Datastores are logical containers, analogous to file systems, that hide specifics of each storage device and provide a uniform model for storing virtual machine files. You can display all datastores available to your hosts and analyze their properties.

Datastores are added to vCenter Server in the following ways:

  • You can create a VMFS5 datastore, an NFS version 3 or 4.1 datastore, or a virtual datastore using the New Datastore wizard. A Virtual SAN datastore is automatically created when you enable Virtual SAN.

  • When you add a host to vCenter Server, all datastores on the host are added to vCenter Server.

The following table describes datastore details that you can see when you review datastores through the vSphere Web Client. Certain characteristic might not be available or applicable to all types of datastores.

Table 1. Datastore Information

Datastore Information

Applicable Datastore Type

Description

Name

VMFS

NFS

Virtual SAN

VVOL

Editable name that you assign to a datastore. For information on renaming a datastore, see Change Datastore Name.

File System Type

VMFS

NFS

Virtual SAN

VVOL

File system that the datastore uses. For information about VMFS and NFS datastores and how to manage them, see Working with Datastores.

For information about Virtual SAN datastores, see the Administering VMware Virtual SAN documentation.

For information about Virtual Volumes, see Working with Virtual Volumes.

Device Backing

VMFS

NFS

Virtual SAN

Information about underlying storage, such as a storage device on which the datastore is deployed (VMFS), server and folder (NFS), or disk groups (Virtual SAN) .

Protocol Endpoints

VVOL

Information about corresponding protocol endpoints. See Protocol Endpoints.

Extents

VMFS

Individual extents that the datastore spans and their capacity.

Drive Type

VMFS

Type of underlying storage device, a flash drive or a regular HHD drive. For details, see Working with Flash Devices.

Capacity

VMFS

NFS

Virtual SAN

VVOL

Includes total capacity, provisioned space, and free space.

Mount Point

VMFS

NFS

Virtual SAN

VVOL

A path to the datastore in the host's /vmfs/volumes/ directory.

Capability Sets

VMFS

Note:

A multi-extent VMFS datastore assumes capabilities of only one of its extents.

NFS

Virtual SAN

Information about storage data services that the underlying storage entity provides. You cannot modify them.

Storage I/O Control

VMFS

NFS

Information on whether cluster-wide storage I/O prioritization is enabled. See the vSphere Resource Management documentation.

Hardware Acceleration

VMFS

NFS

Virtual SAN

VVOL

Information on whether the underlying storage entity supports hardware acceleration. The status can be Supported, Not Supported, or Unknown. For details, see Storage Hardware Acceleration.

Note:

NFS 4.1 does not support Hardware Acceleration.

Tags

VMFS

NFS

Virtual SAN

VVOL

Datastore capabilities that you define and associate with datastores in a form of tags. For information, see Storage Policies and Rules.

Connectivity with Hosts

VMFS

NFS

VVOL

Hosts where the datastore is mounted.

Multipathing

VMFS

VVOL

Path selection policy the host uses to access storage. For more information, see Understanding Multipathing and Failover.