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Using Storage Profiles with vCloud Director

VMware vCloud Director can now take advantage of Storage Profiles. This may not be new to you any more, but if you’ve had any trouble configuring them in order to have vCloud Director consume Storage Profiles, please read on. By default, the “*(Any)” Storage Profile is created and used, but what if you want to start doing some storage tiering within your Provider Virtual Datacenter (PvDC)? I’m going to walk you through how to configure and use the storage profiles from beginning to end. Yes, this includes from vCenter all the way through to placing a vApp on that Storage Profile within vCloud Director.

As always, you must have the appropriate licensing in order to enable and utilize Storage Profiles.

You may have already gotten yourself started by reading through Cormac’s extensive blogs around Profile Driven Storage here, and that should have you starting to understand the capabilities we are going to be using. Also, don’t forget about this blog (which also contains a great video towards the bottom) by Tom Stephens which explains why you might want to use Storage Profiles within vCloud Director. Now that we’re all on the same page, let’s get started.

Configuring the Storage Profiles in vCenter

First, create your VM Storage Profiles within vSphere vCenter. In this demonstration, we’ll use the vSphere Web Client, but as you can see from Cormac’s blog, the process is almost exactly the same. In addition to Cormac’s write-up, we’ll be creating the User-Defined Storage Capabilities, too.

Select the VM Storage Profiles link from your home screen in the vSphere Web Client:

Select “Create a new VM Storage Profile:”

Name (and add an optional Description) your Storage Profile and select Ok. We would also select Storage Capabilities here, but we haven’t created these yet. We’ll create them in a following step, but you could do them in either order:

As mentioned by many others, do NOT forget to “enable” the Storage Profiles for your particular clusters:

Select the appropriate Cluster(s) and click “Enable”:

Next, create Storage Capabilities. This is a step people may miss that will prevent your Storage Profiles from showing up in vCloud Director:

I’ve used a naming convention throughout this to keep things consistent. Enter the Name (description optional) and click Ok:

Now that we’ve created the Storage Profiles, we need to assign them to the datastores in our Datastore Clusters. Select “Storage” from the Home screen in the vSphere Web Client:

Create a new Datastore Cluster and add datastores to it if you haven’t done this already:

Now, for each datastore within a Datastore Cluster, “Assign Storage Capabilities” to each one. It’s important to select the same Storage Capability for each datastore in that particular Datastore Cluster (you can also select multiple datastores at the same time and edit them together):

Select the appropriate User-Defined Storage Capability. Again, I’ve selecting the same naming convention here as well:

This concludes created the VM Storage Profiles in vSphere, but now we need to add these Storage Profiles into our vCloud Director environment.

Configuring Storage Profiles within vCloud Director

First, select your Provider Virtual Datacenter and select the “Storage Profiles” tab. Storage Profiles must be assigned to the PvDC before they can be added to and consumed by the Organization Virtual Datacenter (Org vDC):

Select one or more of the available Storage Profiles and click “Add” for each one. Click “Ok” when finished. You don’t have to add all of the Storage Profiles to a particular PvDC:

Next, open the appropriate Organization Virtual Datacenter within that Provider Virtual Datacenter:

Select the “Storage Profiles” tab and click on the plus sign to add Storage Profiles to this Org vDC:

Once added, you can make any (but only one at any one time) of the Storage Profiles the default Storage Profile to be used:

Storage Profiles Not Appearing in vCloud Director

That’s it! We’ve now create VM Storage Profiles in vSphere, and added Storage Profiles to Providers and Organizations within vCloud Director. If you find later on that you are creating more VM Storage Profiles within vSphere and they aren’t appearing for you to add to a PvDC within vCloud Director, go to your vCenters menu within vCD, select the appropriate vCenter, and select “Refresh Storage Profiles.” This should now enable you to add the Storage Profiles to the Providers:

As you are creating vApps, you will find the default Storage Profile is selected, but you can also change the Storage Profile selection, pending you have some available and have the proper permissions to do so:

Thanks for stopping by!

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Harry Smith

About Harry Smith

Harry Smith is a Senior Technical Marketing Manager in the SDDC Technical Marketing group at VMware. Harry currently focuses on the Software-Defined Datacenter infrastructure, including the vCloud Suite and other products that may go along with it. Previous to Technical Marketing, Harry worked within the VMware Professional Services Organization. His main focus was vCloud Director (and Lab Manager) private clouds, especially SDLC (Test/Dev) in the cloud. He has a long history with vCloud/vSphere Architecture Design, as well as concentrating on business, people, and process to assist in the adoption of virtualization strategies to align with business goals. Get notification of new blog postings and more by following Harry on Twitter: @HarrySiii

10 thoughts on “Using Storage Profiles with vCloud Director

  1. magander3

    Great post. Many customers ask me how to assign a storage capability to several Datastores the same time. Just mark the Datacenter object, click the Datastores tab, select the Datastores, right click and select “Assign Storage Capability.
    Instead of selecting the Datacenter object you can select the Datastore Cluster.

    I bet you can use PowerCLI as well:)

    1. Harry SmithHarry Smith Post author

      Very true, and that appears to be a much easier way, too. 😉 Thanks for the tip. I never even tried it in the Web Client. I just assumed it couldn’t be done in there (selecting multiple objects).


    1. Harry SmithHarry Smith Post author

      Hi Richard,

      Sorry I missed your post until now. While technically you can get a VMs disk to reside within different Storage Profiles, it’s not part of the product and cloning the VM or performing a Storage VMotion will place the disks back into the vCloud Director assigned Storage Profile.


  2. Doug McIntyre

    How does this change with vSphere 5.5 talking to vCD and the change in functionality from Storage Profiles over to Storage Policies?

    I’ve setup Storage Policies in vCenter, but don’t seem to have half the areas you were in for setting up tags for vCD to pick up. And when I go to refresh the vCD vCenter host for Storage Policies, nothing comes over.

    Any updates here?

    1. Harry SmithHarry Smith Post author

      Hi Doug,

      There are a few changes that occurred with 5.5. I actually documented it and meant to write an updated blog article.

      Until then, here are the steps:

      in vCenter:
      -Create Tags (and Category if it doesn’t exist) >> (Go to Datastores > Select datastore or datastore cluster > Click Manage > Click Tags > New Tag)
      -Enable VM Storage Profiles >> (Home > VM Storage Policies)
      -Create New VM Storage Policy
      -Use Tag-Based Rule and select your corresponding Tag
      -Verify correct storage is selected.

      That should do it. It’s similar to the old way, but different enough to cause confusion. I do have screenshots of this and will get it up ASAP, but it won’t be this week.

      Thanks and as always, feedback is welcomed.


  3. Doug McIntyre

    Thanks much.

    I’ve tried basically those steps already, but vCD doesn’t pick up the Storage Policy I make after the refresh. I’ll look out for an updated article some time.

    1. Harry SmithHarry Smith Post author

      Hi Doug,

      Did you refresh vCenter and also try to add the resources into an Org vDC yet? That should make them visible under the storage section in vCD.



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