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vStorage APIs for Array Integration (VAAI) is an application program interface (API) framework designed by VMware. VAAI framework lets the ESX/ESXi host offload some storage functions directly to the storage array instead of processing the data on its own.
For example, a standard operation deployment of a virtual machine (VM) from its template demands the ESX/ESXi host read the data from the template by means of the storage protocol in use, then write the data to the storage while cloning the VM. Utilization of VAAI allows these operations to be offloaded to the storage array, reducing the majority of repetitive read-writes. Operations are completed more quickly, resulting in minimal overhead for central processing units (CPU).