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vSAN Health Service – vSAN HCL Health – Controller Driver (2109263)

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This article explains the vSAN HCL Health – Controller Driver Health check in the vSAN Health Service in vSAN and provides details on why it might report an error.

Adherence to the VMware Compatibility Guide (VCG)/Hardware Compatibility Guide (HCL) is critically important to the stability of vSAN environments. Experience has shown that failing to observe the VCG often leads to production outages over time. It is therefore very important to monitor the health checks in the HCL checker category. For more information, see the VMware Certified Compatibility Guides.


Q: What does the vSAN HCL Health – Controller Driver check do?

This health check displays whether or not the storage I/O controller driver is supported for controller installed on the host running ESXi, and whether it is supported with that release of ESXi.

Assuming that the Controller on vSAN HCL and Controller Release Support health checks have passed, this check will further verify that there the driver version in use is on the list of supported drivers.

This is important as drivers play a critical role in the stability and integrity of vSAN. Vendors often update their drivers to address critical bugs. In such cases, VMware may revoke the certification status of an old driver and only support the new version of the driver. Hence it is possible this check to turn from a healthy green (OK) state to showing warnings after refreshing the VCG database. In such cases, VMware recommends to upgrade the driver to the recommended version.

Note: There is also the possibility of a vendor updating a driver, and making it downloadable from their website. If VMware has not certified the driver for vSAN (either because the certification has not happened yet, or because it actually failed the certification) VMware does not recommend upgrading to this driver unless it appears on the VCG.

Before upgrading a driver, VMware recommends a refresh of the VCG database, checking the details section and checking for the supported drivers. If the new driver is supported, you can proceed with the upgrade with confidence.

Q: What does it mean when it is in an error state?

Note: If the Controller on vSAN HCL or Controller Release Support check failed, then this check will also fail.  If the driver is not listed in the VCG for this device and ESXi release, the vSAN environment may be at risk.

For more information about this issue, refer to the following article: vSAN Health check warning for controller driver version containing string patterns with "-1OEM" or “VMW” (2148615).

Q: How does one troubleshoot and fix the error state?

If this test fails, VMware recommends updating the driver as a first step. It is possible the hardware (or its firmware) or the release of the driver were recently added to the VCG.

For detailed instructions on how to query the make, model and version of your storage I/O controller, see the VMware vSAN Diagnostics and Troubleshooting Reference Manual. If you still have difficultly determining storage I/O controller information, contact VMware Support to assess the situation fully. Do not simply rely on the automated health checks. VMware Support will also assist with any mitigation steps. For more information, see How to file a Support Request in My VMware (2006985).

Additional Information

For more information on collecting VMware vSAN logs, see Collecting vSAN support logs and uploading to VMware (2072796).

For more information about compatibility between ESXi versions and vSAN on-disk format versions, see Understanding vSAN on-disk format versions and compatibility (2145267).

For more information about the "Disk format version 4.0 (update to 2 suggested)" alarm, see Understanding the "Disk format version 4.0 (update to 2 suggested)" alarm (2146758).

Also, see:

See Also

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