A storage provider is a software component that is offered by VMware or developed by a third party through vSphere APIs for Storage Awareness (VASA). The storage provider can also be called VASA provider. The storage providers integrate with various storage entities that include external physical storage and storage abstractions, such as
vSAN and Virtual Volumes. Storage providers can also support software solutions, for example, I/O filters.
About Storage Providers Generally, vCenter Server and ESXi use the storage providers to obtain information about storage configuration, status, and storage data services offered in your environment. This information appears in the vSphere Web Client. The information helps you to make appropriate decisions about virtual machine placement, to set storage requirements, and to monitor your storage environment.
Storage Providers and Data Representation vCenter Server and ESXi communicate with the storage provider to obtain information that the storage provider collects from underlying physical and software-defined storage, or from available I/O filters. vCenter Server can then display the storage data in the vSphere Web Client.
Storage Provider Requirements and Considerations When you use the third-party storage providers, certain requirements and considerations apply.
Register Storage Providers To establish a connection between vCenter Server and a storage provider, you must register the storage provider. Make sure to register a separate storage provider for each host in a cluster.
View Storage Provider Information After you register a storage provider component with vCenter Server, the storage provider appears on the storage providers list. Certain storage providers are self-registered and automatically appear on the list after you set up the entity they represent, for example, vSAN or I/O filters.
Unregister Storage Providers You can unregister storage providers that you do not use.
Update Storage Providers vCenter Server periodically updates storage data in its database. The updates are partial and reflect only those changes that storage providers communicate to vCenter Server. When needed, you can perform a full database synchronization for the selected storage provider.
Refresh Storage Provider Certificates vCenter Server warns you when a certificate assigned to a storage provider is about to expire. You can refresh the certificate to continue using the provider.