Max Disk Size – The search continues

Update 5/21/15


From Check Point……

I would like to clarify:


  • Prior to R77.20, GAIA OS supported up to 8TB.
  • Since R77.20 (inclusive) Gaia OS support up to 16 TB.


  • OS supports up to 16 TB on all supported versions


This is continuation of SEARCHOFMAXDRIVE

So we have this massive log server. 7-1.8TB RAID-5 drives. (Of course by this time next year my iWatch will have 14TB SSD in it). During an upgrade of our log server, we wanted to resize our tiny root partition.


We tried to use lvm_manager, several hours later……yeaaaaahhhhh. NO. Crash boom bang.

Start from scratch.


Good news: On R77.10, GAIA sees all the drives BUT cannot format more than 8TB instead of 2TB (as it did under pre-R77.10).



WTF? Block size looks like it should support 16TB file systems

blocksize maxext3

Or why can’t GAIA stitch it together with LVM ? Ugh…..

So we still will have to resize by hand using lvm.

# Format the unused drive
fdisk /dev/cciss/c1d1
# make a EXT3 file system on it
mkfs.ext3 -b 4096 /dev/cciss/c1d1
# label it as a physical volume – making it available to the LVM pool
pvcreate /dev/cciss/c1d1
# extend the volume group vg_splat to include this new drive
vgextend vg_splat /dev/cciss/c1d1
# extend the logical (log) volume to use this new space
lvextend -l +100%FREE /dev/vg_splat/lv_log
# new resize the EXT3 linux file system partition (log partition) to use this space
resize2fs /dev/mapper/vg_splat-lv_log
#………. continue for each drive………

So the question I ask myself “I just paid $10 Gillion dollars for this state of the art log server (probably enough fuel to fly Gil Schwed from Israel to here in his private jet), do I really want to customize its partitioning? Will I have to do this for every migration? What about DR – ouch!? What about successive admins that may not have my (minimal) Linux talents, they will be totally lost”.

So while geeky and intellectually challenging, I think we will leave well enough alone at this point. I’ll just archive logs every week. Time better spent with my hot German girlfriend Gaby than watching drives format for hours and then crash at 99%.

R80 will fix all.

Partitioning out,

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  • Peter Morgan  On September 24, 2014 at 8:17 pm

    Hi Michael,

    I am curious: what type of label is on the disk? Pc or gpt? Gpt can support much larger partitions, but most linux installers are not caught up with the times, yet…


    • Dreezman  On September 25, 2014 at 9:12 pm


      • Pete Morgan  On September 26, 2014 at 12:06 am

        ext3 is the partition/filesystem type, but the drive/disk itself has a label (example: EFI, PCDOS, GPT) and the pc label that fdisk generates can only support partition sizes up to 2TB afaik. If you run parted /dev/sda mklabel gpt, for example, you can create a 16TB partition. Then, as you noted, you need at least 4k block size to reach a 16TB filesytem size within ext3, as well.

        If you have 4K block size in ext3 and can only “see” 2TB of space, you likely have the older disk label / partition table format and would need GPT.

        So really, Checkpoint should support GPT and a more modern filesystem in Gaia installer.

  • Dreezman  On September 29, 2014 at 9:06 pm

    Pete, email me michael******** ‘dot’ endrizzi******* ‘at’ Thanks.

  • Chad  On December 12, 2014 at 10:40 am

    Our Log server is running on VMware. We add disks as needed but now hit the 16TB limit. So far the most painless method is using LVM to add space in 2TB increments. However, beware that with ext3/4, the limit is 16TB. The LVM utility will let you add more than 16TB. But the other tools will not support it. Meaning, it is possible to create a volume larger than 16TB. And when you try to run resize2fs it bombs. fsck and other filesystem tools will no longer function either as they can’t read the volume that is now larger than 16TB. This can be fixed of course by booting to a Live CD (Ubuntu) and moving it back to 16TB. Don’t ask how I know 😀

    Gaia is based on the Red Hat versions that support ext3/4. When I called support to ask what the real limit is, they could not find documents stating this. And even the SK articles conflicted themselves. They took it back to the developers and finally came back with the 16TB limit. There is an SK that says SPLAT can do 16 but Gaia can only do 8TB. I was like, huh????

    Anyway…. my research concluded that we are stuck with 16TB limit until the base OS is updated. ie, RH7. RH7 comes with XFS that supports 500TB. XFS on versions prior to 7 support up to 100TB.

    I did ask our rep about the statement on the Check Point website about their management server that states you can put up to 24TB of internal storage. Since they are also using Gaia, how do they do this? Turns out, they have some special hacks they do to the partitions/filesystem to allow this. I’m still waiting for the document to see exactly what this involves.

    One option that would appear to work is use RH 5.9 and obtain an XFS license. This would allow us to run our management station on RH stock OS, using XFS, and install Check Point management station over it. However, we lose the nice Gaia-ism of it all at the expense of more space (We only have a few TB’s left of the 16TB volume).

    I’m hoping with R80, this will no longer be an issue.

    • Dreezman  On December 15, 2014 at 10:40 pm

      This was a great comment!!! Super informative, thanks a ton.

      I choose to not do any special LVM hacks. Too hard to support if anything goes wrong. Hard to backup and restore 16TB of logs :-).

      Thanks again,

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Life Stories from Dreez

These are stories from my travels. Generally I like to write stories about local people that I meet and also brag about living the retirement dream with my #1 wife Gaby. She is also my only wife.

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