VSphere Storage Appliance (VSA)

VSA is acronym for vSphere Storage Appliance. VSA is new feature in 5.0 aimed at SMB segment. To make VSA installation simple, there are some strict requirements which must be followed before we start installation

Strict requirements of VSA

1. Freshly installed ESXi with default network configuration i.e. management network & VM network. This also means no VM running. This is automatically detected by installer

2. The Local storage on the ESXi should be RAID10

3. You can select number of nodes only while installation, no new nodes can be added later on

4. Disks cannot be added after VSA is configured

5. vCenter must be installed on physical server

6. It is strongly recommended that hardware should be identical on storage, network cards level

7. Minimum network cards needed are 4. This is automatically detected by installer

8. Minimum RAM 6 GB. This is automatically detected by installer

9. CPU speed must be greater than 2 GHz. This is automatically detected by installer



Feature network is vMotion network which is requesting IP from DHCP, but static IP is allowed

Please note back End IP address always starts with 192.168.x.x series. We need to ensure IP’s are free in this network


Figure 3 This is network configuration view of VSA

As seen above vSwitch0 is used for front end networking. Front networking includes NFS network and VSA network. Switch1 is used for back end networking which forms vMotion (featured network) and backend network.

  • VSA front-end virtual machine port group added to vSwitch0
  • vSwitch1 created with two remaining network adaptors
  • VSA back-end virtual machine port group added to vSwitch1
  • VSA-vMotion (feature network) added to vSwitch1

Assume VSA-2 we need to put into maintenance mode, then VSADs-0 and VSADs-2 datastores will go into degraded stage.


By placing VSA-2 into maintenance mode, VSADs-0 which is hosted as replica on VSA-1 is promoted as primary and the export is done from VSA-1


After placing the VSA-2 into maintenance mode, below VSADs-2 is made a primary and exported by VSA-1