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 vCenter Server in the following ways:

Created on an available storage device.

Discovered when a host is added to vCenter Server. When you add a host, vCenter Server displays any datastores available to the host.

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. For information on renaming a datastore, see

Device Backing

Storage device on which the datastore is deployed (VMFS), or server and folder (NFS).

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 Type

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.