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VMware ESXi 4: How to Add VMFS Datastore Using vSphere Client ( with Screenshots )

As part of our on-going VMware series of articles, we earlier discussed about how to install VMware ESXi server, and  how to install vSphere Client.

In this article, let us see how to create a new datastore using vSphere client.

1. View Existing ESXi VMware Datastores

Launch vSphere Client -> Click on the top node in the left tree -> Configuration tab -> Click on the storage menu item under “Hardware” section, as shown below. This storage section, will display all available VMware datastores as shown below.

Fig: Vmware ESX Datastores

For example, the current VMware datastore1 on this ESXi server has following information.

  • Volume Label ( Datastore ): datastore1
  • device: locall dell disk ( naa.xxxx )
  • Capacity: 131 G
  • Free: 2.45 GB
  • File system: vmfs3

Please note that the VMS file system can be created across multiple partitions to form one logical VMFS volume.

2. Create VMFS Datastore – Select ESX Storage Type

Click on ‘Add Storage..’ link on the top right hand corner, which will display the “Add Storage” wizard.

The first step is to specicy the esx storage type for the new ESX VMFS datastore. Select Disk/LUN as shown below. (other option is to select network file system – nfs datastore)

Fig: Select ESXi Storage Type – Disk/LUN

3. Select Disk/LUN

This step will display all the available disk groups on the server. This is a dell poweredge 2950 server, which already has a raid-1 logical disk group created at the hardware raid level. The raid-1 diskgroup that was created at the hardware level is now visible to the ESXi server. If you have more than one diskgroup available to the hardware, they’ll be listed here.

Fig: vSphere VMware Select disk

4. Current Disk Layout Configuration

This is only a information screen that says that the hard disk is blank etc.,. Click on Next to continue

Fig: VMware VMFS Disk Layout Configuration

5. VMFS Datastore Name

Specify the VMFS datastore name in the properties screen.

Fig: VMFS datastore Name

6. Disk/LUN Formatting

Specify the maximum file size for this esx datastore. In this example, I selected 256GB as maximum file size with 1MB block size. Following options are available for the maximum file size:

  • 256 GB, Block size: 1 MB
  • 512 GB, Block size: 2 MB
  • 1024 GB, Block size: 4 MB
  • 2048 GB, Block size: 8 MB

Leave the capacity check-box as maximum capacity.

Fig: VMware Datastore Disk Formatting

7. Final confirmation – Ready to Complete

The final confirmation section confirms our selection as shown below.

Fig: VMware Datastore creation confirmation

8. New ESX datastore Created

The new datastore3 is created as shown below.

Fig: New VMware ESXi Datastore created

In our next article, let us review how to use/attach an existing datastore to a virtual machine.

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Comments on this entry are closed.

  • renaudd February 7, 2011, 7:16 am

    Very valuable thank you

  • lnx91 May 29, 2011, 9:48 am

    Many thanks for straightforward and understandable information. You should be writing the manuals for VMware!

  • Khan July 21, 2011, 11:27 am

    Your tutorial is great.

  • Russ Langford September 14, 2011, 2:10 pm

    VMware ESXi 4: How to Add Existing VMFS Datastore Using vSphere Client ( with Screenshots

    Do you have documentation for adding an existing VMFS datastore to an ESX host? I see the datastore when I go to storage\add but it wants to reformat. I want to keep the data on the drive. The drive is a previously configured vmfs store.

  • ela2014 September 26, 2011, 7:38 pm

    in my network i have vsphere server 4.1 and i want upgrade to 5.what happen if i want vmfs 3 upgrade to vmfs 5 for my VMs in vsphere?

  • Dem February 9, 2013, 3:49 am

    Great tutorial! Thanks for keeping us updated and informed! Very good job, indeed!

  • Manish September 19, 2013, 2:26 pm

    I have a related question. I can see my datastore when I click on Storage, but I do not see the VM on the left side under Inventory. This happened because my ESX Installation got corrupted, so I had to re-install ESX 5.1. After re-installation, I see the datastore but not the VM. Can you please advise?

  • Gabe March 23, 2015, 7:47 am

    As i follow step for step, i notice that my pre capacity is 2.73 TB, and after executing this, when finished, i show my new datastore to only have 744 GB capacity…Why is so much lost?