When you use an ESXi system in conjunction with a SAN, you must decide whether file-based tools are more suitable for your particular situation.

When you consider a file-based solution that uses VMware tools and VMFS instead of the array tools, be aware of the following points:

  • Using VMware tools and VMFS is better for provisioning. One large LUN is allocated and multiple .vmdk files can be placed on that LUN. With an RDM, a new LUN is required for each virtual machine.

  • Snapshotting is included with your ESXi host at no extra cost.

  • Using VMFS is easier for ESXi administrators.

  • ESXi administrators who use the file-based solution are more independent from the SAN administrator.