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vSAN HCI lifecycle management improvements

Updates are an essential part of the day to day operations in a data center. VMware has been focused on making updates to a vSAN cluster as effortless as possible. vSAN 6.7 U1 centralizes all updating of vSAN and associated hardware through VMware Update Manager or VUM. This means that all ESXi, driver, and firmware be available for update in a single location.Additionally, vSAN clusters running specific OEM builds of ESXi can be supported in VUM, as 6.7 U1 will support the use of custom ISOs from these vendors. For environments that prevent vCenter from accessing the internet, there are now guided workflows to help these environments running vCenter without internet connectivity.  This edition of vSAN also makes the upgrade process more robust should an issue be detected. The upgrade process will immediately check for issues after the update, and should an issue be identified, the upgrade process will stop, and the host in question will remain in maintenance mode.
Centralized HTML5 lifecycle management

All firmware updating controlled by vSAN has been moved over from the vSAN UI to VMware Update Manager, as this will be more intuitive for the user. This functionality was previously found in the “Configuration Assist” feature in vSAN 6.6. Configuration Assist has been deprecated, and this functionality is a full part of the HTML5 vCenter interface.

 

Support for custom OEM installers

VUM will identify the vendor type from the ISO to check compliance and will fetch the correct release recommendation from the release catalog. Previous editions of vSAN would not recognize custom ISOs version numbers correctly.

Offline vCenter Support

The VMware Update Manager recommendation engine will now allow a user to upload the latest release DB file to vCenter so that the VMware Update Manager recommendation engine can make the proper recommendations. Users will manually download and upload HCL manifest (JSON) file to vCenter to use the latest references. Since ISOs will not be automatically downloaded from the online update manager depot, users will be guided to download the correct ISO/offline bundle. A new health check is introduced to verify whether the release DB is out of date.  This is very similar to the HCL DB health check.

More granular patching control

Previously patching was forced to be one host at a time. In situations where the cluster is not fully deployed yet, or all virtual machines are multiple offline hosts can be remediated simultaneously. Also, individual hosts can be selected if the vSAN administrator wants to limit patching to a smaller scope than the entire cluster. vSAN health checks are also integrated into the update manager workflows. If new health issues are discovered during the patch cycle upgrades will not proceed until remediation can process. Once completed the update can continue.