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Storage vMotion between NFS and VMFS datastores

Today the question was asked if VMware supports migrating a virtual machine with Storage vMotion between NFS and VMFS datastores.

It appears no documentation is explicitly stating whether or not it is supported.

The official answer is Yes, VMware supports Storage vMotion between NFS and VMFS datastores. Please note that VAAI hardware offload is not leveraged as the data is moved between Filesystem and block based storage.

This entry was posted in vSphere on by .
Frank Denneman

About Frank Denneman

Frank Denneman is a senior technical marketing architect within the Cloud Infrastructure Product Marketing group at VMware. He is responsible for resource management in general, with a focus on distributed resource management, Storage IO Control and the vMotion platform.

10 thoughts on “Storage vMotion between NFS and VMFS datastores

    1. Phil

      Indeed, I moved well over 1000 VM’s last year using storage vMotion…I thought one of the biggest points of it was to migrate storage 😉

  1. Steve

    Frank I have a question that I can’t get a straight answer on regarding Storage vMotion from an NFS datastore to a VMFS datastore maybe you can shed some light on.

    If I have a thin provisioned 1TB disk with 10GB of data it and I Storage vMotion it from an NFS datastore to a VMFS datastore (connected either with iSCSI or SAS) it will take ALL the whitespace in the disk with it and it takes forever to move.

    Take that same disk and move it from VMFS back to NFS and it takes just a few minutes since it’s only copying the data and not the whitespace.

    Depending on who I’ve talked to at VMWare and NetApp you’ll get two different answers 1) this is completely normal since VMWare can’t see the data inside the NFS file or 2) this is not right and there is a problem.

    What are your thoughts on this? Thanks.

  2. Seref


    I’m also interested NFS to VMFS (FC) storage vMotion. Actually, I’m interested in the follwing scenerio.
    – NFS (site A) to NFS (Site B) (data replication w/ SnapMirror);
    – NFS (Site B) to VMFS (FC) (Site B); and
    – VMFS (FC) (Site B) to VMFS (Site C) (w/ SnapMirror).

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  5. maddy

    if there is supposed to be a migration between two datacenters connected with 1 gig network cable ..and there is no netapp or open filer available …
    Can i create a windows nfs server and mount it as a datastore on hosts at source and target side and do a vmotion ????


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