How to extend a volume on an IBM DS3400

Among other hardware in our SAN, we have one of these nice and small, entry level SAN boxes from IBM. It’s called DS3400. It blends well into the rest of the SAN fabric, and seems to work quite well. So far, so good.

Today, I had to extend one of the volumes hosted on that box. So I started up the expected tool, the “IBM System Storage DS Storage Manager (Enterprise Management)” *pant*, found the box, the correct array, and volume (“Logical drive”), and expected to just right click and add capacity.

Not so.

Okay, so I looked at the “Modify” menu, which would let me “Add free capacity”, but in terms of disks to an array, not free space to a volume. After a bit of searching, I concluded that this fancy GUI does actually not let me grow a volume. How “Enterprise” is that?

After some extensive googling, I found that this was certainly right, it’s not possible to do this by the GUI. There is a CLI tool, available from the shell, or as a script editor in the GUI, and I should be able to grow a volume from that. Now, all I had to do was to find the correct syntax. I searched through the local help pages. There were no exciting hits for “expanding”, “extending” or “grow”. There were no matching entries in the FAQ. The script editor had a command reference, but without already knowing the correct command, it was useless. After even a bit more googling, I got the correct command line. It’s something like this, note the space and the semicolon at the end.

set logicaldrive ["MyVolumeName"] addCapacity=100 GB;

Or even from the shell:

# SMcli -n our_nice_ibm_box -p secret_password \
  -c 'set logicaldrive ["MyVolumeName"] addCapacity=100 GB;'

Trivial when you know it, right? Why on Earth did they not implement a function in the GUI to support this?

For fun, I searched through the online manuals, and finally found a small note at page 96 in “IBM System Storage DS Storage Manager 10, Installation and Support Guide” mentioning the command among best practices using the cli.

No bonus points to IBM. It’s almost as one would think they did it on purpose.

Later today, I found another blog post, telling more or less the same as this one, and with a few noteworthy comments, like how to get a growing progress status – which of course is not visible in the GUI.

Edit: Memo to self:

sudo SMcli -n ibm-box -p secretPassword \
-c 'show logicalDrive ["DataVolumeName"] actionProgress ;'

9 Responses to “How to extend a volume on an IBM DS3400”

  1. Pradip Manna says:


  2. ingvar says:

    Today, I had to do this again, with two volumes. I then found that it is not possible to extend two volumes in parallel, and neither to script two extend requests in row. So I have to wait for the one to finish before I can do the other. Why would it be so hard to just receive and queue the requests?

  3. Dammy says:

    Still very relevant and helpful. Thanks.

  4. imthecheez says:


    Good information that compliments the IBM documentation. The CLI commands do actually include the syntax, but without much fanfare. Here is the document title and its URL:

    “IBM System Storage DS3000, DS4000, and DS5000: Command Line Interface and Script Commands Programming Guide”


  5. venthouthg says:

    I also need to expand my existing logical drive of my DS3400. Will the data inside the logical drive be intact? No data loss?

    Pardon my ignorance and worry because it’s a production data. But prior to execute the addCapacity command, we should have a full restorable backup.

    Need your advise. Thank you.

  6. ingvar says:

    I am no representant for IBM, so I can guarantee nothing. But I use these commands on my data, which are 1TB+ production-critical mysql data. Shit may happen anyways. You should always be able to restore your production data from backups. The DS3400 won’t give you configuration nor data backups, though. You must manage that through some other backup system. Ingvar

  7. Sudhir kumar says:

    Thank you very much , even in IBM documents, these syntax are not clear.

  8. Mario B. says:

    Just today came across same issue … your blog saved me a lot of time researching I guess. Thanks!

  9. Peter says:

    Thank you
    you save me a lot of time

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.