A storage capability outlines the quality of service that a storage system can deliver. It is a guarantee that the storage system can provide a specific set of characteristics for capacity, performance, availability, redundancy, and so on.

If a storage system uses Storage APIs - Storage Awareness, it informs vCenter Server that it can guarantee a specific set of storage features by presenting them as a storage capability. vCenter Server recognizes the capability and adds it to the list of storage capabilities in the Manage Storage Capabilities dialog box. Such storage capabilities are system-defined. vCenter Server assigns the system-defined storage capability to each datastore that you create from that storage system.

Note

Because multiple system capabilities for a datastore are not supported, a datastore that spans several extents assumes the system capability of only one of its extents.

You can create user-defined storage capabilities and associate them with datastores. You should associate the same user-defined capability with datastores that guarantee the same level of storage capabilities. You can associate a user-defined capability with a datastore that already has a system-defined capability. A datastore can have only one system-defined and only one user-defined capability at a time.

For more information about Storage APIs - Storage Awareness, see Using Storage Vendor Providers.

You define storage requirements for virtual machines and virtual disks by adding storage capabilities to virtual machine storage profiles.