When you use an ESX/ESXi system in conjunction with a SAN, you must decide whether host-based tools are more suitable for your particular situation.

When you consider a file-based solution that uses VMware tools and VMFS instead of the array tools, be aware of the following points:

Using VMware tools and VMFS is better for provisioning. One large LUN is allocated and multiple .vmdk files can be placed on that LUN. With RDM, a new LUN is required for each virtual machine.

Snapshotting is included with your ESX/ESXi host at no extra cost. The file-based solution is therefore more cost-effective than the array-based solution.

Using VMFS is easier for ESX/ESXi administrators.

ESX/ESXi administrators who use the file-based solution are more independent from the SAN administrator.