Posts Tagged ‘disk partitioning’

Reduce Oracle ASM disk size

Tuesday, January 21st, 2020

I have had a system with Oracle ASM diskgroup from which I needed some space. The idea was to release some disk space, reduce the size of existing partitions, add a new partition and use it – all online(!)

This is a grocery list of tasks to do, with some explanation integrated into it.


  • Reduce ASM diskgroup size
  • Drop a disk from ASM diskgroup
  • Repartition disk
  • Delete and recreate ASM label on disk
  • Add disk to ASM diskgroup

Assuming the diskgroup is constructed of five disks, called SSDDATA01 to SSDDATA05. All my examples will be based on that. The current size is 400GB and I will reduce it to somewhat below the target size of the partition, lets say – to 356000M

Reduce ASM diskgroup size

alter diskgroup SSDDATA resize all size 365000M;

This command will reduce the expected disks to below the target partition size. This will allow us to reduce its size

Drop a disk from the ASM diskgroup

alter diskgroup SSDDATA drop disk 'SSDDATA01';

We will need to know which physical disk this is. You can look at the device major/minor in /dev/oracleasm/disks and compare it with /dev/sd* or with /dev/mapper/*

It is imperative that the correct disk is marked (or else…) and that the disk will become currently unused.

Reduce partition size

As the root user, you should run something like this (assuming a single partition on the disk):

parted -a optimal /dev/sdX
(parted) rm 1
(parted) mkpart primary 1 375GB
(parted) mkpart primary 375GB -1
(parted) quit

This will remove the first (and only) partition – but not its data – and recreate it with the same beginning but smaller in size. The remaining space will be used for an additional partition.

We will need to refresh the disk layout on all cluster nodes. Run on all nodes:

partprobe /dev/sdX

Remove and recreate ASM disk label

As root, run the following command on a single node:

oracleasm deletedisk SSDDATA01
oracleasm createdisk SSDDATA01 /dev/sdX1

You might want to run on all other nodes the following command, as root:

oracleasm scandisks

Add a disk to ASM diskgroup

Because the disk is of different size, adding it without specific size argument would not be possible. This is the correct command to perform this task:

alter diskgroup SSDDATA add disk 'ORCL:SSDDATA01' size 356000M;

To save time, however, we can add this disk and drop another at the same time:

alter diskgroup SSDDATA add disk 'ORCL:SSDDATA01' size 356000M drop disk 'SSDDATA02';

In general – if you have enough space on your ASM diskgroup – it is recommended to add/drop multiple disks in a single command. It will allow for a faster operation, with less repeating data migration. Save time – save efforts.

The last disk will be re-added, without dropping any other disk, of course.

I hope it helps 🙂

Recovery of a StorageRepository (SR) in XenServer, part one

Wednesday, February 6th, 2013

In this part I will discuss a possible solution to a problem I encountered several times already – failure to understand XenServer use of LVM, but first – a little explanation of the topic.

XenServer makes extensive use of LVM technology in order to support the storage requirements of virtual disks. It is being utilized in two methods – LVMoISCSI/LVMoHBA and ext. In both cases, XenServer defines the initial layout as a LVM framework. The LVM, except for the system disk, is positioned directly on the disk in whole, and not on the first partition. I imagine that the desire to avoid dealing with GPT/Basic/Other partitioning schemes is the root of this notion. While it does solve the disk partitioning method problem, it creates a different problem – PEBKC problem (Problem Exists Between Keyboard and Chair). Lack of understanding that there is no partition on the disk, but the data is structured directly on it, is the cause of relatively frequent deletion of the LVM structure as it being replaced by a partitioning layout. The cause of it can be one of two common problems – the first is that the LUN/disk is exposed directly to a Windows machine, which asks joyfully if one would like to ‘sign the partition’. If one does so, a basic partitioning structure is created, and the LVM data structure is overwritten by it. The second problem is a little less common, and involves lack of understanding of the LVM structure as employed by XenServer, when performing disk tasks as the root user on the XenServer host directly. In this case, the user will not be aware of the data structure, and might be tempted to partition, and God forbid – even format the created partition. The result would be a total loss of the SR.

This was about how data is structured and how it is erased or damaged.

I was surprised to discover the ‘easy’ method of recovery from a partitioning table layer over the LVM metadata. I assume that no one has attempted to format the resulting partition(s), but stopped only at creating the partition layout and attempting to understand why it doesn’t work anymore in XenServer.

The easy way, which will be discussed here, is the first of two articles I intend on writing about LVM recovery. If this ‘easy’ method works for you – no need to try your luck with the more complex one.

So, to work. In case someone has created a partition layout, overwriting, as explained earlier, the LVM metadata structure, the symptoms would be that a disk will have (a) partition(s). For example, the results of ‘cat /proc/partitions’ would look like that (snipping the irrelevant parts)

8         16        156290904 sdb
8        17        156288321 sdb1

As clearly visible – the bold line should not be there. The output of ‘fdisk -l /dev/sdb’ showed (again – snipping the irrelevant parts):

/dev/sdb1                                1                   19457                 156288321       83  Linux

It proves someone has manually attempted to partition the disk. Had a mount command worked (example: ‘mount /dev/sdb1 /mnt’) my response e-mail message would go like this: “Sorry. The data was overwritten. Can’t do anything about it”, however, this was not the case. Not this time.

The magic trick I used was to remove the partition entirely, freeing the disk to be identified as LVM, if it could – I wasn’t sure it would – and then take some recovery actions.

First – fdisk to remove the partition:

fdisk /dev/sdb << EOF

Now, a pvscan operation could take place. The following command returned the correct value – a PV ID which wasn’t there before, meaning that the PV information was still intact:


Now, a simple ‘SR Repair’ operation could take place.

My next article in this series will show a more complex method of recovery to employ when this ‘easy’ one doesn’t work.