Prior to vSphere 7.0, ESXi lifecycle management has been provided by vSphere Update Manager (VUM), which has been around for more than a decade plus and is most likely what you are still using today. With the release of vSphere 7.0, VMware introduced a brand new lifecycle management solution for ESXi called vSphere Lifecycle Manager (vLCM), which you can read more about HERE.
While VMware has made it clear that vLCM will be the future going forward for ESXi lifecycle management, we also understand that most customers will still be using the existing VUM-based solution and we wanted to make sure it was easy to transition between the two solutions, especially within the vSphere UI.
An interesting question was recently brought up was how to determine whether a vSphere Cluster was using the new vLCM solution based on desired images versus VUM, which uses baselines?
Note: If you are not familiar between vLCM Desired Image and VUM Baselines, be sure to check out this helpful resource HERE.
Using vSphere UI
Select the specific vSphere Cluster in your inventory and under Updates->Images, if you are prompted to setup an image then you are NOT using vLCM Desired Image but VUM baselines as shown in the screenshot below.
Using the vSphere API or PowerCLI
For those that prefer to automate this check, a new vSphere API property called lifecycleManaged has been introduced at the vSphere Cluster level that will tell you whether it is using vLCM Desired Image or not. Here is an example PowerCLI snippet for accessing the property
Finally, when creating a new vSphere Cluster, users can decide whether the cluster will configured using vLCM Desired Image as shown in the screenshot below. The default behavior in vSphere 8.0 is to automatically select vLCM Desired Image and once this is configured, you can not change it back to VUM baseline. If you have a vSphere Cluster that is configured as VUM baseline, then you can change it to vLCM Desired Image. To learn more about vLCM, be sure to check out the official VMware documentation HERE.