Friday, February 15, 2013

How to Re-format an Eqaullogic volume

So you have a thin provisioned Equallogic volume with "dirty bits".  This can happen when you delete a vm, or vmotion it off somewhere else.  Even though you no longer have the data on the volume (as far as VMWare is concerned), Equallogic treats that space as used.

Vmware sees the volume as empty.

But Equallgic thinks it's full.  What the hey!?

But there is a sneaky way to "re-format" the volume.  You're not actually reformatting it, just shrinking it really small and expanding it again.  It accomplishes what you want though, which is to free up the dirty bits without actually deleting the volume.  Here are the steps:

1) Make sure there is no data on the volume that you need.  Check twice. :)

2) Remove the volume from vmware.

3) Log into the EQL GUI, delete snapshots of the volume

4) change the volume to "thick provisioned" ( volume - modify settings - space tab - uncheck "thin provisioned volume")

5) set volume offline (right click volume - set offline)

6) Log into the EQL command line interface (via putty or whatever), and type the following:  "volume select [name] shrink 1g".  You can't do this step in the GUI.  Here's an example where my volume name was "rld9":

7) Now go back into the EQL GUI, expand the volume back to the size you want, thin provision it again, and add the storage back to vmware.

Here's a screenshot of the volume afterwards.  Free space again, woot!