The latest release of VMware Cloud Foundation (VCF 3.0) removed the host imaging functionality. As past of the laundry list of pre-requisites for preparing an environment for VCF, one necessary step in an All-Flash vSAN environment is to mark the appropriate capacity disks.

During a POC deployment last week of VCF 3.0, this pre-requisite became evident and required a quick solution for marking the disks without having to glean all of the information manually. The following method is a quick way to identify which disks should be used for capacity and correctly allocating them as such for vSAN to claim during the VCF deployment workflows for either the Management or Workload Domain.

On the first ESXi node, we need to execute the following command to determine the capacity disk size. This command can be omitted on all remaining ESXi nodes as you prep them for VCF.

$ esxcli storage core device list
   Display Name: Local TOSHIBA Disk (naa.58ce38ee20455a75)
   Has Settable Display Name: true
   Size: 3662830
   Device Type: Direct-Access
   Multipath Plugin: NMP
   Devfs Path: /vmfs/devices/disks/naa.58ce38ee20455a75
   Vendor: TOSHIBA
   Model: PX05SRB384Y
   Revision: AS0C
   SCSI Level: 6
   Is Pseudo: false
   Status: on
   Is RDM Capable: true
   Is Local: true
   Is Removable: false
   Is SSD: true
   Is VVOL PE: false
   Is Offline: false
   Is Perennially Reserved: false
   Queue Full Sample Size: 0
   Queue Full Threshold: 0
   Thin Provisioning Status: yes
   Attached Filters:
   VAAI Status: unknown
   Other UIDs: vml.020000000058ce38ee20455a75505830355352
   Is Shared Clusterwide: false
   Is Local SAS Device: true
   Is SAS: true
   Is USB: false
   Is Boot USB Device: false
   Is Boot Device: false
   Device Max Queue Depth: 254
   No of outstanding IOs with competing worlds: 32
   Drive Type: physical
   RAID Level: NA
   Number of Physical Drives: 1
   Protection Enabled: false
   PI Activated: false
   PI Type: 0
   PI Protection Mask: NO PROTECTION
   Supported Guard Types: NO GUARD SUPPORT
   DIX Enabled: false
   Emulated DIX/DIF Enabled: false

The above output is an example of a vSAN SSD capacity disk. The only bit of information we need to automate the rest of the work is the size of the disk. Once you have the known size, substitute the value into the first grep command and execute the following CLI script on each node.

$ esxcli storage core device list | grep -B 3 -e "Size: 3662830" | grep ^naa > /tmp/capacitydisks; for i in `cat /tmp/capacitydisks`; do esxcli vsan storage tag add -d $i -t capacityFlash;  vdq -q -d $i; done

As each disk is marked as eligible for vSAN, the script will output that information for the user.

That’s it!

If you’d like to read more about the VCF 3.0 release, please check out the DataReload blog post.