Q: Are the storage policies same for VSAN and VVOL?

Not the same as VSAN. They are dependent on the features the array can offer

Q: Can VVOL replace VAAI?

VVol introduces new primitives which basically eliminates the use of VAAI NAS primitives. The VAAI Block primitives whenever a function cannot be performed with the new VVol primates. This is all possible as long as the array can support VAAI and VVol and the storage vendor has chosen to use VAAI as part of their implementation.

Q: Do VVOLs contribute to the max supported paths of 1024?

Yes, you can overcome that limitation

Q: 5 different type of recognized virtual volumes doesnt have template files?

Template files, .vmtx, are a part of the config object types, but don't forget, templates are NOT virtual machines.  We can, however, place templates on Virtual Volumes-based datastores.

Q: So is vSphere API for Data Protection compatible with VVols?

Yes. There are back up vendors that have those implementations in place.

Q: Is there extra license in vSphere for VVOLS?

No.  Standard, Enterprise, and Enterprise Plus all support VVOLS.  See http://www.vmware.com/products/vsphere/compare.html

Q: Do VVOLs conform to requirements of applications such as exchange and clusters which require block based storage and as such is this a block based storage type?

VVols are just the VM objects and derivatives which are controlled through the storage policy framework. Whatever the array can expose as a feature of the array or capability by grouping application focused capabilities that are presented to vSphere in that fashion, then yes!!! you can have specific application policy offerings for things like exchange, SQL, etc. This all happens regardless its block or IP based storage.

Q: Is there a VMware recommendation on size of Storage containers or number of storage containers to be created?

Not from VMware.  There might be recommendations from your storage vendors.

Q: What are the minimum VVOL's  required for VM? Is it only one per VM?

Just like VM files, there are a minimum of 3 objects required.  The CONFIG, MEM (swap), and DATA (virtual disk) to start.

Q: When we power ON the VM, swap file gets created and vanishes when VM is powered OFF. So does it mean VVOL will also get created and will disappear when VM is powered ON/OFF?

Yes.  Exactly.

Q: I may have missed it- the size of the storage container is set where?

On the storage array.

Q: How vvol works with SDRS & RDM - physical/virtual?

Today VVol doesn't interoperate with SDRS. One of the values delivered by Viols is the fact that we don't really want to move data because of its expensive operation. Instead within the array the VM can be individually given what it needs dynamically without moving it. RDMs can still be used as typically used in vSphere but traditionally virtual or physical. Today VVol doesn't support SCSI 3 level reservations and we still can't use a VVol to replace the use of RDMs.

Q: Can you still do metroclusters with storage containers?

That is something that is dictated by the vendor implementation. but today VVol doesn't support array based replication and some other pieces which prevent that from working natively. That capability will be release in the next release

Q: Does the storage container allow you to obtain metrics and "shape/quota" specific vmdk’s?

Yes, and even cost metrics. All dependent on the vendor’s implementation and what they expose

Q: Storage vmotion from array to array is still possible?


Q: Impact by configuring vvol for SDRS configured Infrastructure and RDM configured VM

You can't configure SDRS for VVols. Using RDM is the something as doing it for traditional VMDK. They are the same impacts apply today.

Q: There is a kind of filesystem inside a VVOL i assume, right?

VVol is an object and within the object the namespace is VMFS

Q: As there are 5 types of VVols, at what point all of them will be visible?

When you power on the VM, take snapshots, and then finally if you use some other vSphere specific features like cbrc for View.

Q: How do we store ISOs that get mounted as CDRoms on the VMs. They are not a recognized vVol

You would normally create a namespace on the storage container and stored them there. That namespace would be represented in a config VVol per say

Q: Can I host windows 10 on esxi 4.0

I don't think that is supported, but probably

Q: How do we create thin or thick provision VM?

Virtual disks are thin provisioned, but it's likely that the vendor will enable an object space reservation for virtual disks to make sure that you're not overprovisioned on storage.

Q: Using VVOL's can we guarantee the performance?

If your array can offer some type of QoS capability and you can create a policy for it. Yes!!!!!

Q: So we create a VMFS filesystem datastore on top of VVOL?

VVol is an object and within the object the namespace is VMFS.  So the VMFS namespace exists within the individual virtual volumes.

Q: When using SSH to a host do we still see the VMFS file system and is it still pathed as /vmfs/volume/guid/VMFolder


Q: Is it possible to Storage VMotion from Containers on VVol capable Storage Arrays to LUNs on older arrays and back again seamlessly?

Yes.  Seamlessly!

Q: Will there be support for NFS v4

Yes. The reason why is not supported today is just simple QA from us. That is on target for support soon.

Q: Are multipathing policies the same for Protocol Endpoints (ie RR, fixed etc.) And is it still based on the type of array used?

Yes.  Exactly.  The vendor will likely also have their own plugins for multipathing.

Q: 1 PE can access how many storage containers?

It's a one to many relationship, but your vendor will determine the exact number.

