Thanks to this question I've now got my ESXi 5.0.0 (Build 623860) running/booting off a physically enlarged 9650SE controlled RAID1 array. The 1TB drives had been replaced with 2TBs; I'd like to logically expand the array but don't have the tx_cli program/script installed.

Where can I get the tools (tw_cli for ESXi 5.0.0 build 623860) to grow the datastore size, either from the command line or from a vSphere client?

This article describes how to get the ESXi system up and running off the RAID controller, but I'm assuming that has been done, because ... well ... my system is running off the RAID controller.

I should also mention that the article I think I want, http://kb.lsi.com/KnowledgebaseArticle16655.aspx, seems to be unavailable.

The output of the of partition table is:

   /dev/disks # partedUtil getptbl /vmfs/devices/disks/naa.600050e0f7f321007eb30000401b0000
   121575 255 63 1953103872
   1 64 8191 C12A7328F81F11D2BA4B00A0C93EC93B systemPartition 128
   5 8224 520191 EBD0A0A2B9E5443387C068B6B72699C7 linuxNative 0
   6 520224 1032191 EBD0A0A2B9E5443387C068B6B72699C7 linuxNative 0
   7 1032224 1257471 9D27538040AD11DBBF97000C2911D1B8 vmkDiagnostic 0
   8 1257504 1843199 EBD0A0A2B9E5443387C068B6B72699C7 linuxNative 0
   2 1843200 10229759 EBD0A0A2B9E5443387C068B6B72699C7 linuxNative 0
   3 10229760 1953103838 AA31E02A400F11DB9590000C2911D1B8 vmfs 0

The datastore is the last line, which is ~2TB (just less than) but the formmated size reported in vSphere is 900Mb.


There appears to be a separate version of tw_cli for ESXi. The article linked is now somewhat oldish, but contacting LSI technical support should yield the correct download in any case. Also, if you can afford downtime, you could use a Linux live CD to do the array expansion. SysRescueCD even comes with tw_cli out of the box, so you would not need to download or install anything.

After you've successfully expanded your array, you still would need to expand the datastore in ESXi. The process is quite self-explanatory if you use the vSphere GUI client.

Note that all LSI KB articles have moved from kb.lsi.com to mycusthelp. I think the original KB numbers have been lost in the conversion, so you would need to use the keyword search to retrieve the information you need from the KB.

The partition table you've attached does not show a partition spanning 2 TB. The misconception here seems to be that you are taking the numbers provided for Kilobytes while they in fact are 512-byte sectors, so the last vmfs datastore partition spans to sector 1953103838, which is just a bit under the 1 TB size of your array.

  • "After you've successfully ..." I did suceed in expanding the array, and using the vSphere client I did see an "Increase" button (Configuration/Storage/{Data Store}/Properties) but that led to a dead end. – Jamie Feb 8 '13 at 1:18
  • ... and thanks for explaining the units of the partition table; I did find that confusing. – Jamie Feb 8 '13 at 1:19
  • 1
    @Jamie where's the dead end? Did you hit the "Update" button in the Properties dialog to rescan the LUN so it would reflect the expanded array size? Alternatively, you could try re-scanning all storage adapters and update the storage list afterwards. If nothing helps, restarting the host should. – the-wabbit Feb 8 '13 at 1:41
  • The dead end was that there was nothing to select for expansion. I had rescanned, then rebboted everything, but knowing how to read the partition table now, I think - please correct me, this is very informative - the issue is that the 3Wware card is hiding the drive dimensions from ESXi, the raid was setup as a 900+Mg drive so that's what its presenting to the Mobo bios. Yes? – Jamie Feb 8 '13 at 1:59
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    @Jamie no, the partition table is something ESXi has written and is capable of modifying upon datastore expansion. Can you confirm that the size of the underlying storage device has increased to 2TB? Either by checking in "storage adapters" by choosing your 3Ware controller and switching to the "Devices" view or by using the "Properties" dialog of the datastore and checking on the "Extent device" box? – the-wabbit Feb 8 '13 at 2:08

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