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vSAN Storage Policies: An Ultimate Guide to Understand their Impact

  • By Amit
  • December 18, 2023

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In the dynamic virtualization world, VMware’s vSAN has emerged as a versatile and powerful storage solution, offering agility, scalability, and fine-grained control over your virtualized infrastructure. Storage policies are at the heart of vSAN’s flexibility, which allows you to define data placement and protection rules for your virtual machines. This guide will delve into vSAN storage policies, explore their significance, and learn how to create and manage them effectively.


Before we get started, make sure you have the following:

  1. A vSAN cluster is set up and running.
  2. Access to VMware vCenter Server.
  3. Familiarity with VMware vSphere.

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Understanding vSAN Storage Policies

We should ask, What Are vSAN Storage Policies, and Why is it important to know? vSAN storage policies are customizable rules that dictate how data is stored and protected within a vSAN cluster. These policies define aspects like the number of replicas, stripe width, and failure tolerance methods for your virtual machines.

Components of a Storage Policy have mainly two components:

  1. Failures to Tolerate (FTT) determines the number of simultaneous host or device failures a virtual machine’s objects can tolerate. A policy can specify the number of failures (e.g., FTT=1) or use policies like RAID-1 mirroring.
  2. Rule-Sets: Rule-sets are used to define specific requirements for data placement. For instance, you can specify that certain VMs must be stored on flash devices for high performance.


Creating and Managing vSAN Storage Policies

Below are steps to create a Storage Policy for your vSAN environments.

  1. Log in to the vSphere Web Client.
  2. Navigate to the vSAN cluster.
  3. Click “Policies and Profiles” and select “VM Storage Policies.”
  4. Click “Create VM Storage Policy.”
  5. Define the rules for your storage policy, including FTT, failure method, and any required rule sets.
  6. Save the policy with a descriptive name.

Applying a Storage Policy

  1. Select the VM or VMDK to which you want to apply a policy.
  2. Click “Edit VM Storage Policy.”
  3. Choose the desired storage policy from the list.
  4. Apply the policy to the VM or VMDK.

Performance Considerations

vSAN storage policies can significantly affect the performance of your VMs. For instance, policies that require data to be mirrored across multiple hosts might provide better data protection but could impact performance due to higher overhead.

Data Protection and Availability

vSAN storage policies directly impact data protection and availability. Policies that specify more replicas or failures to provide stronger protection, while policies with fewer replicas may prioritize storage efficiency over data redundancy

Resource Allocation

Each policy can allocate different resources to your VMs, such as flash or capacity devices, and this allocation affects the overall performance and efficiency of your vSAN cluster.

Best Practices and Tips

Start Simple

Begin with straightforward storage policies and gradually add complexity as you become more familiar with vSAN’s capabilities.

Monitor Performance

Regularly monitor VM and vSAN performance to ensure that your policies balance protection and efficiency.

Document and Test

Keep clear documentation of your storage policies and thoroughly test their impact on your virtualized environment before deploying in production.

Stay Up to Date

VMware continually enhances vSAN features and policies. Keep your vSAN environment up to date and adapt your policies accordingly.


Mastering vSAN storage policies empowers you to tailor your virtualized infrastructure to your specific needs. By comprehending the nuances of storage policies, creating and managing them effectively, and considering their impact on performance, data protection, and resource allocation, you can harness the full potential of VMware’s vSAN to create a dynamic and efficient virtualized data centre that aligns precisely with your organizational requirements.

Further Reading



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