vSAN generates system baselines and baseline groups for use with vSphere Update Manager. You can use these recommended baselines to update software, patches, and extensions for hosts in your vSAN cluster.

vSAN 6.6.1 and later generates automated build recommendations for vSAN clusters. vSAN combines information in the VMware Compatibility Guide and vSAN Release Catalog with information about the installed ESXi releases. These recommended updates provide the best available release to keep your hardware in a supported state.

vSAN System Baselines

vSAN build recommendations are provided through vSAN system baselines for Update Manager. These system baselines are managed by vSAN. They are read-only and cannot be customized.

vSAN generates one baseline group for each vSAN cluster. vSAN system baselines are listed in the Baselines pane of the Baselines and Groups tab. You can continue to create and remediate your own baselines.

Update Manager automatically scans each vSAN cluster to check compliance against the baseline group. To upgrade your cluster, you must manually remediate the system baseline through Update Manager. You can remediate vSAN system baseline on a single host or on the entire cluster.

vSAN Release Catalog

The vSAN release catalog maintains information about available releases, preference order for releases, and critical patches needed for each release. The vSAN release catalog is hosted on the VMware Cloud.

vSAN requires Internet connectivity to access the release catalog. You do not need to be enrolled in the Customer Experience Improvement Program (CEIP) for vSAN to access the release catalog.

Working with vSAN Build Recommendations

Update Manager checks the installed ESXi releases against information in the Hardware Compatibility List (HCL) in the VMware Compatibility Guide. It determines the correct upgrade path for each vSAN cluster, based on the current vSAN Release Catalog. vSAN also includes the necessary drivers and patch updates for the recommended release in its system baseline.

vSAN build recommendations ensure sure that each vSAN cluster remains at the current hardware compatibility status or better. If hardware in the vSAN cluster is not included on the HCL, vSAN recommends an upgrade to the latest release, since it is no worse than the current state.

The following examples describe the logic behind vSAN build recommendations.

Example 1

A vSAN cluster is running 6.0 Update 2, and its hardware is included on the 6.0 Update 2 HCL. The HCL lists the hardware as supported up to release 6.0 Update 3, but not supported for 6.5 and later. vSAN recommends an upgrade to 6.0 Update 3, including the necessary critical patches for the release.

Example 2

A vSAN cluster is running 6.0 Update 2, and its hardware is included on the 6.0 Update 2 HCL. The hardware is also supported on the HCL for release 6.5 Update 1. vSAN recommends an upgrade to release 6.5 Update 1.

Example 3

A vSAN cluster is running 6.0 Update 2 and its hardware is not on the HCL for that release. vSAN recommends an upgrade to 6.5 Update 1, even though the hardware is not on the HCL for 6.5 Update 1. vSAN recommends the upgrade because the new state is no worse than the current state.

The recommendation engine runs periodically (once each day), or when the following events occur.

  • Cluster membership changes. For example, when you add or remove a host.

  • The vSAN management service restarts.

  • A user logs in to My VMware using a web browser or RVC.

  • An update is made to the VMware Compatibility Guide or the vSAN Release Catalog.

The vSAN Build Recommendation health check displays the current build that is recommended for the vSAN cluster. It also can warn you about any issues with the feature.

System Requirements

Update Manager must be installed manually on Windows vCenter Server.

vSAN requires Internet access to update release metadata, to check the VMware Compatibility Guide, and to download ISO images from My VMware.

vSAN requires valid credentials to download ISO images for upgrades from My VMware. For hosts running 6.0 Update 1 and earlier, you must use RVC to enter the My VMware credentials. For hosts running later software, you can log in from the ESX Build Recommendation health check.

To enter My VMware credentials from RVC, run the following command: vsan.login_iso_depot -u <username> -p <password>