How to Increase the Size of a VMware Server 2.0 Virtual Disk

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The capacity of a VMware Server 2.0 virtual disk may be increased from within the VMware Infrastructure (VI) Web Access management interface or from the command-line using the vmware-vdiskmanager tool. Bioth of these approaches will be covered in this tutorial.

Extending a VMware Virtual Disk from the Command Line

The size of a VMware virtual disk may be increased from the command line using the vmware-vdiskmanager tool. The executable file is named vmware-vdiskmanager and is located in \Program Files\VMware\VMware Server on Windows hosts, and /usr/bin on Linux systems.

The syntax for increasing the size of a virtual disk is as follows:

vmware-vdiskmanager -x <size> filename.vmdk

where <size> is the new size of the disk and filename.vmdk is the name of the physical virtual disk image file on the host. For example, to increase the size of a virtual disk called win2008.vmdk to 100GB:

vmware-vdiskmanager -x 100GB win2008.vmdk

Extending a Virtual Disk using VI Web Access

During the VMware Server 2.0 installation process, the installer prompted for port numbers to be used for both HTTP and HTTPS based access to the VI Web Access interface. The defaults suggested were 8222 and 8333 respectively. If other ports were specified during installation the following examples will need to be modified accordingly.

When connecting locally (in other words from a web browser running on the same system as VMware Server), VI Web Access may be accessed using either an insecure HTTP or secure HTTPS connection. In the case of remote connections, however, HTTP requests will be automatically redirected to the secure HTTPS connection.

To gain access via HTTP use the following URL syntax:

  • http://hostname:8222

Similarly, HTTPS access requires the following URL:

  • https://hostname:8333

where hostname is replaced either by the host name or IP address of the system on which VMware Server is running. If VMware Server is on the local machine, localhost or the TCP/IP loopback address will also suffice. Upon successful connection, a screen will appear requesting the login and password credentials of an authorized administrator account as illustrated in the following figure:

Logging into the VMware Server 2 VI Web Access Management Interface

Once appropriate administrator credentials have been provided, clicking on the Log In button will load the main VI Web Access management interface screen into the browser window as shown in the following figure:

The VMware Server 2 VI Web Access Management Interface

Virtual disks cannot be re-sized while any virtual machines which use the disk are powered on. Before proceeding, therefore, power off any virtual machines which share the virtual disk. Once these virtual machines are powered off, select a virtual machine which uses the virtual disk from the Inventory panel of the VI Web Access interface, click on the required hard disk from the Hardware panel and select Edit... from the menu. Once the disk settings dialog appears, click on the Increase capacity... link to display the disk capacity fields as illustrated in the following figure:

Increasing the size of a VMware Server 2.0 virtual disk

The current size of the virtual disk is listed, together with two text boxes for the amount by which the disk is to be increased and the new capacity. Both are specified in GB, and either may be used to increase the size of the virtual disk. The amount of space available for allocation to the virtual disk is dictated by the available space on the datastore in which the virtual disk file resides. The current free space on the datastore is also listed beneath the capacity text boxes. The increase in virtual disk capacity cannot exceed this value. Once the desired values have been entered, click on the OK to commit the change.