vSAN creates system-managed baseline groups called recommendation baseline groups. You use recommendation baseline groups to upgrade the hosts in a vSAN cluster to the latest supported ESXi version, to patch the hosts with critical patches, or to update drivers on the host.

vSAN generates recommendation baseline groups automatically. If your vSphere environment does not contain any vSAN clusters, no recommendation baseline groups are generated. For each vSAN cluster in the vSphere inventory, vSphere Lifecycle Manager displays a single recommendation baseline group. You cannot edit or delete a recommendation baseline group and you cannot add it to custom baseline groups.

Recommendation baseline groups can contain any of the following sftware updates:
  • An upgrade baseline that contains an ESXi upgrade image by a certified vendor with the latest tested and recommended version for the vSAN cluster.
  • One or multiple patch baselines that contain recommended critical patches for the ESXi version of the hosts in the vSAN cluster.
  • Recommended drivers for the ESXi hosts in the vSAN cluster.
Note: Starting with vSphere 7.0, recommendation baseline groups no longer contain firmware updates. To update the firmware on your hosts, you must convert to using a single image for the vSAN cluster.

How Does vSphere Lifecycle Manager Generate Recommendation Baselines?

A vSAN recommendation engine regularly checks the current state of the software installed on the hosts in the vSAN cluster against the vSAN Hardware Compatibility List (HCL). If update recommendations are detected, the engine downloads all new critical patches and upgrade images and generates a vSAN cluster-level baseline. All available baselines are packed together in a recommendation baseline group and made available for use by vSphere Lifecycle Manager.

Every 24 hours, vSphere Lifecycle Manager runs an automatic check for a recommendation baseline group with build recommendations coming from vSAN. If a new recommendation baseline group is detected, vSphere Lifecycle Manager automatically attaches the vSAN recommendation baseline group to the vSAN cluster.

After refreshing the vSAN recommendation baseline group, vSphere Lifecycle Manager automatically performs a compliance check operation on the vSAN clusters against the updated recommendation baseline group. Operations such as adding and removing hosts from an existing vSAN cluster also trigger refresh of the attached recommendation baseline group, followed by a compliance check.

System Requirements for Using vSAN Recommendation Baseline Groups

  • vCenter Server 7.0.

    vSphere Lifecycle Manager runs as a service in vCenter Server 7.0 and later.

  • vSAN cluster that contains hosts of ESXi version 6.0 Update 2 and later.
  • Constant access of the vSphere Lifecycle Manager host machine to the Internet.