RAID controller testing for VSAN HCL

I'm an early VSAN adopter. VSAN is my production datastore.

  • VSAN has, for the most part, been working well.
  • I have had a few issues, one of which corrupted a .VMDK file and cost me my VM.
  • I have been told by Tech Support that I really should upgrade to VSAN 6.x because of the many improvements.
  • I want to upgrade!

I deployed a new VSAN 5.5 U2 3-node cluster using Intel RS25DB080 RAID controllers. All my hardware is on the 5.5 U2 HCL. I am unable to upgrade to VSAN 6.x because this controller has not yet been tested for VSAN 6.x compatibility. When VSAN 6 was first announced, I inquired about my controller and was told to be patient. Well, that didn't work. More recently, I have opened a Service Request to address this issue and have been trying to raise awareness of a larger issue.

I have been told, unofficially, there is a large backlog of devices that need compatibility testing and that devices have been prioritised (likely based on market share). On the surface this makes a lot of sense, however, devices already on the HCL should be the first tested for new software versions because customers have already deployed these devices based on their current compatibility status. I see fifteen Intel RAID controllers on the VSAN HCL. All are shown to be compatible with VSAN 5.5 U1/U2/U3. None are shown to be compatible with VSAN 6.x. That has to be more than a coincidence!  There may be similar devices from other vendors... I haven't checked.

It was suggested that even if arrangements were made to have a specific device tested, because of the current backlog it wouldn't be any time soon. If this is true, and especially if this is a VMware policy, I am very disappointed. I expected VMware to treat their current customers better than this!

Shouldn't VMware make a commitment to customers to retest devices on the HCL? Shouldn't devices on the HCL, still considered to be current by their vendors, receive a higher testing priority than new devices?

Am I being unreasonable?

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1 Reply

I would like to add my support.  It does seem like the backlog of devices that were qualified on 5.5 is too long.  Even if the answer is, it won't be qualified on 6.x, that's better than being in limbo.  At least as customers, we would have a direction to go.  Thank you, Zach.