Add a Datastore in vCloud Director 5.5

As you may know, vCloud Director 5.1 recognized ‘Storage Profiles’ instead of recognizing datastore or datastore clusters directly. In VCD 5.5, ‘Storage Profiles’ are changed to ‘Storage Policies’ .This change of concept and term from ‘Profiles’ to ‘Policies’ may make some issues when you want to add a Datastore and utilize it in vCloud Director 5.5. As a matter of fact, if you (like me) are used to vSphere Client instead of vSphere Web Client to do your tasks (because it seems faster!) you will fall into troubles and this is one of those scenarios.

The normal procedure to add a datastore to the infrastructure in order to provision it in vCloud Director 5.1 is:

  1. Add datastore to the VMware infrastructure in vCenter using VMware vSphere Client (or Web Client)
  2. Assign a pre-defined ‘Storage Capability’ to datastore. If you didn’t define ‘Storage Capability’ yet see link above to see how to create and enable it. This ‘Storage Capability’ is assigned to a ‘Storage Policy’ itself! I know it’s confusing! and ‘Storage Profiles’ are known in vCloud Director through connected vCenter. An important bug is mentioned here that you should assign a ‘Storage Capability’ to your datastore before adding it to a datastore cluster. Keep this in mind if you are just adding datastore to an existing ‘Storage Profile’.
  3. So, if you didn’t add ‘Storage Profile’ in vCloud Director before, you should do so now; if it’s introduced before you can right-click on your vCenter in vCloud Director (‘Manage and Monitor’) and ‘Refresh Storage Profiles’. It’s not necessary, it will be done automatically after some time.

The regular procedure and storage terms in vSphere/VCD 5.5 is different than 5.1. The point is vSphere Client 5.5 (not Web Client) is still using the old terms and if you add datastore using vSphere Client 5.5, datastore cluster will disappear in vCloud Director and Provider VDC’s will not have access to datastores! No need to say it’s not a pleasant situation! So, to utilize a new datastore in vCloud Director 5.5 follow the procedure explained here. As I said, it’s very important to use vSphere Web Client to add datastore to infrastructure. In brief:

  1. Add datastore to the VMware infrastructure in vCenter
  2. The good thing in vSphere 5.5 is that there is no ‘Storage Capability’ which is less confusing (it’s confusing because you expect to find a very complicated concept but when you use it you see that it’s nothing more than a label!) and it’s replaced by a simple word: ‘tag’. So, if you already defined a ‘Storage Policy’ with a known ‘tag’, the only thing is to ‘Assign  Tag’ to datastore by right-clicking on it. If you have upgraded infrastructure from 5.1, storage capabilities are already converted to tags.
  3. Right-click on your vCenter in vCloud Director (‘Manage and Monitor’) and ‘Refresh Storage Policies’. As you see storage profile is replaced with storage policy in VCD 5.5.
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2TB Datastore or Bigger?

I’ve got some design considerations about creating Volumes in storage which supposed to be used by virtualization infrastructure (VMware 5.1) as datastore; I ended up reading this great article by Michael Webster which saved my day and I would like to share:
The Case for Larger Than 2TB Virtual Disks and The Gotcha with VMFS
Overall, it seems that VMware vSphere 5.5 has good advantages and improvements over 5.1.