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Increasing block size in VMWare

I am running ESXi and now after years of operation one of the virtual servers require more space.  However, before I can increase the space I have to increase the block size because initially I used the default block size of 1kb (maximum 256 gbyte) which at the time was ample.

The question is: can I increase/change the block size after virtual machines are installed or do I require a clean and empty datastore to set the block size?

If changing the block size on the fly doesn't affect the VM then I can easily proceed with it but I am thinking since it changes everything at the block level then it will alter the whole datastore meaning that it will affect all VMs installed in that datastore.  So in such case then I will have to either reinstall the VMs or do a backup then restore after the block size is changed before I can use a partition tool to increase the size of the VM.

Any thoughts?

Thanks!
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Wayne88
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Wayne88
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2 Solutions
 
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
The question is: can I increase/change the block size after virtual machines are installed or do I require a clean and empty datastore to set the block size?

I'm afraid not. You do require an unformatted disk, and create a new datastore of correct block size.

You will need to

1. Backup VMs.
2. Remove the existing datastore
3. Reformat the datastore with correct blocksize.
4. Restore VMs.

It cannot be done with VMs on, it's set when the datastore is created and formatted.

if version 4.x., I would set to 8mb!

• 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

ESXi 5.x and later just set to 1MB
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Andres PeralesCommented:
You don't mention what version of ESXi you are using, but in essence what you can do if you have storage space available is to create a new datastore with the correct block size that you would like, and then do a storage migration to the new datastore!  Delete that old datastore and then recreate a new datastore or expand the existing data store.
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Wayne88Author Commented:
Correction to my description that  the current block size is 1 MB not 1 KB and when I tried creating a new VM it shows 256 GB limit.  Sorry I forgot to mention that I am using ESXi 5.x

Does the difference in version matter or do I still need to manually set the block size?

Thanks.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Did you upgrade this from ESXi/ESX 4.x?

Is the VMFS version still 3.54 and not 5.0?

Block Size in ESXi 5.0 is 1MB, and you should be able to create a 2TB-512byte disk, but depends if it's an upgraded version!
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Wayne88Author Commented:
Yes it was upgraded from ESXi from version 4.x

In such case then since I am going to be deleting and restoring all the VMs then I guess it will make more sense to also do a clean install a full 5.x version not upgrade to do away with the limitation of the upgraded version.
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Wayne88Author Commented:
Thanks for the help everyone and good answers!

Unfortunately I don't have anymore storage space available and cannot do as Paralesa suggested.  It's however a valid an excellent suggestion.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
I would recommend a fresh install every time!
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