Datastores are logical containers, analogous to file systems, that hide specifics of each storage device and provide a uniform model for storing virtual machine files. You can display all datastores available to your hosts and analyze their properties.

Datastores are added to vCenter Server in the following ways:

  • You can create a VMFS datastore, an NFS version 3 or 4.1 datastore, or a vVols datastore using the New Datastore wizard. A vSAN datastore is automatically created when you enable vSAN.
  • When you add an ESXi host to vCenter Server, all datastores on the host are added to vCenter Server.

The following table describes datastore details that you can see when you review datastores through the vSphere Client. Certain characteristic might not be available or applicable to all types of datastores.

Table 1. Datastore Information
Datastore Information Applicable Datastore Type Description
Name VMFS

NFS

vSAN

vVol

Editable name that you assign to a datastore. For information on renaming a datastore, see Change Datastore Name.
Type VMFS

NFS

vSAN

vVol

File system that the datastore uses. For information about VMFS and NFS datastores and how to manage them, see Working with Datastores.

For information about vSAN datastores, see the Administering VMware vSAN documentation.

For information about vVols, see Working with VMware vSphere Virtual Volumes (vVols).

Device Backing VMFS

NFS

vSAN

Information about underlying storage, such as a storage device on which the datastore is deployed (VMFS), server and folder (NFS), or disk groups (vSAN).
Protocol Endpoints vVol Information about corresponding protocol endpoints. See Protocol Endpoints.
Extents VMFS Individual extents that the datastore spans and their capacity.
Drive Type VMFS Type of the underlying storage device, such as a flash drive or a regular HHD drive. For details, see Working with Flash Devices.
Capacity VMFS

NFS

vSAN

vVol

Includes total capacity, provisioned space, and free space.
Mount Point VMFS

NFS

vSAN

vVol

A path to the datastore in the /vmfs/volumes/ directory of the host.
Capability Sets VMFS
Note: A multi-extent VMFS datastore assumes capabilities of only one of its extents.

NFS

vSAN

vVol

Information about storage data services that the underlying storage entity provides. You cannot modify them.
Storage I/O Control VMFS

NFS

Information on whether cluster-wide storage I/O prioritization is enabled. See the vSphere Resource Management documentation.
Hardware Acceleration VMFS

NFS

vSAN

vVol

Information on whether the underlying storage entity supports hardware acceleration. The status can be Supported, Not Supported, or Unknown. For details, see Storage Hardware Acceleration.
Note: NFS 4.1 does not support Hardware Acceleration.
Tags VMFS

NFS

vSAN

vVol

Datastore capabilities that you define and associate with datastores in a form of tags. For information, see Assign Tags to Datastores.
Connectivity with Hosts VMFS

NFS

vVol

Hosts where the datastore is mounted.
Multipathing VMFS

vVol

Path selection policy the host uses to access storage. For more information, see Understanding Multipathing and Failover.