Q: Are there any Powershell cmdlets for vvols?

Not yet. I don't remember request anything specifically, we do have SPBM powershelgl cmdlets and that is what you mainly control from that perspective. Which is in fact very similar to what we do for Virtual SAN

Q: Is there any support for SRM with VVOLs?

Not yet and one of the reasons for that is because today none of the vendors SRA's can talk to the VASA provider which is how vSphere communicated with the array. That will change in the next release

Q: In this case we have to create Disk RAID rules?

You can still build your disks into whatever RAID level you like.  This will inform the CAPABILITIES of that particular storage container.

Q: VASA 2.0 must be supported by Storage vendor to configure Virtual Volume ?


Q: How we can integrate vvol with vRealize Automation. What are the use cased in vRA?

You can do that by using a plugin I developed that introduces the policy framework into vRA. You can see a demo of that in an article I published a few months ago. here is the link http://www.punchingclouds.com/2015/04/14/sds-the-missing-link-storage-automation-for-application-service-catalogs/

Q: Every new VM will create new set of vvols?

Yes.  VMs are now built from VVOLs objects instead of files.

Q: Is there some sort of VM/Appliance in the works that can sit between older arrays and storage to present/emulate VASA2.0 and VVOL?

Yes, the VASA provider could be an appliance or could be implemented on the array directly on the controllers

Q: Is there a way I can check from ESXi out of any current assigned LUN's the current VASA level of current LUN’s?

The VASA level is identified on vCenter when you are adding the storage provider. You can tell what version you have based on the solution you're using. VASA 1.0 delivered a one way communication with vSphere where it told vsphere the things that it could do statically. VASA 2.0 (VVol) is a two way communication where the array can fell vSphere what it can do but then vSphere can tell the array what it wants and what it needs to consume from a feature and capacity perspective. VASA 1.5 is a special version that is exclusive to VSAN. Other than that there is nothing else you need :)

Q: Is VMware provide online training with certification lick MVA?

None of the VMware courses come with a certification.  Certification exams can be taken after the fact, but require some study and preparation. See vmware.com/certification and vmware.com/education.

Q: If I want to replicate my VM, I have to do the replication of all the VVols?

Today array replication is the one capability that is not available. You can do replication with vSphere replication which is performed on a per VMDK basis. This will change in the next release.

Q: Is there an name relationship from PE:storage-container or is it 1:1?

It’s one to many, but will depend on the implementation by the vendor.

Q: Can the policies copied from one VVOL to another?

Absolutely.  You'll prepare your policies in advance, and then apply them as needed to your VMs and individual virtual disks.

Q: Can the policies be adjusted or assigned at any time?

Yes. Dynamically

Q: Using VVOL can we use "array based provisioning" to create a kind of linked clone that hydrates over time?

Yes.  Linked clones are fully supported.

Q: How I/O will be distribute VM to VM?

Via the Protocol endpoints

Q: Can the Array based replication used for replicating the VVOLs

Absolutely.  Array based replication will be one of the "capabilities" expressed by the array vendor to vSphere via VASA.

Q: So the concept of SDRS and datastore clusters falls away now with vvols?

Yes. We're looking into enabling that in the future but the use cases have to be sorted out. There is not need to do that with VVols since an entire array can be presented as a single container. basically there is no need to do such things.

Q: how many VVOL is supported by one ESXi

There is no limit there.  Just like there's no limit to the number of files supported by ESXi.  There may be a limit imposed by the storage vendor on a per storage container basis, but that will be vendor dependent.

Q: Is there a list of backup Vendors who will support vSphere API for Data Protection backups?

I know Veeam is one, and some others that I can't remember. Sorry I failed right here

Q: Can VSAN and VVOL co-exist and if yes, is data migration possible between the two?

Absolutely.  We'll use the VASA primitives if at all possible, then fall back to VAAI.

Q: How we can integrate VVol with vRealize Automation. What are the use cased in vRA?

You can do that by using a plugin I developed that introduces the policy framework into vRA. You can see a demo of that in an article I published a few months ago. here is the link http://www.punchingclouds.com/2015/04/14/sds-the-missing-link-storage-automation-for-application-service-catalogs/

Q: Which VMware Products are interoperable with Virtual Volumes (VVols)?

VMware Products that are interoperable with Virtual Volumes (VVols) are:

