Datastore Discovery

A datastore is a storage object for virtual machines that are hosted on an ESX server.

A datastore is a collection of one or more physical disks, such as an iSCSI disk, and can be used by more than one ESX host. However, a physical disk can only connect to one datastore. Because ESX hosts can share datastores, it is easy to move virtual machine between hosts that have a common datastore.
Note: From the perspective of a virtual machine attached to a datastore, storage is provided by a single disk.
The advantages to connecting a datastore to multiple disks are:
  • The ability to mirror the disks for failover protection.
  • The ease of adding storage to the datastore.

For information about the tables used by Discovery to store the data for physical disks and their relationship to datastores and ESX hosts, see Datastore relationship tables.

In this example configuration, two ESX hosts share a common datastore that uses different types of storage.

Figure 1. Datastore Discovery with different storage types