vStorage APIs for Array Integration (VAAI) is a set of features and primitives designed to enable vSphere to offload storage functionality to underlying intelligent storage arrays, reducing network bandwidth, and increasing the overall performance of the process by up to 10x.
Traditionally, this was exclusive to block storage, but with the release of vSphere 5, VMware added the ability to leverage VAAI for NFS for Copy-Offload.
In addition to that, VMware also released vCloud Director 1.5, which includes new Linked Clone functionality, similar to that of VMware View. Unfortunately, the problem still exists where Linked Clones are inherently misaligned.
With VMware View, NetApp developed the Rapid Cloning Utility that is now a native provisioning function in the Virtual Storage Console. I can tell you that there is priority work being done to accomplish this same functionality with regards to vApp cloning within vCloud Director. Very cool stuff, and you’ll see it soon.