Lab 11: Managing VMware vSphere Virtual Machine File System (VMFS)

In this lab, I will demonstrate how to create and manage VMFS Datastores, including increase the size of VMFS Datastore, consume unused Space on an LUN, remove Datastore, and review configuration.

Virtual Machine File System (VMFS) is a clustered file system that permits multiple ESXi hosts to read and write to the corresponding storage device concurrently.

A clustered file system (CFS) is a file system that runs on simultaneously multiple servers and can be accessed, shared, and managed as a single system. It also facilitates virtualization-based services, such as:

  • Without downtime, it moves running virtual machines from one ESXi host to another ESXi host
  • It can restart automatically a fail virtual machine on a separate ESXi Host
  • Clustered virtual machines across various physical servers

A datastore is a logical container that holds files. It hides particulars of physical storage from virtual machines’ operating system and provides a uniform model for storing virtual machine files, templates, and ISO images.

Type of Datastores: VMFS and NFS/NAS 

The tasks list for the lab 11: 

  • Change the name of a VMFS Datastore
  • Review the Shared Storage Configuration
  • Create a VMFS Datastore
  • Expand a VMFS DataStore to Consume Unused Space on an LUN
  • Remove a VMFS DataStore
  • Extend a VMFS Datastore

Steps for the task:  Change the name of a VMFS Datastore

In this task, I will change default VMFS Datastores name of ESXi hosts. The naming conversion gives you to identify Datastores identity. I will help you to manage your Datastores without complexities.


  • Log in the web client portal: https://vCenter Server Appliance Name.domainname:9443/vshpere-client/# from your  web browser
  • VMware vCenter Server Appliance username with domain and root password
  • local datastores name

Step1: Login into the VMwere Vsphere web client  with root user and password0

Step2: Click on Home icon, go to vCenter-> Datastores 1.jpg

Step 3: Right-click on the local Datastore, example: Datastore1 for ESXi host1. Then Select “Rename2.jpg

Step 4: “Enter the new Name” on the Datastore-Rename box. [ As it is local datastore,  you can type: Local-ESXi01, the number can be your ESXi host number]. Click “Ok”3.jpg

You can now verify the name of the datastore that you rename from the inventory.4.jpg

Steps for the taskReview the Shared Storage Configuration 

In this task, I will review the iSCSI shared storage configuration before creating VMFS Datastores.

Step1: Select vCenter-> Hosts and Cluster -> Datacenter ->  lab Servers -> ESXi hosts4.jpg5.jpg

Step2: Now you need to go  Manage tab, click Storage. Click Storage Adapters, Select the iSCSI software Adapter. In the Adapter Details Section, Click “Paths” tab, And Notice the iSCSI LUNs paths are available and status is “Active“. We will use those LUNs to create DataStores in the next task.6.jpg

Steps for the task: Create a VMFS DataStore

The VMFS datastore is made up of one or more LUNs. VMFS datastore assist as repositories for VMs. Virtual Machine disks (VMDKs) are the logical representation of the association and allocation of the larger VMFS datastore. VMs can only see the assigned storage volume as a SCSI target from within the guest OS. The VM contents only file on the VMFS volume.

You can deploy VMFS datastore on the three type of SCSI-based storage devices such as

  • Direct-attached / local storage
  • Fibre Channel Storage
  • iSCSI storage

A Virtual disk stored on VMFS datastore always appears to the VM as a mounted SCSI device.


  • First assigned LUN ID
  • Second assigned LUN ID

Step 1 : Go to the “Home” ->vCenter->Hosts and Clusters -> Data Center -> Lab Servers-> ESXi host7.jpg

Step 2. Righ click on the ESXi host, [for example, ESXi host one: vesxi01]and select “New Datastore”8.jpg

Step 3: You will get a wizard of New Datastore and you need to perform the following actions that I showed on screenshots. Option1: Location type [ location of your ESXi host]9.jpg

Option 2: Type: Select VMFS and click “Next”10.jpg

Option 3: Enter the dataStore Name [ Use an appropriate name such as type PrivateVMFS##, ## is the LUN number of your first assigned] and Select the first assigned LUN number 0 11.jpg

Option 4: Select the VMFS version VMFS 5 which is support 2-TB LUN12.jpg

Option5: Partition configuration: On the Datastore Details, you will see the Datastore Size slider. You can reduce your datastore size or maximise it as per your LUN capacity.

