vSAN creates system baseline groups that you can use with Update Manager to upgrade the hosts in vSAN clusters to the latest supported ESXi version, patch the hosts with critical patches, install drivers or update firmware of the vSAN hardware layer.

The system-managed baseline groups appear automatically in Update Manager compliance view if you are using vSAN clusters that contain hosts of ESXi version 6.0 Update 2 and later. If your vSphere environment does not contain any vSAN clusters, no system-managed baselines are generated.

The vSAN system baseline group can contain any of the following updates:
  • Software updates:
    • Upgrade baseline that contains an ESXi upgrade image by a certified vendor with the latest tested and recommended version for the vSAN cluster.
    • Patch baseline that contains recommended critical patches for the ESXi version of the hosts in the vSAN cluster.
    • Recommended drivers for the ESXi hosts in the vSAN cluster.
  • Firmware updates: the latest available supported firmware depending on the ESXi version of the hosts in the cluster.

A vSAN recommendation engine regularly checks the current state of the software installed on the hosts in the vSAN cluster against the Hardware Compatibility List (HCL). In case update recommendations are detected, the engine downloads all new critical patches and upgrade images and generates a vSAN cluster-level baseline. A vendor firmware tool installed on each server that runs a vSAN cluster, regularly checks for latest available and supported firmware. If such is detected, the engine generates a vSAN cluster-level baseline that contains the firmware update. All the available baselines are packed together in a vSAN system baseline group and made available for use by Update Manager.

VMware Cloud stores the Hardware Compatibility List for vSAN and the vSAN Release Catalog. If your vCenter Server system does not have a connection to the Internet, you can upload the vSAN Release Catalog manually. For more information about HCL or the vSAN Release Catalog, see the vSAN documentation. For more information about the vendor firmware tool, see Download the Vendor Firmware Tool.

Once every 24 hours, Update Manager runs an automatic check for a new system baseline group with build recommendations coming from vSAN. In case a new system baseline group is detected, Update Manager automatically attaches the vSAN system baseline group to the vSAN cluster.

For each vSAN cluster in the vSphere inventory, Update Manager displays a single system baseline. You cannot edit or delete a system-managed baseline group. You also cannot add it to custom baseline groups.

After refreshing the vSAN system baseline group, Update Manager automatically performs a scan operation on the vSAN clusters against the updated system baselines. Operations such as adding and removing hosts from an existing vSAN cluster also trigger refresh of the attached vSAN system baseline group, followed by a scan operation of the cluster.

If the vSAN cluster is in a compliant state, you do not need to perform any actions. If the vSAN cluster is in a non-compliant state against a system baseline group, Update Manager does not automatically initiate remediation. To put the cluster in compliance to the vSAN system baseline group, manually start the remediation task.

System Requirements for Using vSAN System-Managed Baseline Groups

  • vCenter Server 6.5 Update 1 and later that runs on Windows.
  • Update Manager 6.5 Update 1 and later that runs on Windows and is connected to a vCenter Server with the same version.
  • vSAN cluster that contains hosts of ESXi version 6.0 Update 2 and later.
  • Constant access of the Update Manager host machine to the Internet.
  • Account in the My VMware portal (my.vmware.com) to access VMware Cloud.