A first class disk (FCD) provides storage life-cycle management on virtual disks as a disk-as-a service or as EBS-like disk storage that allows you to create and manage disks independently of vSphere virtual machines.

vRealize Automation Cloud supports two categories of storage disks – standard disk and first class disk. First class disk functionality is supported for vSphere only. vRealize Automation Cloud currently provides first class disk functionality as an API-only capability.

A first class disk has its own life-cycle management capabilities that operate independently from a VM. One way that a first class disk differs from an independent persistent disk, is that you can use a first class disk to create and manage snapshots independent of a VM.

You can create a new vRealize Automation Cloud storage profile to support either first class disk capabilities or standard disk capabilities. See Learn more about storage profiles in vRealize Automation Cloud and Storage resources in vRealize Automation Cloud.

You can also add a Cloud.vSphere.Disk first class disk element in your vRealize Automation Cloud cloud templates and deployments to support vSphere first class disks. First class disks that have been data-collected appear on the Volumes resource page. See Volume resources in vRealize Automation Cloud.

In vCenter, first class disks are also referred to as Improved Virtual Disks (IVD) or managed virtual disks.


Using vRealize Automation Cloud API capabilities, you can:
  • Create, list, and delete a first class disk.
  • Resize a first class disk.
  • Attach and detach a first class disk.
  • Create and manage first class disk snapshots.
  • Convert an existing standard disk to first class disk

API use case documentation for creating and managing first class disk (FCD) storage is available at code.vmware.com in the Creating and Using a First Class Disk section of the vRealize Automation Cloud Programming Guide. For related API documentation for FCD, see the First Class Disk (FCD) section of the Virtual Disk Development Kit Programming Guide.

Considerations and limitations

First class disk considerations and limitations currently include:
  • First class disk is available for vSphere VMs only.
  • vSphere 6.7 Update 2 or later is required to use first class disks.
  • Provisioning first class disks on datastore clusters is not supported.
  • Volume multi-attach is not supported for first class disks.
  • First class disks with snapshots cannot be resized.
  • First class disks with snapshots cannot be deleted.
  • First class disk snapshot hierarchy can only be constructed by using the createdAt API option.
  • The minimum VM hardware version required to attach a first class disk is vmx-13 (ESX 6.5 compatible).