Expanding LUN for NTFS file server ?

Hi People,

What are my options to expand my LUN from 1 GB into 4 TB+ NTFS ?

The underlying storage is EMC CX4 clariion with RAID group presented as Physical RDM to the Virtual Machine.
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Senior IT System EngineerIT ProfessionalAsked:
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
If you expand the LUN on the SAN, you can then use Disk Management in the OS, to Extend the OS Partition.

see in this article , Step 5 as an example to Extend Volume

HOW TO:  Resize a VMware (VMDK) Virtual Disk
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DavidPresidentCommented:
If this is the C: (Boot drive), then make sure your hardware supports booting a device > 2.09TB.

Beyond that, hanccocka gives valid advice.
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Subhashish LahaCommented:
You will also have to check the Drive in VM is set to MBR drive or GPT drive. If its MBR then you will not be able to extend it more than 2TB.

To set GPT drive , you will have to 1st clean the drive and then initialize disk as GPT to get 4TB+ partition.
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Paul SolovyovskySenior IT AdvisorCommented:
Another option is to go with vSphere 5.5 that now supports VMDKs larger than 2TB.  GPT is a must due to 2TB MBR limitation
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Senior IT System EngineerIT ProfessionalAuthor Commented:
well, this is the D: drive for holding the file server content, not the C: drive.

Unfortunately at the moment it is already set as NTFS 1 TB MBR presented as the RDM Physical compatibility mode.
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Paul SolovyovskySenior IT AdvisorCommented:
No probem, here the KB for expanding RDM

http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=1007021

The procedure to expand the size of the RDM depends on the type:

    Physical compatibility mode

    Physical compatibility mode RDMs, which are also known as passthru RDMs, expose the physical properties of the mapped LUN to the guest operating system. For the guest operating system to recognize the added space to the expanded mapped LUN, perform a rescan from the ESX host, then from the guest operating system. This process does not require rebooting the virtual machine or the ESX host.

    No changes to the RDM files (.vmdk or metadata pointer) are required to take advantage of the added disk space.

    Virtual compatibility mode

    To safely expand the RDM:

    Stop the virtual machine and remove the RDM from the virtual machine.


   1.  Stop the virtual machine and remove the RDM from the virtual machine. Before you do this, note the scsiX:Y position of the RDM in VM Settings.

  2.Expand the RDM LUN from the SAN side. Contact your vendor for assistance.
  3.Perform rescan on the ESX and verify the new LUN size is observed.
  4. Recreate the RDM mapping. Click VM Settings > Add > Hard Disk > RDM, then select the scsiX:Y position that the RDM was using before.
    5. Start the virtual machine and perform a rescan from the guest operating system.

You may need to go into storage and expand volume since you'll see the new disk size but you'll need to expand D Volume into the empty space.
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Senior IT System EngineerIT ProfessionalAuthor Commented:
Cool, thanks people for the tech note, it seemsthat using the Physical compatibility mode is fairly simple just expand the LUN from the EMC Unisphere level and then perform the rescan from the VMware ESXi level followed by the OS level.

Hopefully no outage or data loss is expected.
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Paul SolovyovskySenior IT AdvisorCommented:
Actually look at step 1, stop the VM, dismount the RDM, then perform expansion than remount so there is downtime from the KB article
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Senior IT System EngineerIT ProfessionalAuthor Commented:
Thanks Paul and everyone, I guess in this case I cannot convert the MBR partition into GPT without any downtime or possible data loss.
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Subhashish LahaCommented:
Yes, that is correct. You should take file level backup (not block level backup) and then restore data after creating GPT partition.
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Paul SolovyovskySenior IT AdvisorCommented:
I've actually had customers covert from MBR to GPT dynamically using 3rd party utilities,  One of our customers used Paragon Partition Manager

http://www.softexia.com/system-tools/hard-disk-utilities/paragon-hard-disk-manager/

You could always test with a pilot VM.  To expand the volume you would still need a little bit of downtime as outlined but would not need backup/restore.
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Senior IT System EngineerIT ProfessionalAuthor Commented:
Wow that's sounds great Paul, does it works for 1 TB LUN in production convert into GPT ?
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Paul SolovyovskySenior IT AdvisorCommented:
I don't see why not.  Best thing to do if you have space on the SAN is to create a pilot VM and get a trial version and give it a go, there are several 3rd party apps that will do this.
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