One thing you might notice after deploying the new VCSA 6.0 is that it now includes 11 VMDKs. If you are like me, you are probably asking why are there so many? If you look at past releases of the VCSA, it only contained two VMDKS. The first disk was used for both the OS and the various VMware applications like vCenter Server, vSphere Web Client, etc. and the second disk was where all the application data was stored such as the VCDB, SSODB, Logs, etc.
There were several challenges with this design, one issue was that you could not easily increase the disk capacity for a particular application component. If you needed more storage for the VCDB but not for your logs or other applications, you had no choice but to increase the entire volume. In fact, this was actually a pretty painful process because a logical volume manager (LVM) was also not used. This meant that you needed to stop the vCenter Server service, add a new disk, format it and then copy all the data from the old volume to the new. Another problem with the old design is that you can not apply Storage QoS on important data such as the VCDB which you may want on a faster tier of storage or putting your Log data on slower and cheaper tier of storage by leveraging something like VM Storage Policies which works on a per VMDK basis.
For these reasons, VCSA 6.0 is now comprised of 11 individual VMDKs as seen in the screenshot below.
Here is a useful table that I have created which provides the mappings of each of the VDMKs to their respective functions.
|VMDK1||12GB||/ and Boot||/ and /boot|
|VMDK8||10GB||SEAT (Stats Events and Tasks)||/storage/seat|
In addition, increasing disk capacity for a particular VMDK has been greatly simplified as the VCSA 6.0 now uses LVM to manage each of the partitions. You can now, on the fly increase disk space for a particular volume while the vCenter Server is still running and the changes will go live immediately. You can refer to this article here for the process as it is a simple two step process.
Here are some useful commands to get more details of the filesystem structure in the new VCSA.