When you use the storage provider functionality, certain requirements and considerations apply.
The storage provider functionality is implemented as an extension to the VMware vCenter Storage Monitoring Service (SMS). Because the SMS is a part of the vCenter Server, the storage provider functionality does not need special installation or enablement on the vCenter Server side.
To use storage providers, follow these requirements:
vCenter Server version 5.0 or later.
ESX/ESXi hosts version 4.0 or later.
Storage arrays that support Storage APIs - Storage Awareness plug-ins. The storage provider component must be installed on the storage side. See the vSphere Compatibility Guide or check with your storage vendor.
Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) does not support storage providers.
The following considerations exist when you use the storage providers:
Both block storage and file system storage devices can use storage providers.
Storage providers can run anywhere, except the vCenter Server.
Multiple vCenter Servers can simultaneously connect to a single instance of a storage provider.
A single vCenter Server can simultaneously connect to multiple different storage providers. It is possible to have a different storage provider for each type of physical storage device available to your host.