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

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This article provides supporting document to the VMware Product Interoperability Matrix regarding VMware Virtual Volumes (VVols) interoperability with other vSphere 6.0.x products and features.


  1. 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

  2. Which VMware Products are currently NOT interoperable with Virtual Volumes (VVols)?

    VMware Products that are currently not interoperable with Virtual Volumes (VVols) are:
    • VMware vRealize Operations Manager 6.0.x to 6.1.0 (formerly known as VMware vCenter Operations Manager)
    • VMware Site Recovery Manager 5.x to 6.1.0
    • VMware vSphere Data Protection 5.x to 6.1.0
    • VMware vCloud Director 5.x
    • VMware vCloud Director for Service Provider 8.x

  3. Which VMware Products have deployment considerations to be aware of with Virtual Volumes (VVols)?

    VMware NSX for vSphere 6.x - The deployment of virtual machine workloads attached to the NSX networks and stored on VVol datastores is supported. The deployment of NSX infrastructure components (the NSX Manager and Controller instances) on VVol storage is currently not supported by VMware.

  4. 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:

    • High Availability (HA)
    • Linked Clones
    • Native Snapshots
    • NFS version 3.x
    • Storage Policy Based Management (SPBM)
    • Storage vMotion
    • Thin Provisioning
    • View Storage Accelerator/Content Based Read Cache (CBRC)
    • vSAN
    • vSphere Auto Deploy
    • vSphere Flash Read Cache
    • vSphere Software Development Kit (SDK)
    • vSphere API for I/O Filtering (VAIO)
    • vMotion
    • xvMotion

  5. 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:
    • Fault Tolerance (FT)
    • IPv6
    • Microsoft Failover Clustering
    • NFS version 4.1
    • Raw Device Mapping (RDM)
    • SMP-FT
    • Storage Distributed Resource Scheduler (SDRS)
    • Storage I/O Control

  6. 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.

  7. 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 the website of your vendor for more information on Virtual Volumes integration.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Can a single Virtual Datastore span different physical arrays?


  13. 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.

  14. Can I use legacy datastores along with Virtual Volumes?


  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. How does Virtual Volumes affect backup software vendors?

    Virtual Volumes are modeled in VMware vSphere exactly as thevirtual disks of today. 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.

  18. Will PowerCLI provide support for native Virtual Volumes cmdlets?


Note: VMware vSphere Replication 6.0.x supports replication of virtual machines on Virtual Volumes (VVols) with limitations. VMware Site Recovery Manager 6.0.x does not support the protection of virtual machines on Virtual Volumes, even if you use vSphere Replication as the replication technology for protection. For more information, see the Caveats and Limitations section of the VMware vCenter Site Recovery manager 6.0 Release Notes.

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