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vSAN upgrade requirements (2145248)

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This article outlines the requirements to upgrade a vSAN cluster between major and minor versions.

Note: Depending on the desired target version, there may be intermediate steps required to ensure a smooth and effective upgrade process. Ensure you review the relevant section in detail.


Important considerations before you begin: Prior to beginning any vSAN upgrade process, please validate that the cluster is healthy:
  • All vSAN hosts are present, online, in a good state and manageable through vCenter Server
  • There are no failed disks in any vSAN hosts
  • There are no inaccessible objects in the vSAN cluster
    • This can be checked using the vSAN Health Service in 6.0 and above
    • This can be checked using the Ruby vSphere Console (RVC) in 5.5
Compliance with the minimum ESXi starting version as noted in the table is vital for a successful upgrade process. For more information about the version specific requirements, see the Additional Information section.

This table details the requirements to upgrade to any given version of vSAN. In general, the vSAN upgrade order is the same as the vSphere upgrade order, with the on-disk upgrade as the last step. 

Target vSAN versionMinimum ESXi starting versionPost-upgrade on-disk format upgrade required?Caveats
6.5 *5.5, Express Patch 07No, if upgrading from 6.2
Yes, if upgrading from 6.0/6.1
Yes, if upgrading from 5.5
Note: Issues resolved in the latest release of vSAN 6.2 (6.0 Patch 04) are not included in 6.5 GA.
6.2 *5.5, Express Patch 07Yes6.2 is a significant vSAN release. Please ensure that all hardware is compliant per the vSAN Compatibility Guide
6.15.5, Express Patch 09Yes, if upgrading from 5.5
No, if upgrading from 6.0
6.1 is a significant vSAN release. Please ensure that all hardware is compliant per the vSAN Compatibility Guide
6.05.5, Express Patch 09Yes6.0 is a vSAN major release. Please ensure that all hardware is compliant per the vSAN Compatibility Guide.
5.5, Update 2+5.5, Update 1NoUpgrade from 5.5 GA is not supported.

  • * Due to changes in vSAN 6.2 object handling, it is acceptable to migrate directly to 6.2 from earlier releases of 5.5, whereas it is not acceptable to migrate to 6.0 or 6.1 from those same earlier releases of 5.5.
  • In vSAN 6.2, the required on-disk format upgrade may fail due to unassociated objects in the vSAN datastore or due to locking associated with changed-block tracking (CBT). For more information on resolving vSAN 6.2 on-disk upgrade failures, see the Additional Information section.
  • If there is little available free space in the vSAN datastore or if the vSAN cluster has only three nodes or disk groups, the vSAN 6.2 on-disk upgrade may fail. If this occurs, a CLI alternative must be used. For more information, see KB 2144944 linked in the Additional Information section.

Additional Information


vsan upgrade

See Also

Update History

02/14/2017 - Added target version vSAN 6.5 to the table.

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