After a server, blade or storage array is no longer availible for sale, you may be STUCK on whatever ESX rev you are currently running. This is a big problem for vManagers who want to use new features only availible for vSphere 4. Even worse, VMware Update Manager makes it dangerously simple to upgrade your entire cluster to vSphere 4 with a few mouse clicks. Regardless if your hardware is still certified.
- Keeping compute and storage hardware on a life cycle plan is critical, and keep that plan aligned as best as possible with the software.
- Talk to your vendors, demand a policy on VMware HCL certification.
- Understand your hardware vendor's product lifecycle
- Check the HCL: VMware's Live Hardware Compatibility Guide