Virtualization Adapted Adapting Business Processes for Virtual Infrastrcuture (and vice-versa)


VMFS Versions – Drivers and Formats

Filed under: virtualization — Tags: , , , , — iben @ 15:14

There are no significant on-disk format changes going from version 3.33 to 3.46. However, there is a significant change between VMFS driver version 3.46 and driver version 3.33. In particular, 3.46 contains VAAI extensions, which leads VMFS to use hardware accelerated locking and the hardware accelerated data mover on VAAI compliant hardware.

So the short answer is that you do not need to upgrade to a new on-disk vmfs 3.46 but instead the new 3.46 driver on ESX 4.1 will bring you the benefit even with vmfs 3.33 on-disk filesystem, if these are on array whose firmware is upgraded that provides such VAAI extensions.

VMware ESX 3 – VMFS ver 3.21
VMware ESX 3.5 – VMFS ver 3.31
VMware vSphere 4 – VMFS ver 3.33
VMware vSphere 4.1 – VMFS ver 3.46
VMware vSphere 5 – VMFS ver 5


VMFS versions and upgrade paths

Filed under: virtualization — Tags: , , , , — iben @ 12:42

SUMMARY: For best performance be sure to upgrade your VMFS Block Storage when you upgrade your ESX hosts to vSphere.

VMFS 3 versions and upgrade paths


It is not possible to upgrade an existing VMFS to a later version. However, all VMFS versions work with any version of ESX 3.0.0 and later. That is, ESX 3.0.0 can run a virtual machine from VMFS 3.33 and ESX 4 can run virtual machines from VMFS 3.21 volumes.


VMFS3 which was released initially with ESX 3.0.0 as version 3.21 has since evolved with new minor versions:
  • ESX 3.0.0 is provided with 3.21 (initial release)
  • ESX 3.5.0 is provided with 3.31
  • vSphere (ESX 4.0) is provided with 3.33
If for some reason you must upgrade your VMFS minor version:
Warning: This removes the formatting of the LUN and all the data on the datastore. Relocate your virtual machines and files prior to removing the datastore.
  1. Migrate all the data off the VMFS datastore that you are upgrading.
  2. Delete the datastore from VI Client.
  3. On the VI Client connected to VirtualCenter, choose your ESX 3.5 or 4.0 host. Alternatively connect directly to the ESX host with the VI Client.
  4. Recreate the datastore from that ESX 3.5 or 4.0 host. Click Storage > Add Datastore.
  5. Migrate the data from step 1 to the newly formated datastore.

Additional Information

Features like VMFS grow in ESX 4 work regardless of the minor version.

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