The Storage Pool Manager (SPM) is a role given to one of the hosts in the data center enabling it to manage the storage domains of the data center. The SPM entity can be run on any host in the data center; the Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization Manager grants the role to one of the hosts. The SPM does not preclude the host from its standard operation; a host running as SPM can still host virtual resources.
The SPM entity controls access to storage by coordinating the metadata across the storage domains. This includes creating, deleting, and manipulating virtual disks (images), snapshots, and templates, and allocating storage for sparse block devices (on SAN). This is an exclusive responsibility: only one host can be the SPM in the data center at one time to ensure metadata integrity.
The Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization Manager ensures that the SPM is always available. The Manager moves the SPM role to a different host if the SPM host encounters problems accessing the storage. When the SPM starts, it ensures that it is the only host granted the role; therefore it will acquire a storage-centric lease. This process can take some time.