ESXi 5.0 Server Management Tool Support for NetApp (2004087)
This article provides information about vSphere support for the NetApp utility, mbralign, which implements guest partition block alignment. This article helps you understand how to leverage mbralign in an ESXi 5.0 environment.
Note: The partner products referenced in this article are software modules that are developed and supported by a partner. Use of these products is also governed by the end user license agreement of the partner. You must obtain the application, support, and licensing for using this product from the partner.
Plan for Supporting the vSphere 5.0 ESXi Architecture
The mbralign tool runs once on a vmdk file and migrates the underlying blocks to an aligned state. Remote access to the ESXi Shell (formerly known as Tech Support Mode) via SSH must be enabled to use mbralign. ESXi Shell access can be enabled and disabled through the Direct Console User Interface (DCUI) or through vCenter Server.
- Shut down the virtual machine.
- Run mbralign from the ESXi Shell or an SSH session connected to the ESXi host against the desired vmdk file. For example:
- Power on the virtual machine when mbralign is finished.
- Verify that the virtual machine powers up and is in a functional state.
- Remove the backup files created after confirming that the virtual machine is functional. Otherwise, restore the backup vmdk file.
The vmdk files follow a naming convention of <name_of_vmdk>-mbralign-backup. For example, for a file named win2k3sp2_32_vmdk-flat.vmdk, the corresponding backup files would be:
- win2k3sp2_32_vmdk-flat.vmdk-mbralign-backup for the flat file
- win2k3sp2_32_vmdk.vmdk-mbralign-backup for the descriptor file
Note: Before proceeding with the alignment process, ensure sufficient space is available in the datastore that the vmdk files to be aligned reside. If the vmdk file to be aligned is 2GB, the datastore must have at least 4 GB of free space to accommodate both vmdk files.
mbralign is located in the Tools section of the Virtual Storage Console for VMware vSphere 2.1.1. It is also included with the NetApp ESX Host Utilities.
Technical Report (TR-3747) covers guest file system alignment and the use of these tools.