Vows Renewed: vSphere 5.1 & View 5.1 Compatibility Fixed

When vSphere 5.1 was announced back in August 2012 at VMworld San Francisco, one important piece of information that was beaten into our brains was that View 5.1 was NOT compatible with the new vSphere platform. While many customers don’t go out and throw the latest bits at their production environments on the day of release it was a bit of a head scratcher as to why two of your flag-ship products would require a divorce while simultaneously unifying their version numbers.

However, this is now water under the bridge.  Late Thursday, October 25th, 2012, VMware quietly published a KB article (2035268) which simply states that View 5.1 is now compatible with vSphere 5.1 with links to a new ESXi ISO image or an ESXi patch.

One thing that I was still curious about, though, was what caused the incompatibility.  VMware employees were mum at VMworld on the details but a few did mention something about the CBRC (content-based read cache) in ESXi causing part of the problem.  The CBRC is a feature in the hypervisor that enables the View 5.1 feature called the View Storage Accelerator - the ability to dedicate up to 2048 MB of RAM on ESXi hosts to caching of high I/O blocks of your View desktops.

Well now we know that this was THE problem.  According to the patch notes:

[important]When the View Storage Accelerator feature is enabled in View, Multiple Content-Based Read Cache (CBRC) disable requests issued from View to hostd might cause View to lose connectivity to an ESXi host.[/important]

(On an aside, there definitely was an issue with PowerPath V/E for EMC customers which was fixed in this release as well, but it was unrelated to the View problem)

Now this has obviously been corrected and we can look forward to the renewal of vows between vSphere 5.1 and View 5.1 in our own environments.