Nov 13 2014

Increase vCenter Server Appliance database disk

A few days ago my co-worker Phil Liou had an incident where the vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA) 5.5 ran out of disk space for the vCenter Server Database.
The default VCSA disk layout for the second disk /dev/sdb used for the VCSA database looks like:

  • 20 GB Log
  • 20 GB core
  • 60 GB db
    Screen Shot 2014-10-12 at 18.53.35

We will not go into any specific monitoring and/or operational procedures used but instead describe one way to increase the VCSA database disk if needed.

  • Download GParted – http://gparted.org/download.php
  • Verify the VCSA disk to increase using “df -h” command
  • Connect to the ESXi host running the VCSA using the vSphere Client
  • Shut Down VCSA
  • Increase the VCSA disk. In our case to 200 GB
  • Connect the GParted ISO as a “CD/DVD Drive 1” device to the VCSA
  • Mark the checkbox “The next time the virtual machine boots, force entry to into the BIOS setup screen”
    Screen Shot 2014-10-12 at 22.48.37
  • Start the VCSA
  • Set the “CD-ROM Drive” as the first boot option, exit BIOS setup.
    Screen Shot 2014-10-12 at 22.57.02
  • Use GParted to expand the db disk partition. In our case /dev/sdb3
  • Shut down VCSA
  • Remove the GParted ISO form the “CD/DVD Drive 1”
  • Start the VCSA
  • Verify that the partition has increased by running the command “df -h”. In our case to 160GB.

Another option, if customer allows, would have been to free up space in the DB by e.g:

  • Configure retention policy
  • Change (lower) the logging level
  • Change (lower) statistics level

The VMware KB 2056764 describes another way of increasing the disk space for the VCSA.


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  1. Heino Skov

    Nice blog article – once again. Be careful also with using VCSA as syslog server as there apparently is no log rotation options, that I found. So it will run full as well. Better options would be to use Log Insight, a windows syslog server and similar.

  2. magander3

    Ok thanks Heino for letting us know. Really useful information


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  4. adi

    Thank you very much,
    This article was really helping me when I had same situation like that. When I was not able to extend the disk thru Linux this way was really easy and simple. Just make sure you have backup up/ take a snapshot before do that.

    Keep it up and success for you.

  5. magander3

    glad you found it useful


  6. Marius


    It helped


  7. magander3

    glad you found it useful


  1. Newsletter: November 16, 2014 | Notes from MWhite

    […] vCenter Server Appliance database disk This is quite interesting.  I used to carry GPartEd in my tool kit.  I still put it into every ISO library I work with.  […]

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