You use the New Datastore wizard to create your datastores in the vSphere environment. Depending on the type of your storage and storage needs, you can create a VMFS, NFS, or Virtual Volumes datastore.

A vSAN datastore is automatically created when you enable vSAN. For information, see the Administering VMware vSAN documentation.

You can also use the New Datastore wizard to manage VMFS datastore copies. See vSphere VMFS Datastore Copies and Datastore Resignaturing.

Create a vSphere VMFS Datastore

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

Prerequisites

Procedure

  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 vSphere VMFS Datastore Copies and Datastore Resignaturing.
  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 on vSphere VMFS Datastores.
  8. In the Ready to Complete page, review the datastore configuration information and click Finish.

Results

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

What to do next

After you create the VMFS datastore, you can perform the following tasks:

Create an NFS Datastore in vSphere Environment

You can use the New Datastore wizard to mount an NFS volume.

Prerequisites

  • Set up NFS storage environment.
  • If you plan to use Kerberos authentication with the NFS 4.1 datastore, make sure to configure the ESXi hosts for Kerberos authentication.
  • If you plan to isolate the NFS 3 traffic to a specific VMkernel adapter that you connect to the datastore, create and configure the VMkernel adapter on default TCP/IP stack. For more information, see Configure VMkernel Binding for NFS 3 Datastore on ESXi Host.

Procedure

  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 NFS as the datastore type and specify an NFS version.
    • NFS 3
    • NFS 4.1
    Important: If multiple hosts access the same datastore, you must use the same protocol on all hosts.
  4. Enter the datastore parameters.
    Option Description
    Datastore name The system enforces a 42 character limit for the datastore name.
    Folder The mount point folder name
    Server The server name or IP address. You can use IPv6 or IPv4 formats.

    With NFS 4.1, you can add multiple IP addresses or server names if the NFS server supports trunking. The ESXi host uses these values to achieve multipathing to the NFS server mount point.

  5. Select Mount NFS read only if the volume is exported as read-only by the NFS server.
  6. To connect the NFS 3 datastore to a specific VMkernel adapter, select Bind to vmknic. For more information, see Configure VMkernel Binding for NFS 3 Datastore on ESXi Host.
    Note: Only NFS 3 datastores support connections to VMkernel adapters.
  7. To use Kerberos security with NFS 4.1, enable Kerberos and select an appropriate Kerberos model.
    Option Description
    Use Kerberos for authentication only (krb5) Supports identity verification
    Use Kerberos for authentication and data integrity (krb5i) In addition to identity verification, provides data integrity services. These services help to protect the NFS traffic from tampering by checking data packets for any potential modifications.
    If you do not enable Kerberos, the datastore uses the default AUTH_SYS security.
  8. If you create a datastore at the data center or cluster level, select hosts that mount the datastore.
  9. Review the configuration options and click Finish.

Create a Virtual Volumes Datastore in vSphere Environment

You use the New Datastore wizard to create a Virtual Volumes datastore.

For more information about the Virtual Volumes datastore, see Virtual Volumes Datastores.

Procedure

  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 vVol as the datastore type.
  4. Enter the datastore name and select a backing storage container from the list of storage containers.
    Make sure to use the name that does not duplicate another datastore name in your data center environment.

    If you mount the same Virtual Volumes datastore to several hosts, the name of the datastore must be consistent across all hosts.

  5. Select the hosts that require access to the datastore.
  6. Review the configuration options and click Finish.
    The screenshot shows configuration for the Virtual Volumes datastore you are creating.

What to do next

After you create the Virtual Volumes datastore, you can perform the following operations: