3PAR VVOL Requirements

I had a great question in the comments last week asking what would happen in a situation where VVOLs was implemented on a system with no snapshot (virtual copy) facility licenced.  This prompted me to think it was worth while putting together a quick post around what the requirements for 3PAR and VVOLs are.

VVOLs were introduced with vSphere 6 and provide offloading of the grunt work to the storage device and a one to one relationship between VM’s and their storage.  If you need a reminder on what VVOLs are all about check out my previous post.

HP 3PAR support VMware support
OS requirements HP 3PAR OS 3.2.1 MU2Patch 12 vSphere 6.0, vCenter Server 6.0
GUI versions HP 3PAR MC 4.6.x vSphere Web Client 6.0
CLI HP 3PAR 3.2.1 CLI esxcli (vSphere 6.0)
Licensing HP 3PAR Virtual Copy vSphere Standard license
HP 3PAR Thin Provisioning vCenter Server Standard

The above table summarises the requirements.  First and most obviously you need vSphere 6 and this needs to be licenced at vSphere Standard level. From the 3PAR side of things you need to be running 3PAR OS 3.2.1 MU2 or above, this effectively means that VVOLs are only available on the 7000 and 10,000 series models. Patch 12 for 3.2.1 is also a mandatory requirement for VVOLs, this patch ensures the consistency of the VM’s, read more in the official release notes

The 3PAR also needs to be licenced for both Virtual Copy and Thin Provisioning (part of the base OS on current models).  So going back to the original question I was asked, VVOLs will not work without a snapshot licence.


You will also need to be mindfully that currently the following features are not supported with VVOLs

  • vSphere Metro Storage Cluster
  • Array-based replication is not supported i.e. in the case of 3PAR Remote Copy is not supported
  • No support for SRM

It’s worth noting that VVOLs and traditional VMFS datastores can co-exist on the same system.  So if for example the requirement for replication was only on some VM’s these could be kept on VMFS datastores allowing others without the requirement to be moved to VVOLs.

You can read more in-depth about 3PAR and VVOLs in the white paper –  Implementing VMware Virtual Volumes on HP 3PAR StoreServ



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15 thoughts on “3PAR VVOL Requirements

  1. Aren’t there also requirements for the storage card driver to support vvols?
    Can’t remember which forum i read it, but one guy testing could not get it to work until he update his qlogic or emulex driver…

  2. Hi 3pardude
    Do you know if thin provisioning licensing is still required if you do not use and will never use thin provisioning? Doesn’t make much sense to me.


      1. Thanks for responding and I hope you’re right. I noticed in my quote it included “Virtual copy base” SKU and licensing for each disk but not for Thin provisioning.

        I think I misread your line above as saying both Virtual copy and Thin Provisioning were included in the base license where its just TP included.

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