Datastores are logical containers, analogous to file systems, that hide specifics of each storage device and provide a uniform model for storing virtual machine files. You can display all datastores available to your hosts and analyze their properties.

Datastores are added to the vSphere Client in the following ways:

Created on an available storage device.

Discovered when a host is added to the inventory. When you add a host to the inventory, the vSphere Client displays any datastores available to the host.

If your vSphere Client is connected to a vCenter Server system, you can see datastore information in the Datastores and Datastore Clusters view. This view displays all datastores and datastore clusters in the inventory, arranged by a datacenter. Through this view, you can organize datastores into folder hierarchies, create datastores, edit their properties, or remove existing datastores.

This view is comprehensive and shows all information for your datastores and clusters including hosts and virtual machines using the datastores, storage reporting information, permissions, alarms, tasks and events, storage topology, and storage reports.


The Datastores and Datastore Clusters view is not available when the vSphere Client connects directly to your host. In this case, review datastore information through the host storage configuration tab.

The following table describes the datastore details that you can see when you review datastores.

Datastore Information

Datastore Information



Editable name that you assign to the datastore.


Storage device on which the datastore is deployed.

Drive Type

Type of underlying storage device, a Solid State Drive (SSD) or a regular non-SSD hard drive. For details, see Solid State Disks Enablement.


Total formatted capacity of the datastore.


Available space.


File system that the datastore uses, either VMFS or NFS. For information about datastores and how to upgrade to VMFS5, see Working with Datastores.

Storage I/O Control

Information on whether cluster-wide storage I/O prioritization is enabled. See the vSphere Resource Management documentation.

Hardware Acceleration

Information on whether the underlying storage device supports hardware acceleration. The status can be Supported, Not Supported, or Unknown. For details, see Storage Hardware Acceleration.

Location (VMFS datastores)

A path to the datastore in the /vmfs/volumes/ directory.

Server (NFS datastores)

Name or IP address of a NAS server.

Folder (NFS datastores)

Name of a mounted folder.

Extents (VMFS datastores)

Individual extents that the datastore spans and their capacity.

System Storage Capability

Storage capabilities reported by supported storage devices and inherited by the datastores. You cannot modify them.


A multi-extent datastore assumes the system capability of only one of its extents. Reporting multiple system capabilities for the datastore is not supported.

User-defined Storage Capability

Storage capabilities that you define and associate with datastores. For information, see Understanding Storage Capabilities.

Path Selection (VMFS datastores)

Path selection policy the host uses to access storage. For more information, see Understanding Multipathing and Failover.

Paths (VMFS datastores)

Number of paths used to access storage and their status.