Correlating vSAN versions with vSphere (vCenter & ESXi) Versions

I often get asked if a certain version of vSAN can be deployed on a different version of vSphere. The answer is no. vSAN is built into the vSphere version. That means vCenter needs to be upgraded to the correct version of vCenter and all the hosts in the cluster need to be upgraded to the correct version of ESXi in order to get the features of that version of vSAN. Lastly, vSAN formats each disk drive with an on-disk format, so to get the full features of a specific release, you may need to update the on-disk format.

Here’s basically how everything breaks down:

  • If you have vSphere 5.5 (vCenter Server 5.0 & ESXi 5.0) then you have vSAN 5.5.
  • If you have vSphere 6.0 (vCenter Server 6.0 & ESXi 6.0) then you have vSAN 6.0.
  • If you have vSphere 6.0 U1 (vCenter Server 6.0 Update 2 & ESXi 6.0 Update 1) then you have vSAN 6.1.
  • If you have vSphere 6.0 U2 (vCenter Server 6.0 Update 2 & ESXi 6.0 Update 2) then you have vSAN 6.2.
  • If you have vSphere 6.5 (vCenter Server 6.5 & ESXi 6.5) then you have vSAN 6.5.
  • If you have vSphere 6.5.0d (vCenter Server 6.5.0d & ESXi 6.5.0d) then you have vSAN 6.6.
  • If you have vSphere 6.5 Update 1 (vCenter Server 6.5 Update 1 & ESXi 6.5 Update 1) then you have vSAN 6.6.1.

Here’s a more detailed matrix:

Version Release

Date

Build

Number

Installer Build Number vSAN Version vSAN

On-Disk Format

(Web Client)

ESXi 6.5 Express Patch 4 2017-10-05 6765664 N/A 6.6.1 5
ESXi 6.5 Update 1 2017-07-27 5969303 N/A 6.6.1 5
ESXi 6.5.0d 2017-04-18 5310538 N/A 6.6 5
ESXi 6.5. Express Patch 1a 2017-03-28 5224529 N/A 6.5 2.5, 3
ESXi 6.5. Patch 01 2017-03-09 5146846 5146843 6.5 2.5, 3
ESXi 6.5.0a 2017-02-02 4887370 N/A 6.5  2.5, 3
ESXi 6.5 GA 2016-11-15 4564106 N/A 6.5  2.5, 3
ESXi 6.0 Express Patch 7a 2017-03-28 5224934 N/A 6.2 2.5, 3
ESXi 6.0 Update 3 2017-02-24 5050593 N/A 6.2 2.5, 3
ESXi 6.0 Patch 4 2016-11-22 4600944 N/A 6.2 2.5, 3
ESXi 6.0 Express Patch 7 2016-10-17 4510822 N/A 6.2 2.5, 3
ESXi 6.0 Patch 3 2016-08-04 4192238 N/A 6.2 2.5, 3
ESXi 6.0 Express Patch 6 2016-05-12 3825889 N/A 6.2 2.5, 3
ESXi 6.0 Update 2 2016-03-16 3620759 N/A 6.2 2.5, 3
ESXi 6.0 Express Patch 5 2016-02-23 3568940 N/A 6.1 2
ESXi 6.0 Update 1b 2016-01-07 3380124 N/A 6.1 2
ESXi 6.0 Express Patch 4 2015-11-25 3247720 N/A 6.1 2
ESXi 6.0 U1a (Express Patch 3) 2015-10-06 3073146 N/A 6.1 2
ESXi 6.0 U1 2015-09-10 3029758 N/A 6.1 2
ESXi 6.0.0b 2015-07-07 2809209 N/A 6.0 2
ESXi 6.0 Express Patch 2 2015-05-14 2715440 N/A 6.0 2
ESXi 6.0 Express Patch 1 2015-04-09 2615704 2615979 6.0 2
ESXi 6.0 GA 2015-03-12 2494585 N/A 6.0 2
ESXi 5.5 Patch 10 2016-12-20 4722766 4761836 5.5 1
ESXi 5.5 Patch 9 2016-09-15 4345813 4362114 5.5 1
ESXi 5.5 Patch 8 2016-08-04 4179633 N/A 5.5 1
ESXi 5.5 Express Patch 10 2016-02-22 3568722 N/A 5.5 1
ESXi 5.5 Express Patch 9 2016-01-04 3343343 N/A 5.5 1
ESXi 5.5 Update 3b 2015-12-08 3248547 N/A 5.5 1
ESXi 5.5 Update 3a 2015-10-06 3116895 N/A 5.5 1
ESXi 5.5 Update 3 2015-09-16 3029944 N/A 5.5 1
ESXi 5.5 Patch 5 re-release 2015-05-08 2718055 N/A 5.5 1
ESXi 5.5 Express Patch 7 2015-04-07 2638301 N/A 5.5 1
ESXi 5.5 Express Patch 6 2015-02-05 2456374 N/A 5.5 1
ESXi 5.5 Patch 4 2015-01-27 2403361 N/A 5.5 1
ESXi 5.5 Express Patch 5 2014-12-02 2302651 N/A 5.5 1
ESXi 5.5 Patch 3 2014-10-15 2143827 N/A 5.5 1
ESXi 5.5 Update 2 2014-09-09 2068190 N/A 5.5 1
ESXi 5.5 Patch 2 2014-07-01 1892794 N/A 5.5 1
ESXi 5.5 Express Patch 4 2014-06-11 1881737 N/A 5.5 1
ESXi 5.5 Update 1a 2014-04-19 1746018 N/A 5.5 1
ESXi 5.5 Express Patch 3 2014-04-19 1746974 N/A 5.5 1
ESXi 5.5 Update 1 2014-03-11 1623387 N/A 5.5 1
ESXi 5.5 Patch 1 2013-12-22 1474528 N/A 5.5 1
ESXi 5.5 GA 2013-09-22 1331820 N/A 5.5 1

