While catching up on emails from being out on paternity leave, I came across a VSAN HCL feature request that I had filed in early December of last year. I was pleasantly surprise to see that it had been marked resolved. The VSAN Hardware Compatibility List is continuously being updated to include new hardware platforms and components that have been certified by our hardware vendors.
This of course is great news for our customers, but one challenge that I have heard on several occasion is how to keep up with the changes, especially the addition of new components? The VSAN HCL allows you to subscribe and get notification on individual components which is useful to get the latest recommendation. However, in the case of new components being add or even removed, there is no easy solution and most folks resort to manually checking the VSAN HCL by hand.
VSAN itself does include an HCL healthcheck, which you can have it directly pull the latest VSAN HCL JSON from VMware's website, although this may not always be possible for customers without direct or proxy access to the internet. This means for customers who may have dark sites, they must periodically download the latest VSAN HCL JSON and distribute that throughout their vCenter Server, where as a more ideal solution is to only push the update when a new JSON has been provided by VMware.
My feature request was quite simple, it asks for a method in which customers can easily subscribe and get notified of when the VSAN HCL database has been updated. This has been delivered as a tiny RSS feed service.
You can access the VSAN HCL Feed service URL using the following: https://partnerweb.vmware.com/service/vSANFeedService.php
Below are several options on how you might consume this VSAN HCL Feed service:
Option 1: Web browser
Simply bookmark the VSAN HCL Feed service URL and open it with a web browser of your choice. Once loaded, the service will provide an XML payload containing the last date the VSAN HCL JSON was updated. As of writing this article, that was last Friday, March 9, 2018.
Option 2: RSS Feed/Reader
Since this the VSAN HCL Feed service is simply an RSS feed, you can subscribe to the URL just like you would any other website. There are number of solutions out in the market, you can even use the same tool you use to subscribe to blogs such as virtuallyGhetto. I personally use feedly if you are looking for a recommendation.
Option 3: Email via If this, then that (IFTTT)
If you prefer to get notified immediately when the VSAN HCL JSON has been updated, you can leverage a really cool free SaaS service called If This Then That (IFTTT) which I personally use for automating and integrating variety of services together with just a few clicks of a mouse. The IFTTT applet that you will want to use is the Send email rss and you simply update the feed URL with the VSAN HCL Feed service URL as shown in the screenshot below.
Option 4: Programmatic Access
Customers can also consume the feed programmatically whether that is through the use of cURL, PowerShell or any other scripting or development language that supports XML parsing. Below is a quick PowerShell snippet that extracts the pubDate which can then be used to determine whether a new VSAN HCL JSON needs to be downloaded and distributed to all of your vCenter Servers to ensure you have the latest VSAN HCL database for the VSAN healthcheck service.
$vsanHCLRSSFeedURL = "https://partnerweb.vmware.com/service/vSANFeedService.php"
$results = Invoke-WebRequest -Uri $vsanHCLRSSFeedURL -UseBasicParsing
$xml = [xml]$results.Content