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

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

The virtual machine software provider announced in September 2021 that storage tools such as SD cards and USB flash drives would gradually have their support removed.

VMware justified the move by claiming this type of storage demonstrated “lower endurance” and  exhibited “reliability performance” issues, saying SD and USB devices are prone to wear over time and are not designed for enterprise class use-cases.

VMware’s change of heart

VMware did not provide reasons for the move to keep support for non-persistent removable storage for the near future.

However, the virtualization giant made its stance on this type of storage very clear going forward,  and strongly recommended that customers start planning to move away completely from SD card usage

“VMware is working very closely with all the 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 that conform to the VMware device and endurance requirements below for boot devices are provided on servers,” said a VMware spokesperson.

Current vSphere customers will not see any changes for their upgrade workflows. Customers can continue using their existing boot devices, even if it is a USB/SD card boot device, and OSData will be safely relocated to the best available location.

For upgrades and installs, customers now have the option of selecting 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 entire system storage, and RAMDisk.

The news comes as VMware as a whole pivots towards a more multi-cloud based 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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