Enabling VAAI for Fast Provisioning in vCloud does not check for Hardware Acceleration

Yesterday while I was experimenting something on my Big Bad Cloud :), something unusual caught my eyes. Well, I am saying this is unusual because it could have been lot better in terms of reporting. So, lets talk about what it is.

We know VAAI for NAS is introduced quite some time back and we get to see a good improvement on the supported array as well.

While I was working on a EMC VNX 5700, I did not install the VAAI NAS Plugin. Now while building the vCloud, you know that there is a option which would give you option to enable the VAAI for Fast Provisioning.

However, when you enable this, it does not do any pre checks as it does with some other Networking features, like co exist VLAN ID and some other.

It straight away get it enabled and when you try to provision one VM from your catalog (adding it to My Cloud), then it actually does the check. Well to me it is not that great and it  does not tell you the exact problem also.

Let us look at what it looks like when you enable this feature.

You need to Go to “vSphere Resources” section in vCD screen and then need to click on “Datastores & Datastore Cluster”. There select the Datastore and right click and select “Properties”.

Now you should be able to see the below screen and then you can Enable VAAI.


Once you are done then you can start putting one of your catalog item to the “My Cloud”. However if your Datastore is not supported or enabled for VAAI then you would end up getting the provisioning failed.



It will throw you the error saying:

The Specified delta disk format “nativeFormat” is not supported

Well, this is not a good error reporting. I am getting in touch with our Dev team now to see if this can be changed to something meaningful or if we can place a Pre Check while enabling VAAI through vCD UI.

So, now let me tell you what it takes to enable/install VAAI NAS Plug in for EMC VNX 5700 Storage Array.

1. You need to login to EMC PowerLink site and then go to Home > Support > Software Downloads and Licensing > Downloads A-B > Adapters for Third-Party Applications

2. Download the vStorage APIs for Array Integration (VAAI) Plug-in. Its a Zip file.

3. Now either Use Update Manager and update all of your host with this VIB or upload the VIB to a shared Datastore and use esxcli to install the VIB individually on all of your ESXi hosts. I have used esxcli here.

~ # esxcli software vib install -d /vmfs/volumes/nfs-1tb/EMCNasPlugin-1.0-10.zip

Installation Result
Message: The update completed successfully, but the system needs to be reboot ed for the changes to be effective.
Reboot Required: true
VIBs Installed: EMC_bootbank_EMCNasPlugin_1.0-10
VIBs Removed:
VIBs Skipped:

4. Take a reboot of your server and go to Configuration -> Storage and see the “Hardware Acceleration” Tab there for the NAS Datastore.

5. Now it should show you as “Supported”

After this point, when you try to add a Catalog item to “My Cloud”, it should work pretty fine.

For me it has taken 6 seconds to create a Clone of a 3GB WinXP image.



About Prasenjit Sarkar

Prasenjit Sarkar is a CTO Ambassador & Staff Solutions Architect at VMware and part of Global Center of Excellence Team. He has also worked in vCloud Air R&D Team. He has an extensive background in designing and implementing cloud solutions. He holds several certifications including VCP3/4/5, VCAP-DCA, VCAP-DCD, VCAP-CIA, VCIX-NV. He has been awarded the VMware vExpert award 4 years running. He is also the author of the blog http://stretch-cloud.info and Author of 4 books including one as Amazon Best Seller. He is also part of many inventions and research papers and have 1 Issued Patent & 11 other patents pending in his name.