We need to expand an array (or add another array) on a dell server running ESX 3.5. The server is a PowerEdge 2950 with a PERC 6i Array controller. The physical disks have been added, but are still idle.

I'm not as familiar with Dell, but with HP I'd be able to boot to CD, and expand the array that way.

From what I'm told, the dell utilities won't load in ESX because it's out of space. The main datastore has 15GB free. I believe the system partition for esx is 200mb, with 65mb free.

~ # df -h
Filesystem                Size      Used Available Use% Mounted on
unknown                 192.5M    127.9M     64.6M  66% /
unknown                 680.5G    666.1G     14.4G  98% /vmfs/volumes/49918b3a-f56214dd-298f-00221997794c
unknown                 539.8M     86.0M    453.8M  16% /vmfs/volumes/88d759e6-a95811db-41c0-6b4651316087
unknown                  47.8M     40.3M      7.4M  84% /vmfs/volumes/8d0141fd-e1e00a9e-0dc0-187022c45d1e
unknown                  47.8M     40.4M      7.4M  84% /vmfs/volumes/27b0f3fd-442f95dd-ea3f-75aab591cd26

So, I guess I'm just wondering...

  • Is there a (easy) way to increase the system partition that ESX is installed on?
  • Can the array be expanded without installing the dell util's on the esx partition?
  • Need more info. What kind of array? – Travis May 7 '13 at 13:30
  • Looks to be internal disks. – ewwhite May 7 '13 at 13:31
  • 1
    What is the server type and the RAID controller type? – Mircea Vutcovici May 7 '13 at 14:05
  • How did you expand the array? Did you add new disks, or replaced existing ones? – Mircea Vutcovici May 7 '13 at 14:06
  • I believe it's a MegaRAID SAS 1078 Controller (pulled from esxinfo command). All drives are internal SAS drives. The array hasn't expanded yet, but I have added the disks physically. – Brian May 7 '13 at 14:12

Make sure you have a working backup of the VMs and of the ESXi configuration. Schedule a downtime of at least a few hours.

You can download a Dell OMSA 7.1 Live, boot the ESXi from the CD and reconfigure the array. You can expand the current volume, or you can add a new volume.

Then you will be able wither to create a new VMFS or to expand the current one, depending on the previous step.

You can add a new volume from the BIOS of the PERC6i card, but has some limitations compared to Dell OMSA (e.g. I think you will not be able to reconfigure the array form the PERC6i's BIOS).

  • Thank you Mircea I will schedule downtime and try this. – Brian May 7 '13 at 19:46

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