As a reference, see:

Build numbers and versions of VMware vSAN (2150753) – This is a new KB post that went up on July 31, 2017 which provides the same information as above.

Build numbers and versions of VMware vCenter Server (2143838)

Build numbers and versions of VMware ESXi/ESX (2143832)

Understanding vSAN on-disk format versions (2145267)

 

 

 

 

 

How to Change All of the vSAN VMkernel Port IP Addresses in a vSphere Cluster.

Several months ago I was asked how to change all the vSAN VMkernel port IP Addresses in a vSphere cluster and today I was asked again, so here it is.

Non-Disruptively

Assuming each host has 2 VMkernel ports (a & b) enabled for vSAN traffic.

  • Disable vSAN traffic on each of the b networking interfaces on each host
  • Change the IP addresses on each of the b networking interfaces on each host
  • Move the physical network cable if moving to new switch ports
  • Re-enable vSAN traffic on each of the b networking interfaces on each host
  • Verify communication between all the b networking interfaces using vmkping test.
  • Repeat for all the a networking interfaces

Disruptively (downtime is OK and/or the hosts are being moved)

 

vSAN,… correction its VSAN,… OK, OK, its vSAN now, VSAN and Virtual SAN are wrong.

I spent 4 years at EMC prior to moving to VMware over 3 years ago to join the Software Defined Storage team. At EMC it was always a challenge to get the acronyms and names correct. When Acadia (VCE) first came out with the “Vblock” everybody wanted to type it as “vBlock”. I’d always try to subtly correct it and hope people got the hint. Other times I’d straight out correct them and feel like a jerk. But, to me, using the proper name was and is important. The same problem happened with “VPLEX”, everyone wanted to type it “vPLEX”. Why did people want to do this? Well, it’s VMware’s fault because they named things like “vSphere” and “vCenter” and later “vCloud” and “vRealize”. So when I joined VMware it was odd to me that we called our upcoming product “VSAN” and not “vSAN”. I’ve spent 3 years correcting Customers and VMware people one way or another that publically, and in product documentation, VMware actually could only call our product “Virtual SAN”. Many people, including me, got lazy and called it “VSAN”… but it was definitely not “vSAN”. Well, yesterday that all changed. Without going into detail, “vSAN” is the only name to use. Virtual SAN and VSAN are no more. Now I have to go fix all my spell checkers.

