When folks upgraded from VMware’s version 2 products into the ESX 3 world, the first step most took was to update their old VMFS 2 datastores to the new version 3 of VMFS. With all of the new storage capabilities introduced in the vSphere 4 family, many wondered if a similar upgrade hassle would be required.
This question was put to VMware’s Paul Manning, author of the What’s New in VMware vSphere 4: Storage whitepaper, during episode 47 of the excellent weekly VMware Community Podcast hosted by John Troyer. Happily, the answer is no: The core on-disk VMFS format has undergone extremely minor changes, so there is no need to create new ones just for vSphere! Paul did go on to say that the VMFS driver was extensively updated to allow things like thin provisioning, LUN and VMFS expansion, and such, but that the on-disk format stays mostly the same. Great news!