You can edit cluster properties to enable Virtual SAN for an existing cluster.

After enabling Virtual SAN on your cluster, you cannot move Virtual SAN hosts from a Virtual SAN enabled cluster to a non-Virtual SAN cluster.


Verify that your environment meets all requirements. See Requirements for Enabling Virtual SAN.


  1. Navigate to an existing host cluster in the vSphere Web Client.
  2. Click the Configure tab.
  3. Under Virtual SAN, select General and click Edit to edit the cluster settings.
  4. Select the mode for storage devices to be claimed.
    Option Description
    Automatic Claims all empty devices on the included hosts for Virtual SAN. Virtual SAN in automatic mode claims only local devices on the ESXi hosts in the cluster. You can add any remote, nonshared devices manually.
    Manual Requires manual claiming of the devices on the included hosts. New devices on the host are not added to Virtual SAN. With the manual mode, two methods of organizing devices into disk groups exist, semi-automatic and manual.
    Note: When you use this mode, a Virtual SAN datastore is created, with the initial size of zero byte. The datastore remains unusable until you manually claim devices.
  5. If you want to enable deduplication and compression on the cluster, select Deduplication and compression Enabled.
    Virtual SAN will automatically upgrade the on-disk format, causing a rolling reformat of every disk group in the cluster.
  6. Click OK.

What to do next

If you use the manual mode for claiming storage devices, claim the devices or create disk groups. See Device Management in a Virtual SAN Cluster.