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The Truth About vSAN ESA Auto Policy Mastery

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Welcome to the world of VMware vSAN, where Express Storage Architecture (ESA), Next Gen Storage Architecture, was recently introduced by VMware vSAN HCI infrastructure product vSAN Version 8.0. ESA Cluster can meet Auto Policy Management, where vSAN admin can optimize their storage environment seamlessly. In this DIY guide, we’ll walk through the steps to harness the power of vSAN’s Auto Policy Management for a more efficient and automated storage experience. Enable the vSAN ESA Cluster so that vSAN will automatically optimize and recommend the default storage policy for your vSAN Datastore using a given cluster size (No of Cluster Nodes) and type.

Note one thing here: vSAN ESA maximizes storage efficiency by dynamically allocating and reclaiming space. In addition, Auto Policy Management takes this a step further by automating the assignment of storage policies to objects within the vSAN cluster adaptively, considering the total number of cluster members present at that time. This measure assures the vSAN admin that all VMs of your infrastructure will use the most optimal storage policy automatically.

vSAN will examine the current cluster configuration – number of hosts, topology, reservations for host rebuild, and internal vSAN operation reserve- and then adjust the default datastore storage policies for all your VMs.



Before diving into the Auto Policy Management setup, ensure you have the following prerequisites in place:

1. vSphere Web Client or vSphere Client: Access the vSphere Web Client or vSphere Client.
2. VMware vSAN ESA Cluster: Confirm that you have a vSAN cluster running.
3. vCenter Server: Connect your vSAN cluster and vCenter Server.

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Demonstration Accessing vSAN Auto Policy Management

Step 1: Log in to vSphere Web Client or vSphere Client.

Step 2: Select your vSAN cluster from the inventory. Click on Configure and Go to vSAN Services.

Go to the “Configure” tab in the cluster view and select “vSAN” from the left-hand menu. Explore “Storage Policies” Tab.

Step 3: Configuring Auto Policy Management – Enable Auto Policy Management. Locate the option to enable Auto Policy Management. This setting allows vSAN to assign storage policies automatically based on predefined rules.

Double-check your configurations and save the settings.

Step 4: Select CludThat-Demo-Cluster-vSANDatastore from the storage inventory. Go to Configure, and under the General setting, check out the optimal policy by default adapted by vSAN through the auto policy feature. In our case, it is RAID-6, FTT=02.

Step 5: Testing Auto Policy Management is our next step. Now, test the virtual machine after configuring the Auto Policy Management. Create a new virtual machine within your vSAN cluster. Observe the Auto Policy Assignment associated with that VM.

As you create the VM, note how vSAN dynamically assigns the appropriate storage policy based on your defined rules.



In this blog, we have successfully implemented vSAN ESA Auto Policy Management in our VMware environment. By automating storage policies, you’ve streamlined the management of your vSAN cluster, ensuring efficient and optimized storage allocation.

Feel free to explore additional features and customization options within vSAN to tailor your storage environment further. Happy virtualizing!


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1. How does Auto Policy Management work in VMware vSAN? Can you explain how Auto Policy Management dynamically assigns storage policies to virtual machines within a vSAN cluster?

ANS: – Auto Policy Management in vSAN defines rules and criteria for storage policies. As virtual machines are created or modified, vSAN automatically assigns the most appropriate storage policy based on the predefined rules, optimizing storage efficiency and meeting performance requirements.

2. How does leveraging Auto Policy Management enhance the management and efficiency of a vSAN cluster?

ANS: – Auto Policy Management streamlines storage management by automating the assignment of storage policies. This results in improved efficiency, reduced manual intervention and ensures that VMs receive the right storage resources based on predefined criteria, enhancing overall performance.

3. Can administrators define their criteria and rules for storage policy assignment with Auto Policy Management?

ANS: – Yes, vSAN allows administrators to define custom rules for Auto Policy Management. This customization empowers organizations to tailor storage policies based on their specific performance, availability, and capacity requirements.  

4. What tools and metrics are available to monitor the performance and efficiency gains achieved through Auto Policy Management?

ANS: – Administrators can utilize vSAN’s monitoring features, including the vSAN Health Service and vSAN Performance Service, to track storage efficiency metrics. These tools provide insights into how Auto Policy Management optimizes storage resources within the vSAN cluster.

5. Is Auto Policy Management suitable for all types of workloads?

ANS: – Auto Policy Management in vSAN is versatile and can benefit many workloads. It is especially useful in dynamic environments where VMs have varying storage requirements. Auto Policy Management ensures efficient resource allocation, whether performance-sensitive applications or general-purpose workloads.  

WRITTEN BY Rahulkumar Shrimali



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