You can use third-party management applications with your ESXi host.

Most SAN hardware is packaged with storage management software. In many cases, this software is a Web application that can be used with any Web browser connected to your network. In other cases, this software typically runs on the storage system or on a single server, independent of the servers that use the SAN for storage.

Use this third-party management software for the following tasks:

  • Storage array management, including LUN creation, array cache management, LUN mapping, and LUN security.
  • Setting up replication, check points, snapshots, or mirroring.

If you run the SAN management software on a virtual machine, you gain the benefits of a virtual machine, including failover with vMotion and VMware HA. Because of the additional level of indirection, however, the management software might not see the SAN. In this case, you can use an RDM.

Note: Whether a virtual machine can run management software successfully depends on the particular storage system.