A question came up the other day from a customer that wanted to move a vSAN-based datastore into a vSphere Folder, but was having some trouble with this operation. vSphere Folders are commonly used by administrators for organizational purposes and/or permission delegation. When the customer tried to move their vSAN datastore into a folder using the vSphere Web Client (applies to HTML5 Web Client as well), what they found was that nothing happens even though the UI indicates the operation should be possible with the (+) symbol.

I also saw the same behavior described by the customer and was curious if this was a UI only issue or a general limitation. To quickly verify, I decided to perform the operation using the vSphere API instead of the UI. Behind the scenes, the UI simply calls the MoveIntoFolder_Task() vSphere API which allows you to move various vSphere Inventory objects into a vSphere Folder. As many of you know by now, the vSphere APIs can be consumed in variety of "SDKs" or programming/scripting languages which includes PowerCLI. For PowerCLI users, this functionality is further simplified and abstracted away using the Move-Datastore cmdlet which I will be using in our demonstration.

In my setup, I have two vSAN Datastores, one from a vSphere 6.0u3 environment and another from vSphere 6.5. Lets say I want to move the 60u3 datastore to HR folder and 66 datastore to Engineering folder. The following PowerCLI snippet below does exactly that:

Move-Datastore -Datastore (Get-Datastore "vsanDatastore-60u3") -Destination (Get-Folder "HR")
Move-Datastore -Datastore (Get-Datastore "vsanDatastore-66") -Destination (Get-Folder "Engineering")

Using the vSphere API/PowerCLI, the operation looks to have been successful. Lets now going back to our vSphere Web Client and see if the operation actually went through?

Look at that, both our vSAN Datastores is now part of a vSphere Folder! This looks like a UI (Flex/H5) only issue and I have also confirmed that this will be fixed in a future update of vSphere. For now, if you need to move vSAN-based datastores into a vSphere Folder, simply use the vSphere API as a workaround.

Note: I also found that if you need to move the vSAN Datastore back to the Datacenter level, you will also need to invoke that operation using the vSphere API as the UI also prevents this operation.

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