Virtual Volumes allows a Virtual Machine and its disk to become a unit of storage management for a storage system by encapsulating virtual disks and virtual machine files. These files are stored natively on the storage system. VVOLs uses the vSphere APIs for Storage Awareness (VASA) which makes the storage system aware of the virtual volumes and how they relate to the virtual machines. This allows for certain operations like snapshots and clones to be offloaded to the storage systems for better performance. For in-band communication with Virtual Volumes storage systems, vSphere continues to use standard SCSI and NFS protocols.