As my previous experienced, if you having a disk space full on /var, the host server will getting an error message such as “A general error occured : Failed to create journal File provider” when creating a new virtual machine. I had my test machine setup as default configuration, which the /var/log only allocated for 2GB in place. Prior to move the system to production, I decide to extend the /var/log from 2GB to 10GB as our current standard. Here come to the idea that I try to extend, unmount and remount as I usually did on the Linux.

I found that the partition table for vSphere 4 is totally different as ESX 3.5 did. At 1st was confusing as I only have 1 logical drive with RAID 1 configuration on my vSphere 4 machine, but when I did the cat /proc/partitions, it showed as 2 physical devices as sda and sdb.

I tested to delete the partition table from the fdisk utility as I did on usual Linux, but is not success. The system will roll back to the existing partition table before I tried to make the changes automatically. You may see the IO error happen when you try to write the partition table. At the same time, I found that there is a vmdk with similar 8GB of flat file and vmdk was created on the existing datastore which reflect the local storage on the vSphere host. It is viewable through CLI and vCenter client both. After some research, looks like the virtual disk is referring to vSphere core module and important mount point such as / & /var/log. Whenever I tried to remove the virtual disk from the ESX host, I get denied with error message of the virtual disk in use.

partition5

partition6

This 2 screen shots had helped me to understand that the new system partition method in vSphere 4, which is totally different as it did in ESX 3.5. At the mean time, I also found that to format the rest of the unclaim partiton on the local HDD for VMFS 3 file system as Datastore is compulsory during the setup too. Therefore, sizing on the partitions require to be planned prior to final deployment.