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Enables storage partners to integrate virtual infrastructure with storage arrays to enable more efficient storage operations, enable new storage functionality and per-array optimizations.


Program Overview

vSphere is typically deployed in datacenters where storage is hosted by storage arrays, and servers access storage through SANs. Storage arrays provide hardware functions like cloning, snapshots, mirroring, and replication, and many of these functions overlap with functions that the VMware storage virtualization layer provides. Also, since virtual disks are files on a VMFS, storage arrays cannot interpret the VMFS on-disk layout, and hence, cannot provide these functions on a per-VM or per-virtual disk basis. The vSphere Storage APIs for Array Integration Program (VAAI) allows storage partners to more closely integrate storage arrays with vSphere. With VAAI, specific storage operations are executed on the storage array, as an alternative to host-based operations. Benefits include increased scale and performance since the operations are done on the array, and more effective utilization of storage arrays. VAAI NAS component has four primitives: Full file clone, Fast file clone, Extended Statistics and Reserve space.

The program guides partners through the development and certification of VAAI enabled array firmware and plug-ins for devices certified and listed on the VMware Compatibility Guide.

Key Benefits

Development Resources

Program access includes the tools and resources needed during the development and release phases.

·  Development Consulting Portal

If entitled via the optional Development Consulting Service, partners submit requests for development assistance via a private development project on, a web-based, secure collaboration tool used by the VMware Ecosystem Engineering team.

·  Optional fee-based developer support

·  Certification

The program includes access to the program's Certification Kit, which allows partners to test the reliability and stability of their code. VMware verifies that the test results support the partner during the certification process.

·  VMware Compatibility Guide (VCG) posting

Upon successful certification, the partner works with Ecosystem Engineering to update the VMware Compatibility Guide entry on Once the partner's products are certified under the terms of the program, the partner may use the VMware Ready™ logo in product collateral.

·  Program communication

Ongoing program communications pertaining to updated development kit and milestones.

·  vSphere Installation Bundle Suite (VIB)

Used to package the VAAI Extension Module (VEM) so that in can be installed on ESX.

·  Access to Maintenance Releases

Membership in this program is ongoing, and partners are entitled to vSphere and vCenter update releases as well as development and certification kit refreshes for the duration of their participation in the program. Additionally, the program allows for access to early versions of vSphere for the purpose of developing and testing.

Program Requirements

This program is governed by the following requirements:

·  TAP Elite or Global status

·  VMware program agreement signature

·  Adherence to product support requirements as documented in the program guide

·  General support on VMware vSphere features is purchased separately

Product Versions Supported

This program supports the following product versions:


5.1, 5.5


Target Audience

·  Storage partners

Partner Roles and Responsibilities

Partners who participate in the program provide the following team members:

A program manager that acts as the primary point of contact on behalf of their team, and who acts as the lead for planning and issue prioritization with VMware.

A partner engineering manager and/or technical lead that is the primary point of contact for the partner's engineering team, reviews all VMware support requests submitted by the partner's engineering team, provides an interface to the partner's QE organization, and attends all status calls and live debugging sessions with VMware.

A partner technical support contact that manages the support relationship with VMware, owns and serves as a single point of contact for all support-related activities, including escalations, and ensures overall support readiness and training of the partner's support organization.

Related Programs and Services

VAAI Development Consulting

VAAI NAS Program

VMware Ready Category

vStorage API for Array Integration

Find Out More

For more information on how to participate in this program, contact