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RE: noob question

To: "xfs@xxxxxxxxxxx" <xfs@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Subject: RE: noob question
From: "Fitzgerald, Dan" <dfitzger@xxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 7 Jan 2014 15:22:50 +0000
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Thread-topic: noob question
Yeah, I walked into this one.  Today's my 7th day at a new job, came into this 
with it already built, and now the business wants to expand the size of the 
file system that will house pictures served up on the web. I'm pretty sure I 
wouldn't have chosen xfs for this app; overkill.

It is a VMWare VM, so we do have snapshots. First thing I did when I inherited 
this was to test those.

Everyone here is calling this thing an "appliance", and the version of Debian 
doesn't have parted or gdisk.

I'm thinking I'll go into the meeting I have on this in 40 minutes and ask for 
a vendor contact, and work with them to rebuild the whole thing with better 

-----Original Message-----
From: Stan Hoeppner [mailto:stan@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx]
Sent: Monday, January 06, 2014 8:59 PM
To: Fitzgerald, Dan; xfs@xxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: Re: noob question

On 1/6/2014 4:11 PM, Fitzgerald, Dan wrote:
> I had our VMWare admin extend the file system on which /space is
> mounted (/dev/sda8).

Repeat at least three times:  Storage requires planning.

xfs_growfs only works on contiguous LBA sectors.  The free space to be grown 
into must begin one LBA sector after the last LBA sector of the current XFS 
filesystem.  If XFS resides on a partition, then the partition itself must be 
expanded into the free space before XFS can be grown into the newly expanded 
partition.  This seems to be your situation.  Resizing partitions is not a fun 
exercise, and if not done properly you can lose everything, literally.

If a block device is directly formatted with XFS things are easy.
Simply expand the block device capacity, then run xfs_growfs.

Because of the limitations up above, those wishing to add capacity using 
partitions, in an ad hoc manner, such as you seem to desire here, put their 
block device space in LVM volumes.  LVM can create a linear LBA address space 
from little pieces of capacity strewn all over the place on many different 
storage devices, regardless of their native LBA addressing.  I don't really 
care for this method either.

I've worked with ESX and bare metal hosts on FC SANs fairly extensively.
 For each of my guests/hosts I assign a 10GB LUN for the guest's boot/root 
filesystems, and a separate LUN(s), sized appropriately, for its data 
volume(s).  I directly format each LUN, no partitions.  In the event I need to 
expand a LUN to increase capacity, xfs_growfs simply works, the way it should, 
with no hoop jumping.

If you need PIT snapshot capability you must use LVM, unless your storage has a 
PIT snapshot facility, or you use VMware's snapshot utility.


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