A data store is a repository of a set of data objects. These objects are modeled using classes defined in a database schema. A data store is a general concept that includes not just repositories like databases, but also simpler store types such as flat files etc
Datastore Classification under VMware -Virtual Infrastructure
Datastores are logical containers, analogous to file systems, that hide specifics of each storage device and provide a uniform model for storing virtual machine files. Datastores can also be used for storing ISO images, virtual machine templates, and floppy images.
*Openfiler NAS Installation Guide
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