Blog post

1.3 – Identify and differentiate storage access protocols for vSphere (NFS, iSCSI, SAN, etc.)

It is important to know that you can use several storage access protocols for your data. Below is a short summary of all the protocols vSphere v7.0 supports:

Local and network storage

  • DAS (Directly-attached Disks
  • vSAN will transform internal storage of your ESXi host into shared storage
  • NFS 3 and NFS 4.1
  • SCSI, IDE, SATA, USB, SAS, flash and NVMe are supported

Fibre Channel storage

  • High-speed network to high-performance storage devices
  • Your host will need HBA adapters (Host-Bus-Adapters)

iSCSI storage / storage devices or LUN’s

  • Hardware iSCSI will connect the host to storage via a third-party adapter
  • Software iSCSI will connect the host to storage via a software-based iSCSI initiator in the VMkernel.

Shared Serial Attached SCSI (SAS)

  • Stores virtual machines on direct-attached SAS storage systems
  • Usually network based storage


  • APi’s that help arrays to integrate with vSphere for offloading certain storage operations to an array

vSphere API for multipathing

  • Known as Pluggable Storage Architecture (PSA) which uses APIs which allow storage partners to create and deliver multipathing and load-balancing plugins that are optimized for each array