Any maintenance activity on ESXi host running VSAN, the first thing you will want to do is to place the host into Maintenance Mode. If you have never performed this operation on a VSAN host before, you should be aware that there is a new option to specify how the data for VSAN will be migrated. Below is a screenshot of three options provided when using the vSphere Web Client.


  1. Right-click the host and select Maintenance Mode > Enter Maintenance Mode.
  2. Select a data evacuation mode and click OK.

Ensure data accessibility from other hosts:


This is the default option. When you power off or remove the host from the cluster, vSAN ensures that all accessible virtual machines on this host remain accessible. Select this option if you want to take the host out of the cluster temporarily, for example, to install upgrades, and plan to have the host back in the cluster. This option is not appropriate if you want to remove the host from the cluster permanently.

Evacuate all data to other hosts:


vSAN evacuates all data to other hosts in the cluster, maintains or fixes availability compliance for the affected components, and protects data when sufficient resources exist in the cluster. Select this option if you plan to migrate the host permanently. When evacuating data from the last host in the cluster, make sure that you migrate the virtual machines to another datastore and then place the host in maintenance mode.

This evacuation mode results in the largest amount of data transfer and consumes the most time and resources. All the components on the local storage of the selected host are migrated elsewhere in the cluster. When the host enters maintenance mode, all virtual machines have access to their storage components and are still compliant with their assigned storage policies.

No data evacuation:


vSAN does not evacuate any data from this host. If you power off or remove the host from the cluster, some virtual machines might become unaccessible.