In our last #vSANChat we dove into vSphere Lifecycle Manager and how it works with vSAN 7 to simplify consistent lifecycle management and effectively power your datacenter. We were joined by vSAN experts John Nicholson, Pete Flecha and vSphere expert Niels Hagoort to answer how the two effectively work together and create a seamless experience for users. Get the full recap below.
Q1: Within the confines of one tweet, can you tell us what vSphere Lifecycle Manager is and how it works with vSAN 7? (Tweet Link)
Niels: vSphere Lifecycle Manager (vLCM) makes it easy for customers to have consistent and up-to-date ESXi systems. Update your ESXi / vSAN bits + optional vendor addons and the ability to upgrade your systems firmwares (think storage controllers, other io devices, bios)
John: It’s closing the loop on lifecycle for your clusters. It’s patching both sides of the bridge (Drivers host side, as well as firmware on hardware side) in a seamless single workflow.
Pete: Unified Lifecycle Management that manages hypervisor, drivers and firmware using a single desired state image
Q2: Does vSphere Lifecycle Manager only apply to software or are there more applications for lifecycle management? (Tweet Link)
Niels: Well… vLCM also applies to updating firmwares of hardware devices, which is still considered software, inside the hardware device, right?
John: BIOS, Firmware, Even Power Supplies.
Pete: Not at all. That would be VUM. vCLM takes the next step and incorporates firmware management. But even more, instead of just pushing the software and firmware, it actually manages at a cluster level, so if a server is outdated, vLCM will tell you.
Q3: Lifecycle management is a time-consuming task. How does vSAN 7 simplify the HCI lifecycle management? (Tweet Link)
Niels: vSphere Lifecycle Manager (vLCM) allows you to update all ESXi hosts from within the vSphere Client!! No need to log into other tooling. Just hit ‘remediate’ and all hosts will be updated back to be compliant to the desired state!
John: Consolidating reboots across multiple lifecycle workflows helps quite a bit.
Pete: One cluster image that manages and deploys software, firmware, and drivers vs manually installing the firmware on every server.
Q4: How would you update file services integrated within vSAN 7? (Tweet Link)
Pete: vSAN File Service containers are upgraded right inside the vSAN services console. It really could not be easier.
Q5: How would you define a desired image as applied to an entire vSphere or HCI cluster? (Tweet Link)
Niels: ESXi base image
optional vendor addons (ESXi drivers, hw providers, etc)
optional vendor integration for firmware updates!
John: The goal of desired state is to not have to worry about when unexpected changes happen. Drift detection does its job and helps you revert back to a known good state. it’s key to infra as code.
Pete: You pick the Hypervisor version, supporting driver bundles, and the firmware that you want on all your servers and vLCM will make it so.
Q6: If you needed to monitor for compliance, how would you go about it with vSphere Lifecycle Manager for vSAN 7? (Tweet Link)
Niels: That’s the beauty of vLCM, you only need to check the vSphere Client. If the cluster is compliant to the desired state, it looks similar to this!
John: Alarms pop up if host are out of compliance within vCenter
Pete: When you configure your desired state you can decide how frequently you want to check for drift.
Q7: What about hardware compatibility checks? Is it possible to monitor with vSphere Lifecycle Manager? (Tweet Link)
Niels: YES!! vSAN Storage Controllers are even checked against the Hardware Compatibility List (HCL).
John: Aligning drivers and firmware’s with HCLs can be difficult. This is why vLCM checks for you. It checks the server as well as components. No need to align planets to plan an upgrade.
Pete: This is actually a pretty awesome feature. vLCM will verify that the hardware on your desired image is compliant with the vSAN HCL.
Q8: What course of action do you recommend if you find a hardware compatibility issue during a hardware compatibility check? (Tweet Link)
Pete: vLCM will actually provide a link to the HCL for the device, and you can subscribe for updated notifications.
Q9: If vSphere Lifecycle Manager and vSAN 7 were a cartoon, which would they be? Post a GIF to share your answer. (Tweet Link)
Niels: Gotta be pinky and the brain?
John: This is me when patching our clusters.
Pete: Trying to think of an awesome cartoon that makes my life so much easier.