The vCenter Server communicates with the storage provider to obtain information that the storage provider collects from underlying physical and software-defined storage. The vCenter Server can then display the storage data in the vSphere Web Client.
Information that the storage provider supplies can be divided into the following categories:
Storage topology. Information about storage elements appears in storage reports. It includes such data as storage arrays, array IDs, and so on.
This type of information can be helpful when you need to track virtual machine-to-storage relationships and configuration, or to identify any changes in physical storage configuration.
For more information, see the vSphere Monitoring and Performance documentation.
Vendor-specific storage capabilities. The storage provider collects and communicates information about characteristics and services that underlying storage offers.
You reference these capabilities when you define storage requirements for virtual machines and virtual disks in a storage policy. Virtual machines that use this storage policy are placed to a compatible storage that guarantees a specified level of capacity, performance, availability, redundancy, and so on. For details, see Understanding Storage Capabilities.
Storage status. This category includes reporting about status of various storage entities. It also includes alarms and events for notifying about configuration changes.
This type of information can help you troubleshoot storage connectivity and performance problems. It can also help you to correlate array-generated events and alarms to corresponding performance and load changes on the array.