How to Create VMFS 6 Datastore in VMware vSphere 6.5

0

With all of the new storage enhancements that come with vSphere 6.5 using 4K aligned drives and the new unmap feature, you need to use a VMFS 6 formatted datastore.  How do you create a VMFS 6 datastore?  Let’s take a look at how to create VMFS 6 datastore in VMware vSphere 6.5.

How to Create VMFS 6 Datastore in VMware vSphere 6.5

VMware furthers the distance in core functionality you can do in the vsphere Windows client vs the Web UI interface.  Now with VMFS 6, you can’t format the datastore with VMFS 6 in the Windows fat client.  Below is after just following the prompts to create a datastore in the vSphere Client.  Again, VMFS version wasn’t an option in the create datastore wizard.

 

vmfs6_07 How to Create VMFS 6 Datastore in VMware vSphere 6.5

You must login to either the host Web UI, or join the host to VCSA 6.5 and create a datastore from the vCenter VCSA Web UI.  Let’s take a look at screenshots from both methods.

vCenter VCSA Web UI

In the Web UI of vCenter (flash version), Go to host configuration >> storage >> Datastores and then Create a new datastore.

vmfs6_01 How to Create VMFS 6 Datastore in VMware vSphere 6.5

We will choose VMFS as the type.

vmfs6_02 How to Create VMFS 6 Datastore in VMware vSphere 6.5

Here is where we want to pay attention to the details.  Notice before the next screen that the sector format is still set to 512n.

vmfs6_03 How to Create VMFS 6 Datastore in VMware vSphere 6.5

However, on the VMFS version screen which comes next you will notice you have the information under VMFS 6 that VMFS 6 enables advanced format (512e) and automatic space reclamation support.  There doesn’t appear to be an option to do any other kind of formatting of the layout.

vmfs6_04 How to Create VMFS 6 Datastore in VMware vSphere 6.5

We can change the Block size and Space Reclamation Granularity settings here as well as the reclamation priority.

vmfs6_05 How to Create VMFS 6 Datastore in VMware vSphere 6.5

On the summary screen, we see that we have chosen VMFS 6.  Click Finish and the datastore is created.

vmfs6_06 How to Create VMFS 6 Datastore in VMware vSphere 6.5

Host Web UI

The other “web ui” the host Web UI can also be used to create a VMFS 6 datastore.  To login to the host Web UI, navigate to https://<your host IP>/ui

We will select Storage >> New datastore.

vmfs6_08 How to Create VMFS 6 Datastore in VMware vSphere 6.5

Next we select, Create new VMFS datastore.

vmfs6_09 How to Create VMFS 6 Datastore in VMware vSphere 6.5

Next, we name the datastore.

vmfs6_10 How to Create VMFS 6 Datastore in VMware vSphere 6.5

On the Select partitioning options screen, we can drop down the box and choose VMFS 6 here.

vmfs6_11 How to Create VMFS 6 Datastore in VMware vSphere 6.5

Summary screen of options selected.

vmfs6_12 How to Create VMFS 6 Datastore in VMware vSphere 6.5

Finally, we get the warning that basically all data is going to be destroyed in this process.

vmfs6_13 How to Create VMFS 6 Datastore in VMware vSphere 6.5

Now, if you look in vCenter and drill into the properties of the datastore, we can see some of the details.  Interesting that the File system version is actually VMFS 6.81 not just 6.

vmfs6_14 How to Create VMFS 6 Datastore in VMware vSphere 6.5

Thoughts

If you were like me when you read the notes of the new VMFS version and thinking about how to create VMFS 6 Datastore in VMware vSphere 6.5, you were hopeful that VMware would make it possible to have a quick point and click upgrade that we had from VMFS 3 to VMFS 5.  However, it makes sense as the underlying formatting used to enable the 4k and 512e support, is a major upgrade that requires starting from scratch, unless we find out another means later on with some tinkering, it looks like a rip and replace operation.