  • VMware vSphere 6.0.x
  • VMware vRealize Automation 6.2.x (formerly known as VMware vCloud Automation Center)
  • VMware Horizon 6.1.x
  • VMware vSphere Replication 6.0.x
  • VMware vRealize Operations Manager 6.0.x (formerly known as VMware vCenter Operations Manager)
  • VMware vCloud Air
  • VMware Site Recovery Manager 5.x to 6.0.x
  • VMware vSphere Data Protection 5.x to 6.0.x
  • VMware Data Recovery 2.x
  • VMware vCloud Director 5.x
  • VMware NSX for vSphere 6.x
  • Storage Policy Based Management (SPBM)
  • Thin Provisioning
  • Linked Clones
  • Native Snapshots
  • View Storage Accelerator/Content Based Read Cache (CBRC)
  • Storage vMotion
  • vSphere Flash Read Cache
  • Virtual SAN (VSAN)
  • vSphere Auto Deploy
  • High Availability (HA)
  • vMotion
  • xvMotion
  • vSphere Software Development Kit (SDK)
  • NFS version 3.x
  • Storage I/O Control
  • NFS version 4.1
  • IPv6
  • Storage Distributed Resource Scheduler (SDRS)
  • Fault Tolerance (FT)
  • SMP-FT
  • vSphere API for I/O Filtering (VAIO)
  • Array-based replication
  • Raw Device Mapping (RDM)
  • Microsoft Failover Clustering 

Q: Which VMware Products are currently NOT interoperable with Virtual Volumes (VVols)?

VMware Products are currently not interoperable with Virtual Volumes (VVols) are:

Q: Which VMware vSphere 6.0.x features are interoperable with Virtual Volumes (VVols)?

VMware vSphere 6.0.x features that are interoperable with Virtual Volumes (VVols) are:

Q: Which VMware vSphere 6.0.x features are currently NOT interoperable with Virtual Volumes (VVols)?

VMware vSphere 6.0.x features that are not interoperable with Virtual Volumes (VVols) are:

Q: What are the software and storage hardware requirements for Virtual Volumes?

You need the VMware vSphere 6.0 bits and your equivalent array vendor Virtual Volumes bits. For more information, see the VMware Compatibility Guide.

Q: Where can I get the storage array vendor Virtual Volumes bits?

Storage vendors are providing Virtual Volumes integration in different ways. Contact your storage vendor for more details or visit your vendor’s website for more information on Virtual Volumes integration.

Q: What is a Protocol Endpoint (PE)?

Protocol endpoints are the access points from the hosts to the storage systems, which are created by storage administrators. All path and policies are administered by protocol endpoints. Protocol Endpoints are compliant with both, iSCSI and NFS. They are intended to replace the concept of LUNs and mount points. For more information, see the Working with Virtual Volumes section of the VMware vSphere 6.0 Documentation.

Q: What is a storage container and how does it relates to a Virtual Datastore?

Storage container is logical abstraction on to which Virtual Volumes are mapped and stored. Storage containers are setup at the array level and associated with array capabilities. vSphere will map storage container to Virtual Datastore and provide applicable datastore level functionality. The Virtual Datastore is a key element and it allows the vSphere Admin to provision virtual machines without depending on the Storage Admin. Moreover, the Virtual Datastore provides logic abstraction for managing very large number of Virtual Volumes. This abstraction can be used for better managing multi-tenancy, various departments within a single organization, etc.

Q: I use multi-pathing policies today. How do I continue to use them with Virtual Volumes?

All multi-pathing policies today will be applied to PE device. This means if path failover happens, it is applicable to all Virtual Volumes bound on that PE. Multi-pathing plugins have been modified not to treat internal Virtual Volume error conditions as path failure. vSphere makes sure that older MPPs does not claim PE device.

Q: How many Storage Containers can I have per storage array?

It depends on how a given array is configured. There is a limit of 256 storage containers per host. For more information, see the VMware vSphere 6.0 Configuration Maximums Guide and contact your Storage Array vendor for additional details.

Q: Can a single Virtual Datastore span different physical arrays?


Q: Can I use VAAI enabled storage arrays along with Virtual Volumes enabled arrays?

Yes. VMware vSphere will use VAAI support whenever possible.VMware mandates ATS support for configuring Virtual Volumes on SCSI.

Q: Can I use legacy datastores along with Virtual Volumes?


Q: Can I replace RDMs with Virtual Volumes?

Whenever an application requires direct access to the physical storage device, a pass through RDM is required to be configured. Virtual Volumes are not a replacement for pass-thru RDM (ptRDM). Virtual Volumes are superior to non-pass-thru RDM (nptRDM) in a majority of virtual disks use cases.

Q: Is VMware APIs for Storage Awareness (VASA) 2.0 a requirements for Virtual Volumes support?

Yes. Virtual Volumes does require VASA 2.0. The version 2.0 of the VASA protocol introduces a new set of APIs specifically for Virtual Volumes that are used to manage storage containers and Virtual Volumes. It also provides communication between the vCenter Server, ESXi hosts, and the storage arrays. For more information on the list of certified Storage Arrays for VVols support, see the VMware Certified Compatibility Guides

Q: How does Virtual Volumes affect backup software vendors?

Virtual Volumes are modeled in VMware vSphere exactly as today's virtual disks. The VADP APIs backup vendors use are fully supported on Virtual Volumes just as they are on vmdk files on a LUN. Backup software using VADP should be unaffected. Contact your backup vendor for additional details.

Q: Will PowerCLI provide support for native Virtual Volumes cmdlets?


Source: VMware Virtual Volumes (VVols) interoperability with other vSphere products and features (2112039)