Upgrade VMFS3 Datastore to VMFS5 Datastore

When you creating a Datastore in your VMware environment there are two file systems that you can select for your Datastore

  • VMFS-3 (Old file System)

  • VMFS-5 (New file System)

VMFS 3 is the old file system and here I’m going to show you how to Upgrade your old VMFS3 Datastore to a VMFS 5 Datastore which is known as the new File system in VMware. Datastore is the main Storage component which keeps all the Virtual Machine related files. There can be local and shared Datastores, if you are using features like vMotion in your environment there should be a shared Datastore which can be accessed from all your ESXi Hosts. You can use a feature called “Enhanced vMotion” which you can migrate your Virtual Machines without a Shared Datastore. But this is not an article to explain those concepts.

There are three main methods which you can use to upgrade your old VMFS 3 Datastore to a VMFS 5 Datastore.

  1. Using vSphere Client
  2. Using “esxcli” command
  3. Using vmkfstools

Upgrade using vSphere Client

Select one of your ESXi Host, goto “Configuration” tab and select “Storage”, select the VMFS3 Datastore which you are going to Upgrade to the VMFS. Click on “Upgrade to VMFS-5…”

Once you click on that you will be getting a Message saying “All host accessing this datastore must support VMFS-5 (version 5.0 or newer)”, Click on “OK” to continue and upgrade your datastore to VMFS-5 file system
You verify this from the vSphere Client after the upgrade

Upgrade using “esxcli” command line tool

Upgrade the Datastore to VMFS-5 from the vSphere client is just few clicks and now we are using “esxcli” command line tool to upgrade the datastore.
You can use “esxcli storage vmfs upgrade” command with “-l” and “-u” switches (“l” for datastore label and “u” for UUID of the datastore).
Type “esxcli storage vmfs upgrade -l VMFS-3-DS02” to upgrade the datastore

Once command complete the upgrade your Datastore will be upgraded to the VMFS-5 file system.

Upgrade using the “vmkfstools”

vmkfstools is a powerful tool which you can use for your storage tasks and this is just only a use of the command.
Type “vmkfstools –upgradevmfs /vmfs/volumes/VMFS-3-DS03 (which is my datastore label), and it will give you a prompt before the Upgrade, type “0” if you are proceeding with the datastore upgrade
Command will complete the upgrade and you can see the status as below
You can use the “vmkfstools” to verify the datastore upgrade, use “vmkfstools –queryfs /vmfs/volumes/VMFS-3-DS03” and you will get the similar output as below and you can confirm the upgrade
That’s all for now…. Thank you for reading my post.

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