VMFS datastores serve as repositories for virtual machines. You can set up VMFS datastores on any SCSI-based storage devices that the host discovers, including Fibre Channel, iSCSI, and local storage devices.


  1. Install and configure any adapters that your storage requires.
  2. To discover newly added storage devices, perform a rescan. See Storage Rescan Operations.
  3. Verify that storage devices you are planning to use for your datastores are available. See Storage Device Characteristics.


  1. In the vSphere Client object navigator, browse to a host, a cluster, or a data center.
  2. From the right-click menu, select Storage > New Datastore.
  3. Select VMFS as the datastore type.
  4. Enter the datastore name and if necessary, select the placement location for the datastore.
    The system enforces a 42 character limit for the datastore name.
  5. Select the device to use for your datastore.
    Important: The device you select must not have any values displayed in the Snapshot Volume column. If a value is present, the device contains a copy of an existing VMFS datastore. For information on managing datastore copies, see Managing Duplicate VMFS Datastores.
  6. Specify the datastore version.
    Option Description
    VMFS6 Default format on all hosts that support VMFS6. The ESXi hosts of version 6.0 or earlier cannot recognize the VMFS6 datastore.
    VMFS5 VMFS5 datastore supports access by the ESXi hosts of version 6.7 or earlier.
  7. Define configuration details for the datastore.
    Note: The required minimum size for a VMFS6 datastore is 2 GB.
    1. Specify partition configuration.
      Option Description
      Use all available partitions Dedicates the entire disk to a single VMFS datastore. If you select this option, all file systems and data currently stored on this device are destroyed.
      Use free space Deploys a VMFS datastore in the remaining free space of the disk.
    2. If the space allocated for the datastore is excessive for your purposes, adjust the capacity values in the Datastore Size field.
      By default, the entire free space on the storage device is allocated.
    3. For VMFS6, specify the block size and define space reclamation parameters. See Space Reclamation Requests from VMFS Datastores.
  8. In the Ready to Complete page, review the datastore configuration information and click Finish.


The datastore on the SCSI-based storage device is created. It is available to all hosts that have access to the device.