Managing the Virtual Machine File System with vmkfstools
VMFS datastores primarily serve as repositories for virtual machines. You can store multiple virtual machines on the same VMFS volume. Each virtual machine, encapsulated in a set of files, occupies a separate single directory. For the operating system inside the virtual machine, VMFS preserves the internal file system semantics.
In addition, you can use the VMFS datastores to store other files, such as virtual machine templates and ISO images. VMFS supports file and block sizes that enable virtual machines to run data-intensive applications, including databases, ERP, and CRM, in virtual machines. See the vSphere Storage documentation.
You use the vmkfstools vCLI to create and manipulate virtual disks, file systems, logical volumes, and physical storage devices on an ESXi host. You can use vmkfstools to create and manage a virtual machine file system (VMFS) on a physical partition of a disk and to manipulate files, such as virtual disks, stored on VMFS-3 and NFS. You can also use vmkfstools to set up and manage raw device mappings (RDMs).
Important The vmkfstools vCLI supports most but not all of the options that the vmkfstools ESXi Shell command supports. See VMware Knowledge Base article 1008194.
You cannot run vmkfstools with - -server pointing to a vCenter Server system.
The vSphere Storage documentation includes a complete reference to the vmkfstools command that you can use in the ESXi Shell. You can use most of the same options with the vmkfstools vCLI command. Specify one of the connection options listed in Connection Options in place of <conn_options>.
The following options supported by the vmkfstools ESXi Shell command are not supported by the vmkfstools vCLI command.