When you start your ESXi host or rescan your storage adapter, the host discovers all physical paths to storage devices available to the host. Based on a set of claim rules, the host determines which multipathing plug-in (MPP) should claim the paths to a particular device and become responsible for managing the multipathing support for the device.

By default, the host performs a periodic path evaluation every 5 minutes causing any unclaimed paths to be claimed by the appropriate MPP.

The claim rules are numbered. For each physical path, the host runs through the claim rules starting with the lowest number first. The attributes of the physical path are compared to the path specification in the claim rule. If there is a match, the host assigns the MPP specified in the claim rule to manage the physical path. This continues until all physical paths are claimed by corresponding MPPs, either third-party multipathing plug-ins or the native multipathing plug-in (NMP).

For the paths managed by the NMP module, a second set of claim rules is applied. These rules determine which Storage Array Type Plug-In (SATP) should be used to manage the paths for a specific array type, and which Path Selection Plug-In (PSP) is to be used for each storage device.

Use the vSphere Web Client to view which SATP and PSP the host is using for a specific storage device and the status of all available paths for this storage device. If needed, you can change the default VMware PSP using the client. To change the default SATP, you need to modify claim rules using the vSphere CLI.

You can find some information about modifying claim rules in Managing Storage Paths and Multipathing Plug-Ins.

For more information about the commands available to manage PSA, see Getting Started with vSphere Command-Line Interfaces.

For a complete list of storage arrays and corresponding SATPs and PSPs, see the SAN Array Model Reference section of the vSphere Compatibility Guide.