VMware calls off ban on SD cards as boot devices for vSphere

VMware is no longer ready to remove support for non-persistent removable storage as a bootable medium for vSphere, the company’s server virtualization platform.

the virtual machine software vendor announced in September 2021 that storage tools such as SD cards and USB flash drives would gradually see its support withdrawn.

VMware justified this decision by saying that this type of storage has “lower endurance” and has “reliability performance” issues, saying that SD and USB devices are susceptible to wear over time and are not designed for enterprise-class use cases.

VMware’s Change of Mind

VMware did not provide reasons for the decision to retain support for non-persistent removable storage in the near future.

However, the virtualization giant has made its position on this type of storage clear and strongly recommended that customers start planning to move away from SD card usage altogether.

“VMware is working closely with all major OEMs to ensure that future generations of server platforms do not support USB/SD card as a boot device and that more reliable mechanisms meet requirements. VMware device rating and endurance below for boot devices are provided on the servers,” a VMware spokesperson said.

Current vSphere customers will see no change to their upgrade workflows. Customers can continue to use their existing boot device, even if it is a USB/SD card boot device, and OSData will be safely moved to the best available location.

For upgrades and installations, customers now have the option to select a persistent device to store the OSData partition.

VMware recommends that customers explore alternatives to non-persistent removable storage, including local persistent disk, VMFS partitions, SAN/NAS LUN for whole-system storage, and RAMDisk.

The news comes as VMware as a whole pivots towards a multi-cloud model. The company announced new advancements for its multi-cloud computing infrastructure called VMware Cloud as well as the launch of VMware Cross-Cloud services.

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