VMware Storage Technology Names & Acronyms

  • vSAN = VMware’s Software Defined Storage Solution formerly known as Virtual SAN or VSAN. Now the only acceptible name is “vSAN” with the little “v”.
  • SPBM = Storage Policy Based Management
  • VASA = vSphere API’s for Storage Awareness
  • VVol = Virtual Volume
  • PE = Protocol Endpoint
  • VAAI = vSphere API’s for Array Integration
  • VAIO Filtering = vSphere API’s for IO Filtering
  • VR = vSphere Replication
  • SRM = Site Recovery Manager
  • VDP = vSphere Data Protection
  • vFRC = vSphere Flash Read Cache
  • VSA = vSphere Storage Appliance (end of life)
  • VMFS = Virtual Machine File System
  • SvMotion = Storage vMotion
  • XvMotion – Across Host, Cluster, vCenter vMotion (without shared storage)
  • SDRS = Storage Distributed Resource Scheduler
  • SIOC = Storage Input Output Control
  • MPIO = Multi Path Input Output

Citrix & VSAN

There are many VMware and Citrix customers happily running Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop on VMware vSphere clusters with Virtual SAN enabled.

Citrix XenApp is fully supported on VSAN.

Citrix XenDesktop PVS is fully supported on VSAN.

Citrix XenDesktop MCS is still not supported on VSAN by Citrix at the time of this writing on October 7, 2016. Citrix has a fix that is in 7.8 and 7.9 already and customers have reported that the fix works, however Citrix claims the fix has not been qualified by them and thus is not supported. ETA for their official support is unclear at this point but is the responsibility of Citrix. If you are needing this feature, please reach out to Citrix to let them know.

Our friends at Dell Technologies (EMC/VCE) have tested XenApp, XenDesktop PVS and MCS on VxRail and have produced a report here:

Citrix XenDesktop 7.9 and VMware vSphere 6.0 with VCE VxRail Appliance
http://www.emc.com/collateral/technical-documentation/h15433-euc-citrix-xendesktop-vxrail-sg.pdf

In it they state “Citrix official support of MCS on VMware Virtual SAN is expected in a future release of XenDesktop. EMC tested this configuration and found no observable issues.

For the record, I’ve been a fan of Citrix since I first deployed Citrix WinView in my data center and remote sites back in 1994. Yes, I’m that old. I’m sure this will all get worked out.

Replays of Virtual SAN Sessions at VMworld 2016 That You Didn’t Want to Miss

What a great week last week at VMworld 2016. I had many good meetings with customers, participated in 3 breakout sessions, met up with some old friends and met some new ones. If you missed VMworld, well, then you missed a bunch of great sessions. There’s no way you could have seen them all, so, VMware has made them available here: http://www.vmworld.com/en/sessions/2016.html.

I participated in two sessions:

The first one was a customer panel discussion on Tuesday afternoon. I need to thank Glenn Brown from Stanley Black & Decker, Mike Caruso from Synergent, Tom Cronin from M&T Bank, and Andrew Schilling from Baystate Health who all did a fantastic job representing themselves, their companies, and their use of Virtual SAN. We had great interaction from the audience with lots of good questions. For a replay of the session check this out:

Four Unique Enterprise Customers Deployment of VMware Virtual SAN [STO7560]
Glen Brown
, System Engineer, Stanley Black and Decker
Michael Caruso, AVP Corporate Information Systems, Synergent
Tom Cronin, Sr. Staff Specialist – Platforms Engineering Group, M&T Bank
Frank Gesino, Senior Technical Account Manager, VMware
Andrew Schilling, Team Leader – IT Infrastructure, Baystate Health Inc.
Tuesday, Aug 30, 5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

