To activate data services that I/O filters provide, associate the I/O filter policy with virtual disks. You can assign the policy when you create or edit a virtual machine.

You can assign the I/O filter policy during an initial deployment of a virtual machine. This topic describes how to assign the policy when you create a new virtual machine. For information about other deployment methods, see the vSphere Virtual Machine Administration documentation.

Note: You cannot change or assign the I/O filter policy when migrating or cloning a virtual machine.


Verify that the I/O filter is installed on the ESXi host where the virtual machine runs.


  1. Start the virtual machine provisioning process and follow the appropriate steps.
  2. Assign the same storage policy to all virtual machine files and disks.
    1. On the Select storage page, select a storage policy from the VM Storage Policy drop-down menu.
    2. Select the datastore from the list of compatible datastores and click Next.
      The datastore becomes the destination storage resource for the virtual machine configuration file and all virtual disks. The policy also activates I/O filter services for the virtual disks.
  3. Change the VM storage policy for the virtual disk.
    Use this option to enable I/O filters just for your virtual disks.
    1. On the Customize hardware page, expand the New hard disk pane.
    2. From the VM storage policy drop-down menu, select the storage policy to assign to the virtual disk.
    3. (Optional) Change the storage location of the virtual disk.
      Use this option to store the virtual disk on a datastore other than the datastore where the VM configuration file resides.
  4. Complete the virtual machine provisioning process.


After you create the virtual machine, the Summary tab displays the assigned storage policies and their compliance status.

What to do next

You can later change the virtual policy assignment. See Change Storage Policy Assignment for Virtual Machine Files and Disks.