With brownfield installation, you deploy vSphere Storage Appliance and create a VSA cluster on existing ESXi hosts that have virtual machines running on their local datastores. The brownfield installation contrasts with the greenfield installation when you use hosts with freshly installed ESXi.

After you perform the brownfield deployment, migrate virtual machines from local storage to VSA shared storage. The only virtual machine that can run on the local datastore is the vCenter Server virtual machine. You can then resize shared storage and add storage capacity to the VSA.

Installation with Running Virtual Machines

When ESXi hosts contain running virtual machines, the following considerations apply:

  • The Enhanced vMotion Capability (EVC) baseline you specify must be a superset of the EVC of the ESXi host with running virtual machines. By default, the EVC baseline is set to the lowest possible value to maximize the types of hosts that the cluster can support.

    • If running virtual machines are present on the ESXi host, they are using features on the CPU. You must power off virtual machines, or set the evc.config.baseline property in the C:\Program Files\VMware\Infrastructure\tomcat\webapps\VSAManager\WEB-INF\classes\Dev.Properties file to highest. This guarantees that the lowest common denominator of EVC baselines is used (highest possible).

    • If your configuration does not allow to enable the EVC mode on the HA cluster, disable the EVC mode by setting the evc.config property to false in the C:\Program Files\VMware\Infrastructure\tomcat\webapps\VSAManager\WEB-INF\classes\Dev.Properties file.

      You can later manually enable EVC for the cluster. For information, see http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1013111. The EVC mode must be enabled on the cluster to avoid vMotion compatibility issues.


    When you need to replace a cluster member in a VSA cluster, do not use an ESXi host with running virtual machines as a replacement host. Make sure to power off or migrate any running virtual machines on the replacement host, otherwise the host will not be able to join the VSA HA cluster.

    For more information on EVC, see the vCenter Server and Host Management.

Network Configuration

When networking configuration on ESXi hosts has been changed, or if you need to manually configure the NICs selected for different portgroups, the following consideration apply:

  • Each ESXi host must contain at least one vSwitch.

  • Configure five port groups on each host, named exactly as follows: VSA-Front End, VM Network, Management, VSA-Back End, VSA-VMotion.

    • For each port group, configure NIC teaming so that it has at least one active and one standby NIC.

    • If the NIC is active for the Management and VM Network port groups, it should not be active for VSA-Front End port group. Use the standby NIC instead.

    • If the NIC is active for port group VSA-Back End, it should not be active for the VSA-VMotion port group. You can use the standby NIC.

    • Corresponding port groups across hosts should have the same VLAN ID.