Storage Array Type Plug-Ins (SATPs) run in conjunction with the VMware NMP and are responsible for array-specific operations.

ESX offers a SATP for every type of array that VMware supports. It also provides default SATPs that support non-specific active-active and ALUA storage arrays, and the local SATP for direct-attached devices. Each SATP accommodates special characteristics of a certain class of storage arrays and can perform the array-specific operations required to detect path state and to activate an inactive path. As a result, the NMP module itself can work with multiple storage arrays without having to be aware of the storage device specifics.

After the NMP determines which SATP to use for a specific storage device and associates the SATP with the physical paths for that storage device, the SATP implements the tasks that include the following:

Monitors the health of each physical path.

Reports changes in the state of each physical path.

Performs array-specific actions necessary for storage fail-over. For example, for active-passive devices, it can activate passive paths.