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How to Upload, Copy, or Create Files to a vSAN-enabled Datastore?

A vSAN-enabled datastore will be the repository for all your content, whether that’s VM data, business backup data, VMware virtual machine backups, or VMware VVOL-based snapshots. So if you are new to this technology, we have something interesting to share with you. In this article, we’ll take you step-by-step through the process of uploading, copying, or creating files to a vSAN-enabled datastore. You’ll be familiarizing yourself with these various options and what they mean to you. Learn how to use them to store all your content and how to get it backed up.

Table of contents:

  • The First Steps to Start Working in vSAN-Enabled Datastore
  • Uploading Files into a vSAN-Enabled Datastore
  • Creating Files in a vSAN-Enabled Datastore
  • Copying Files into a vSAN-Enabled Datastore
  • Do All You Need With Ease

The First Steps to Start Working in vSAN-Enabled Datastore

Once a vSAN datastore has been enabled, the next step is to create and copy files into it. And the steps to do so are as follows:

  • Verify that the datastore is not listed as “Inactive” or “Read-only.” This check is case-sensitive, which means the datastore is inactive if it is listed as inactive in lower case. The thing is that inactive datastores cannot be used even if a storage pool of that datastore is enabled. Additionally, all datastores with an “inactive” status cannot be employed in virtual machines;
  • Verify that the datastore is a vSAN datastore and not a NAS datastore. This is important because NAS datastores are used to store file shares, for example, when you have an Active Directory domain that contains a DFS folder. Thus, vSAN datastores are used for the storage of vSAN-enabled object data.

Once the datastore has been confirmed as vSAN-enabled, it is now ready to be used by vSAN-enabled virtual machines. The first step in using the datastore is to create and copy files into it.

Uploading Files into a vSAN-Enabled Datastore

Uploading files from one datastore to another datastore requires you to first transfer files from a datastore to a storage service adapter. The vSAN client, adapter, or host software (depending on the version) communicates with a vSAN adapter. The adapter uses an SMB protocol to transfer files between datastores. You can use the protocol to copy files between vSAN datastores, between vSAN datastores and other devices that use SMB protocol, and between vSAN datastores and non-vSAN devices. You can use the vSAN client to upload files in one of the following ways:

  • Upload files from one datastore to another datastore that is part of a vSAN cluster in ESXi;
  • Upload files to a vSAN-enabled datastore in ESXi;
  • Copy files to a vSAN-enabled datastore in ESXi;

Regardless of the scenario you will decide to go with, you need to be aware that it takes some time to do the file upload. So take your time to complete the operation and choose the target asset.

Creating Files in a vSAN-Enabled Datastore

Now, when everything is configured and verified, you are ready to create a file into a vSAN-enabled datastore. For that, you just need to perform the below:

  1. Open the vSAN Admin UI, and navigate to the file services blade;
  2. Click the + icon to add a new file share. Thus, you can see the file share interface has now been added;
  3. Select the file share created above, then click the “Start File Services” button. The file share should now be active and ready to use in vSAN-enabled virtual machines.

Copying Files into a vSAN-Enabled Datastore

The process is similar to creating files in a vSAN-enabled datastore. So here’s what it takes to copy files into a vSAN-enabled datastore.

  • Navigate to the file services blade in the vSAN Admin UI;
  • Once the data pool is ready, you need to click the + icon to add a new file share;
  • You will see a new popup with a data repository;
  • Select the target file share created above;
  • Click the “Start File Services” button to have an asset added to the pool;
  • The copy operation will now begin. Once the file has been copied, the dialog will close.

The file share should be active and ready to use in vSAN-enabled virtual machines. So all you need to do is to select a target file from the bunch. Once a file has been picked, it is copied into the datastore. If the datastore you wish to copy into is not vSAN-enabled, then the vSAN cluster will attempt to find out what storage is on that datastore and use the default file share to copy the file. If this file share exists on the cluster, then it will be copied using that file share.

Do All You Need With Ease

One of the major benefits of vSAN is the ease of file transfer. Files can be copied or uploaded to the vSAN datastore with a click or two of the mouse. Once files have been uploaded, they are automatically available in the vSAN object pool and are ready for use by any vSAN-enabled virtual machines. And the above tips will help you perform the target operation.

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