The other session I was involved in was on Wednesday and repeated on Thursday. I had the good fortune to present with two VSAN Product Managers who are responsible for making VSAN great. Vahid Fereydounkolahi is responsible for driving new features into the VSAN product and Rakesh Radhakrishnan is responsible for making sure all the vendor hardware components are properly qualified for VSAN and for looking out into the future of new technologies like NVMe and RDMA to adopt into VSAN. For a replay of the two sessions check these out:

Peter Keilty, Office of the CTO, Americas Field – Storage and Availability, VMware, Inc.
Rakesh Radhakrishnan, Product Management & Strategy Leader, VMware
Wednesday, Aug 31, 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Vahid Fereydounkolahi kicked this one off discussion VSAN features, capabilities, and how it works, I took over in the middle to discuss Day 2 operations, and Rakesh Radhakrishnan finished it off discussing the Ready Node program as well as current and future flash and IO technology that VSAN incorporates or will incorporate.
Virtual SAN Technical Deep Dive and What’s New [STO8246R]

Thursday, Sep 01, 10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Vahid wasn’t able to make this time so I kicked things off talking about VSAN features, capabilities, how it works, and Day 2 operations, and Rakesh Radhakrishnan finished it off discussing the Ready Node program as well as current and future flash and IO technology that VSAN incorporates or will incorporate.
Virtual SAN Technical Deep Dive and What’s New [STO8246R]

In my previous blog post I highlighted the sessions you wouldn’t want to miss. So here, I’ll provide the links to those sessions. A few either haven’t been uploaded yet or won’t because of legal or future looking reasons:

Christos Karamanolis is literally the brains behind VSAN since its inception and our chief visionary for Storage. If you want the whole picture wrapped up in a 1 hour session, this is it.
An Industry Roadmap: From storage to data management [STO7903]
Christos Karamanolis, VMware Fellow – CTO of Storage and Availability, VMware
Wednesday, Aug 31, 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Read more…

Virtual SAN Sessions You Won’t Want to Miss at VMworld 2016

Shameless self-promotion here. I’m very excited to be presenting 2 sessions at the upcoming VMworld 2016 in Las Vegas. So, of course I think you shouldn’t miss them. The first is a customer panel session that I’ll be hosting. I’ve worked with each of these customers who have had VSAN running production workloads for well over a year. Everything wasn’t always perfect, but, they continue to expand their usage of VSAN in their data centers. In two of the customers, they are now standardized on VSAN for any new workloads. These customers will provide an overview of their deployments, answer some of my questions, then take questions from the audience.

Four Unique Enterprise Customers Deployment of VMware Virtual SAN [STO7560]
Glen Brown, System Engineer, Stanley Black and Decker
Michael Caruso, AVP Corporate Information Systems, Synergent
Tom Cronin, Sr. Staff Specialist – Platforms Engineering Group, M&T Bank
Frank Gesino, Senior Technical Account Manager, VMware
Andrew Schilling, Team Leader – IT Infrastructure, Baystate Health Inc.
Tuesday, Aug 30, 5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

This VSAN Deep Dive session will cover features of the latest VSAN release, how they work, and some best practices for deploying VSAN. I’ll be presenting along with our lead VSAN Product Managers. This session will be held on two different days.

Virtual SAN Technical Deep Dive and What’s New [STO8246R]
Peter Keilty, Office of the CTO, Americas Field – Storage and Availability, VMware, Inc.
Rakesh Radhakrishnan, Product Management & Strategy Leader, VMware
Wednesday, Aug 31, 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Thursday, Sep 01, 10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Other VSAN Sessions You Won’t Want to Miss

There are so many great VSAN sessions it’s hard to pick just a few. So, here are the ones I am most familiar with that I’m confident will be great. But that doesn’t mean that some of the others won’t be.

Christos Karamanolis is literally the brains behind VSAN since its inception and our chief visionary for Storage. If you want the whole picture wrapped up in a 1 hour session, this is it.

An Industry Roadmap: From storage to data management [STO7903]
Christos Karamanolis, VMware Fellow – CTO of Storage and Availability, VMware
Wednesday, Aug 31, 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Read more…