To ensure optimal vSphere Virtual Volumes performance results, follow these best practices.

Using Different VM Storage Policies for Individual Virtual Volumes

By default, all components of a virtual machine in the Virtual Volumes environment get a single VM storage policy. However, different components might have different performance characteristics, for example, a database virtual disk and a corresponding log virtual disk. Depending on performance requirements, you can assign different VM storage policies to individual virtual disks and to the VM home file, or config-VVol.

When you use vSphere Web Client, you cannot change the VM storage policy assignment for swap-VVol, memory-VVol, or snapshot-VVol.

See Assign the Virtual Volumes Storage Policy to Virtual Machines.

Getting a Host Profile with Virtual Volumes

The best way to get a host profile with Virtual Volumes is to configure a reference host and extract its profile. If you manually edit an existing host profile in the vSphere Web Client and attach the edited profile to a new host, you might trigger compliance errors and other unpredictable problems. For more details, see the VMware Knowledge Base article 2146394.

Monitoring I/O Load on Individual Protocol Endpoint

  • All virtual volume I/O goes through protocol endpoints (PEs). Arrays select protocol endpoints from several PEs that are accessible to an ESXi host. Arrays can do load balancing and change the binding path that connects the virtual volume and the PE. See Binding and Unbinding Virtual Volumes to Protocol Endpoints.

  • On block storage, ESXi gives a large queue depth to I/Os because of a potentially high number of virtual volumes. The Scsi.ScsiVVolPESNRO parameter controls the number of I/Os that can be queued for PEs. You can configure the parameter on the Advanced System Settings page of the vSphere Web Client. See Set Advanced Host Attributes.

Monitoring Array Limitations

A single VM might occupy multiple virtual volumes. See Virtual Volumes.

Suppose that your VM has two virtual disks, and you take two snapshots with memory. Your VM might occupy up to 10 VVol objects: a config-VVol, a swap-VVol, 2 data-VVols, 4 snapshot-VVols, and 2 memory snapshot-VVols.

Ensuring that Storage Provider Is Available

To access vSphere Virtual Volumes storage, your ESXi host requires a storage provider (VASA provider). To ensure that the storage provider is always available, follow these guidelines:

  • Do not migrate a storage provider VM to Virtual Volumes storage.

  • Back up your storage provider VM.

  • When appropriate, use vSphere HA or Site Recovery Manager to protect the storage provider VM.