Claim vSAN Capacity Disks for VCF 3.0

The latest release of VMware Cloud Foundation (VCF 3.0) removed the host imaging functionality. As past of the laundry list of pre-requisites for preparing an environment for VCF, one necessary step in an All-Flash vSAN environment is to mark the appropriate capacity disks.

During a POC deployment last week of VCF 3.0, this pre-requisite became evident and required a quick solution for marking the disks without having to glean all of the information manually. The following method is a quick way to identify which disks should be used for capacity and correctly allocating them as such for vSAN to claim during the VCF deployment workflows for either the Management or Workload Domain.

On the first ESXi node, we need to execute the following command to determine the capacity disk size. This command can be omitted on all remaining ESXi nodes as you prep them for VCF.

$ esxcli storage core device list
   Display Name: Local TOSHIBA Disk (naa.58ce38ee20455a75)
   Has Settable Display Name: true
   Size: 3662830
   Device Type: Direct-Access
   Multipath Plugin: NMP
   Devfs Path: /vmfs/devices/disks/naa.58ce38ee20455a75
   Vendor: TOSHIBA
   Model: PX05SRB384Y
   Revision: AS0C
   SCSI Level: 6
   Is Pseudo: false
   Status: on
   Is RDM Capable: true
   Is Local: true
   Is Removable: false
   Is SSD: true
   Is VVOL PE: false
   Is Offline: false
   Is Perennially Reserved: false
   Queue Full Sample Size: 0
   Queue Full Threshold: 0
   Thin Provisioning Status: yes
   Attached Filters:
   VAAI Status: unknown
   Other UIDs: vml.020000000058ce38ee20455a75505830355352
   Is Shared Clusterwide: false
   Is Local SAS Device: true
   Is SAS: true
   Is USB: false
   Is Boot USB Device: false
   Is Boot Device: false
   Device Max Queue Depth: 254
   No of outstanding IOs with competing worlds: 32
   Drive Type: physical
   RAID Level: NA
   Number of Physical Drives: 1
   Protection Enabled: false
   PI Activated: false
   PI Type: 0
   PI Protection Mask: NO PROTECTION
   Supported Guard Types: NO GUARD SUPPORT
   DIX Enabled: false
   Emulated DIX/DIF Enabled: false

The above output is an example of a vSAN SSD capacity disk. The only bit of information we need to automate the rest of the work is the size of the disk. Once you have the known size, substitute the value into the first grep command and execute the following CLI script on each node.

$ esxcli storage core device list | grep -B 3 -e "Size: 3662830" | grep ^naa > /tmp/capacitydisks; for i in `cat /tmp/capacitydisks`; do esxcli vsan storage tag add -d $i -t capacityFlash;  vdq -q -d $i; done

As each disk is marked as eligible for vSAN, the script will output that information for the user.

That’s it!

If you’d like to read more about the VCF 3.0 release, please check out the DataReload blog post.

Upcoming VMware Beta Program


VMware has an upcoming private beta that is open to the public. The vSphere Beta program is targeting users of vSphere 5.5 and 6.0 in any part of their environment. The beta will provide members an opportunity to provide feedback directly to VMware and define the direction products take going forward. I participated in the beta program before joining VMware and enjoyed the opportunity to gain greater exposure to VMware and the engineering teams.

The following is directly from VMware regarding the upcoming program.

We are excited to announce the upcoming VMware vSphere Beta Program. This program enables participants to help define the direction of the most widely adopted industry-leading virtualization platform. Folks who want to participate in the program can now indicate their interest by filling out this simple form. The vSphere team will grant access to the program to selected candidates in stages. This vSphere Beta Program leverages a private Beta community to download software and share information. We will provide discussion forums, webinars, and service requests to enable you to share your feedback with us.


You can expect to download, install, and test vSphere Beta software in your environment or get invited to try new features in a VMware hosted environment. All testing is free-form and we encourage you to use our software in ways that interest you. This will provide us with valuable insight into how you use vSphere in real-world conditions and with real-world test cases, enabling us to better align our product with your business needs.


Some of the many reasons to participate in this beta opportunity:
  • Receive early access to the vSphere Beta products
  • Interact with the vSphere Beta team consisting of Product Managers, Engineers, Technical Support, and Technical Writers
  • Provide direct input on product functionality, configurability, usability, and performance
  • Provide feedback influencing future products, training, documentation, and services
  • Collaborate with other participants, learn about their use cases, and share advice and learnings

If you are interested in participating in the vSphere Beta program, please visit the following link and sign-up.