VMware VMFS (Virtual Machine File System) is a cluster file system that facilitates storage virtualization for multiple installations of VMware ESX Server, a hypervisor that partitions physical servers into multiple virtual machines. VMFS is part of the virtualization suite called VMware Infrastructure 3.
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With VMFS, new virtual machines can be created without the oversight of a storage administrator. The size of a volume can be changed as needed without disrupting network operations. Multiple installations of VMware ESX Server can be used to simultaneously write and read data to and from a single storage location. VMware ESX servers can be added or removed from a VMFS volume without affecting other hosts. The file and block sizes can be adjusted to optimize the I/O (input/output) functionality of each virtual machine. In the event of a server failure, a distributed journaling file system allows for rapid system recovery and prevents catastrophic loss of data.