Profile-Driven Storage is a feature in VMware vSphere 5 that allows users to intelligently provision applications, mapping virtual machines (VMs) to storage levels according to pre-defined service levels, storage availability, performance requirements or cost. This mechanism lets users define and label storage tiers to be used by Storage Distributed Resource Scheduler and Storage vMotion. VMs that run applications that require the highest level of performance are mapped to tier one storage, while less critical apps are mapped to the lower tiers.
The Profile-Driven Storage feature collects metrics, such as disk type and RAID levels, using the vSphere Storage APIs for Storage Awareness (VASA). VASA then relay these characteristics to vSphere 5, which allows the user to create a storage profile to match IOPS requirements for a specific VM.