Tag Archives: VSA

vSphere Storage Appliance (VSA) licensing information

(VSA) VMware vSphere Storage Appliance provides virtual shared storage volumes without the hardware. vSA runs as a virtual machine on vSphere, in multiple hosts. vSA is only compatible with vSphere 5.

Licensing Details
•vSA is licensed on a per-instance basis. Each vSA instance supports up to 3 node.
•At least two nodes needs to be part of a vSA deploymen.
•vSA is supported by all vSphere 5 edition.
•There are no upgrades in vS.
•vSA can only run with Essentials Plus or any vSphere Edition.
•vSA must be purchased for the vCenter Server edition that it will run on – vCenter Essentials (sold only with Essentials Plus), vCenter Foundation, or vCenter Server.
•If you apply the old vCenter Server license key after installing vSA, the vSA disappear.
•You must reapply the vSA key if you upgrade from vCenter Foundation to vCenter Standard. You have to contact the Licensing Support team to get a new vSA key compatible with the new vCenter Server edition. This exchange is at no charge.
•The vRAM used for vSA factors in to your vRAM entitlement.
•vSA must be deployed on the same vCenter Server.
•The vSA virtual machine counts as a protected virtual machine.

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VMware vSphere Storage Appliance (VSA)

  • VSA is a new product offering in vSphere 5.0
  • vSphere Storage Appliance is software that delivers shared storage capabilities without the cost and complexity of shared storage hardware
  • It installs with just a few mouse clicks and is centrally managed in VMware vCenter Server.
  • Use vSphere’s business continuity features, all without shared storage hardware.

 Key Features of vSphere Storage Appliance

  • Affordable Shared Storage –  Turns internal server storage into fully virtualized, clustered, shared and highly available datastores at a dramatically lower cost than networked, external shared storage
  • Supports up to three nodes
  • Simple installation – Fully automated installation and configuration of vCenter Server, vSphere and VMware VSA
  • Ensures correct configuration for high availability
  • Simple Administration – Tight vCenter Server integration provides simplified administration via VSA plug-in
  • Storage Resilience and Availability  – Mirrors datastores with RAID1 across nodes/RAID 10, within each node. 99.9% availability with HA.
  • Flexibility to migrate to hardware SAN – using storage vMotion.
  • Run vCenter Server separately from your VSA cluster for best protection

VSA Restrictions

  • It is a virtual NFS filer only, and not a block-level storage appliance as VMware implied.
  • NFS shares cannot be created on the VSA for the apps on the VM to access.
  • Storage only presented to the hypervisor and not the VM.
  • Does not support CIFS, ISCSI, FCOE.
  • Does not support VAAI 1.0 ( vStorage API for Array Integration)


VSA provides an alternative shared storage solution for small-to-medium business (SMB) customers who might not be in a position to purchase a SAN or NAS array for their virtual infrastructure.

  • Aimed at SMB market
  • Simple to setup
  • Resilient, has High Availability features
  • Uses NFS protocol
  • VSA pooled storage only presented to Hypervisor
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