Thursday, September 8, 2011

VMware ( vSphere and ESX ) VMDK Size Limit for NFS

There is a lot of confusion on the web about what is the largest size of a VMDK file on a NFS mounted datastore for VMware vSphere and ESX. Today, I was able to confirm that the largest vmdk you can create on an NFS mounted datastore is 2TB minus 512KB. Yes that's the same as for a VMFS formatted datastore.

There was lot confusion because I thought the size of a file on an NFS mounted export is restricted by the underlying storage device. I called both VMware and NetApp about this issue. VMware support told me what I already thought the answer was (Storage vendor restriction) and NetApp support said they are not sure and will research.

So I decided to try creating a 1.99, 2.0, 2.1, 3,4, and 5 TB vmdks on both NetApp and Windows 2008 NFS storage. I got the same error message stating

DiskCapControl: ... Out of Range ... ( )

for all sizes except 1.99 which is less than 2TB-512KB.
Hopefully someone out there will find this info helpful.


  1. Not too bad, huh? I'm sure that 2TB total will triple in no time, thanks to quick advances in data storage technologies.

  2. This is great for small-sized to medium-sized business that wish to digitize all documents. 2TB is more than enough below enterprise-level needs.

  3. What version of vSphere were you using?

    Trying to research a similar issue with vSphere 5.0

  4. Sounds like a great investment especially for companies struggling with paperwork. The newest version is better though.

  5. Just like what the other comment said above, size limit is not a problem anymore nowadays. Technology is just fast that updates and upgrades keep on coming. email encryption

  6. Sometimes online document storages really have limits but it has to be to avoid further problems. Nevertheless, as Jamie said, technology is too fast that this would probably improve in no time.

  7. You were surely helpful: you save my time. Thanks!