you to increase the size of a virtual disk (vmdk) to 2TB-512bytes. (this could be hindered if the server was upgraded from 4.x to 5.x)

You can check the block size, and maximum size of disk, by selecting properties of the datastore.

other reasons for not being able to increase virtual disk size (if it's grayed out!).

1. there is a snapshot present
2. the virtual disk is set to IDE and not SCSI, IDE disks are not supported for expansion.

so check the above

see my EE Articles

HOW TO: VMware Snapshots :- Be Patient

HOW TO:  Resize a VMware (VMDK) Virtual Disk
Happy Tohelp

The point of my answer is if there is only one server, there is not a way to increase the block size.  However, that does not mean you cannot attach another disk to the SBS server and use it for data, thus freeing up space on the C: drive.  

I would use treefile size or a similar application to determine where large amounts of data are on the c: drive, and then attach a new empty disk to the SBS server and move data off of C:.  The only downtime you will have is rebooting the SBS server.

This isn't the only way to do it, but it would be painless and not require moving VMs to another server.
I started with Experts Exchange in 2004 and it's been a mainstay of my professional computing life since. It helped me launch a career as a programmer / Oracle data analyst
William Peck
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert PRO / EE Fellow/British Beekeeper)

when you select Edit Virtual Disk, what happenes, what does it state?
ASKER
kirret

@TMekeel - Thanks, you answered all my questions so I have a much clearer view of what I can/can't do.

@hanccocka - I think I've got the solution to my problem by TMekeel, thanks anyway.
SOLUTION
Mysidia

Log in or sign up to see answer
Become an EE member today7-DAY FREE TRIAL
Members can start a 7-Day Free trial then enjoy unlimited access to the platform
Sign up - Free for 7 days
or
Learn why we charge membership fees
We get it - no one likes a content blocker. Take one extra minute and find out why we block content.
See how we're fighting big data
Not exactly the question you had in mind?
Sign up for an EE membership and get your own personalized solution. With an EE membership, you can ask unlimited troubleshooting, research, or opinion questions.
ask a question
ASKER
kirret

@Mysidia

The file system it shows under Configuration - Storage - DataStore1 is VMFS 5.54 if that helps.

But as you said I cannot change the block size anyway...
Get an unlimited membership to EE for less than $4 a week.
Unlimited question asking, solutions, articles and more.
ASKER CERTIFIED SOLUTION
Log in to continue reading
Log In
Sign up - Free for 7 days
Get an unlimited membership to EE for less than $4 a week.
Unlimited question asking, solutions, articles and more.
ASKER
kirret

There are no snaphots hanccocka. See if any of these helps us:

Screenshot 1Screenshot 2Screenshot 3
Thanks
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert PRO / EE Fellow/British Beekeeper)

What storage controller is used in the VM?

Edit VM Settings?

could you screenshot disk settings in the VM?
ASKER
kirret

That's interesting. As I described before, Maximum Size was showing up as 216GB with 210GB as the current size. I changed from 210GB to 214GB, just to have few extra GBs as they will be needed from tomorrow, and then expanded the hard drive on SBS as well.

Now when I go back to Hard disk settings as you requested, the Maximum size has gone up to 444.84GB. I guess the problem is solved then, not sure why it changed it's maximum size though, but I can't complain.

Here's the screenshot anyway:

Screenshot 4
Experts Exchange is like having an extremely knowledgeable team sitting and waiting for your call. Couldn't do my job half as well as I do without it!
James Murphy
Mysidia

The "Maximum size"  value that shows in VM settings;  is mostly a function of the amount of free space remaining on a datastore.

If there is very little space free,  then maximum size will be very close to "Provisioned size"
ASKER
kirret

Yes, and this is how it was before, 216GB / 210GB, just as described in my original question.

So did anything change when I added those extra 4GB, seems like it because now it's showing I can go up to 444GB.

Thanks everyone for your help. I'll close the thread now.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert PRO / EE Fellow/British Beekeeper)

Glad all resolved, just some feedback...

1. I notice that a cdrom maybe connected, I would recommend disconnecting, as this can cause a Host overhead.

2. Also if you should experience performance issues, and would look at whether 4 vCPU are required in this VM. 4 vCPUs are not often required, and you could be over-subscribbing the CPUs, which in turn will cause performance issues.
Get an unlimited membership to EE for less than $4 a week.
Unlimited question asking, solutions, articles and more.