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Last Modified 2021-04-16 08:16 EDT

Storage > VMware-Snapshots coordinates ZFS snapshots when using TrueNAS as a VMware datastore. When a ZFS snapshot is created, TrueNAS automatically snapshots any running VMware virtual machines before taking a scheduled or manual ZFS snapshot of the dataset or zvol backing that VMware datastore.

Virtual machines must be powered on for TrueNAS snapshots to be copied to VMware. The temporary VMware snapshots are then deleted on the VMware side but still exist in the ZFS snapshot and are available as stable restore points. These coordinated snapshots go in the Storage > Snapshots list.

You need a paid-edition for VMware ESXi to use VMware-Snapshots. If you try to use them with ESXi free then you will see the following error message: “Error: Can’t create snapshot, current license or ESXi version prohibits execution of the requested operation.”. Indeed ESXi free has locked (read-only) API that prevents using TrueNAS VMware-Snapshots. The cheapest ESXi edition that is compatible with TrueNAS VMware-Snapshots is VMware vSphere Essentials Kit.

Create a VMware Snapshot

Go to Storage > VMware Snapshots and click ADD.


HostnamestringEnter the IP address or hostname of the VMware host. When clustering, use the IP address or hostname of the vCenter server for the cluster.
UsernamestringEnter a user account name created on the VMware host. The account must have permission to snapshot virtual machines.
PasswordstringEnter the password associated with the Username.
ZFS Filesystembrowse buttonSelect a filesystem to snapshot.
Datastoredrop-down menuAfter entering the Hostname, Username, and Password, click FETCH DATASTORES to populate the menu. Select the datastore to synchronize.

TrueNAS connects to the VMware host after clicking FETCH DATASTORES. The ZFS Filesystem and Datastore drop-down menus populate from the VMware host response. Choosing a datastore also selects any previously mapped dataset.