Note: If your LUN is already partitioned with another Sever, then you can only partition it on available space. If you select “Use all available partitions”, You will get a warning like the following screencast. From the Partition configuration tab, change the option “Use all available partitions ” to “Use Free Space”.



Option 6: Ready to Go.Click “Finish”15.jpg



Monitor the progress in the Recent task pane and wait until the task complete. 35.jpg

Step 4: Create the another Datastore “Private VMFS-01 which will be assigned with LUN 2 by following the above configuration 22.jpg

Step 6: select Home ->vCenter ->Storage ->Data Center. Select “Related Objects -> DataStore”. You can see the newly created VMFS datastores are displayed in the datastore inventory. 23.jpg

6. In the datastore inventory, Click the first Private “VMFS-00” that you created the previous step and click “Summary” to see the capacity of the VMFS datastore.25.jpg

Steps for the task: Expand a VMFS Datastore to Consume Unused Space on an LUN

The size of the VMFS datastore can be increased dynamically while VM are continuing on the VMFS datastore are powered on and running. You may need to increase your VMFS datastore size when datastore capacity is the outage.


  • First assigned LUN ID

Step 1: Click the “Manage” tab of the first private VMFS-00 datastore that you created the previous task24.jpg

Step 2: Click the settings button25.jpg

Step 3: Click “Increase” button which is next to “Capacity26.jpg

Step 4: Now you will get an “Increase Datastore Capacity” wizard, you need to perform the following actions that I showed in the screenshot.

Option 1: Select Disk [Select the first assigned LUN], you will see “Yes” in the expandable column.27.jpg

Option2: Specify Configuration: In the “partition configuration”,  Select “Use Free Space (size of your free space) to expand the datastore”. Click “next28.jpg

Option3: Ready to Complete. Click “Finish29.jpg30

Step5: Now you can see the datastore size from the datastore “summary” that was increased the previous step 31.jpg

Steps for the task:  Remove a VMFS Datastore

In this task, I will show you how to delete a VMFS Datastore from the datastore inventory. You can remove any type of VMFS datastore, including copies that you have mounted without re-signature. Be careful that, If you delete a datastore, it is destroyed and disappears from all hosts that have access to the datastore. 

Step 1:  In the inventory, Right Click the Private Datastore which you want to delete. In this case, I am going to delete “Private VMFS-0132

Step 2: Click “Yes” to Confirm Delete Datastore33

Step 3: Now you can see that “Private VMFS-01″ datastore was removed from the inventory343536.jpg

Steps for the task:  Extend a VMFS Datastore

A Datastore can span over up to 32 extend which is called a multi-extend datastore. Each extents size can be up to  64 TB. The overall size of a datastore is 64 TB, however, the datastore resembles as a single object datastore.


  • First assigned LUN ID
  • Second assigned LUN ID

Step1: Click “Private VMFS-00″ [  Your datastore] in the Datastore Inventory, here 00 is the first assigned LUN ID. Click “Manage” tab and select “Setting“. Click “Increase” under “Setting”, next to Capacity.37.jpg

Step 2: You get an “Increase Datastore Capacity” wizard. Now you need to perform the following actions that I showed on the screenshot below.

Option1:  Select Device: Select your second assigned LUN [ in this case second LUN is LUN 1]38.jpg

Option 2: Specify Configuration [ From Partition configuration, select “Use all available partitions” if LUN 1 is not partitioned before or “Use Free Space [ free space] to extend the datastore” if LUN 1 is partitioned before]39.jpg

Option 3: Read to complete.  Click “Finish”40.jpg

Step3: After completing of Step2, click “Device Backing” and you will see two extents are displayed in the extent name panel.43.jpg

Step4: Click “Summary” to check the “PrivateVMFS-00” size. Now you can see total capacity of the “PrivateVMFS-00” has increased.44.jpg

Thank you 🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s