Hardware acceleration allows your host to integrate with NAS devices and use several hardware operations that NAS storage provides.

The following list shows the supported NAS operations:

  • Full file clone. This operation is similar to the VMFS block cloning except that NAS devices clone entire files instead of file segments.

  • Reserve space. Enables storage arrays to allocate space for a virtual disk file in thick format.

    Typically, when you create a virtual disk on an NFS datastore, the NAS server determines the allocation policy. The default allocation policy on most NAS servers is thin and does not guarantee backing storage to the file. However, the reserve space operation can instruct the NAS device to use vendor-specific mechanisms to reserve space for a virtual disk. As a result, you can create thick virtual disks on the NFS datastore.

  • Lazy file clone. Allows VMware View to offload creation of linked clones to a NAS array.

  • Extended file statistics. Enables storage arrays to accurately report space utilization.

With NAS storage devices, the hardware acceleration integration is implemented through vendor-specific NAS plug-ins. These plug-ins are typically created by vendors and are distributed as VIB packages through a web page. No claim rules are required for the NAS plug-ins to function.

There are several tools available for installing and upgrading VIB packages. They include the esxcli commands and vSphere Update Manager. For more information, see the vSphere Upgrade and Installing and Administering VMware vSphere Update Manager documentation.