Virtual machine storage policies capture storage characteristics that virtual machine home files and virtual disks require to run applications within the virtual machine. You can create several storage policies to define the types and classes of storage requirements.

Each storage policy is not only a set of constraints that apply simultaneously. A single policy can include alternative sets of subpolicies, or rule sets, that are datastore-specific and represent equally acceptable storage requirements. If you use vSphere APIs for I/O Filtering, the storage policy can include rules that are common for all storage types. The policy can contain only common rules, or only datastore-specific rule sets, or both.

When you create, clone, or migrate a virtual machine, you can apply the storage policy to the virtual machine. You can place the virtual machine in one of the datastores that matches the policy requirements. To match the policy requirement, the datastore must satisfy the following guidelines:

  • When I/O Filtering and common rules are not available, the datastore must satisfy all rules in at least one of the datastore specific rule sets.

  • With common rules enabled, the datastore must satisfy all common rules and all rules in at least one of the rule sets.

The virtual machine home files (.vmx, .vmsd, .nvram, .log, and so on) and the virtual disks (.vmdk) can have separate storage policies.

Table 1. Example Storage Policy for a Virtual Machine

Example Virtual Machine Files

Example for a Storage Policy

Example for a Datastore Compliant with the Storage Policy


Storage Policy 2

datastore02, datastore05, datastore10







Storage Policy 3



Storage Policy 5