Virtual Machine Compatibility

When you create a virtual machine or update an existing virtual machine, you can choose which ESXi host versions the virtual machine can run on using the virtual machine compatibility feature.

The virtual hardware available to the virtual machine is determined by the compatibility setting, which corresponds to the real hardware present on the host. BIOS and EFI, accessible virtual PCI slots, maximum number of CPUs, maximum RAM configuration, and other features are all included in virtual hardware. With major or minor updates of vSphere, new virtual hardware capabilities are typically introduced once a year.

At least five major or minor vSphere releases are supported by each virtual machine compatibility level.

For example, a virtual machine that is compatible with ESXi 3.5 and later can run on ESXi 3.5, ESXi 4.0, ESXi 4.1, ESXi 5.0, ESXi 5.1, ESXi 5.5, ESXi 6.0, ESXi 6.5, ESXi 6.7, ESXi 6.7 Update 2.

Virtual Machine Compatibility Options are :

CompatibilityDescription
Virtual Machine Compatibility OptionsThis virtual machine (hardware version 15) is compatible with ESXi 6.7 Update 2 and
later.
ESXi 6.7 and laterThis virtual machine (hardware version 14) is compatible with ESXi 6.7 and ESXi 6.7
Update 2.
ESXi 6.5 and laterThis virtual machine (hardware version 13) is compatible with ESXi 6.5, ESXi 6.7, and
ESXi 6.7 Update 2.
ESXi 6.0 and laterThis virtual machine (hardware version 11) is compatible with ESXi 6.0, ESXi 6.5, ESXi
6.7, and ESXi 6.7 Update 2.
ESXi 5.5 and laterThis virtual machine (hardware version 10) is compatible with ESXi 5.5, ESXi 6.0, ESXi
6.5, ESXi 6.7, and ESXi 6.7 Update 2.
ESXi 5.1 and laterThis virtual machine (hardware version 9) is compatible with ESXi 5.1, ESXi 5.5, ESXi 6.0,
ESXi 6.5, ESXi 6.7, and ESXi 6.7 Update 2.
ESXi 5.0 and laterThis virtual machine (hardware version 8) is compatible with ESXi 5.0, ESXi 5.1, ESXi 5.5,
ESXi 6.0, ESXi 6.5, ESXi 6.7, and ESXi 6.7 Update 2.
ESX/ESXi 4.0 and laterThis virtual machine (hardware version 7) is compatible with ESX/ ESXi 4.0, ESX/ ESXi
4.1, ESXi 5.0, ESXi 5.1, ESXi 5.5, ESXi 6.0, ESXi 6.5, ESXi 6.7, and ESXi 6.7 Update 2.
ESX/ESXi 3.5 and laterThis virtual machine (hardware version 4) is compatible with ESX/ESXi 3.5, ESX/ ESXi
4.0, ESX/ ESXi 4.1, ESXi 5.1, ESXi 5.5, ESXi 6.0, ESXi 6.5, ESXi 6.7, and ESXi 6.7 Update
It is also compatible with VMware Server 1.0 and later. ESXi 5.0 does not allow
creation of virtual machines with ESX/ESXi 3.5 and later compatibility, but you can run such virtual machines if they were created on a host with different compatibility.

The default compatibility setting for the virtual machine you’re constructing appears in the Compatible with drop-down menu. The default virtual machine compatibility is determined by the following factors:

The ESXi host version used to construct the virtual machine.

A host, cluster, or datacenter is the inventory item on which the default virtual machine compatibility is configured.

You can either accept the default compatibility or change it. It is not always necessary to use the most recent version of the ESXi host. Choosing an older version can provide you more options and is useful in the following situations:

To make testing and deployment in your virtual environment more consistent.

If you don’t require the latest host version’s features.

In order to keep older hosts compatible.

Consider the environment in which the virtual machine will run and weigh the advantages of various compatibility options while creating a virtual machine. Consider your options in these examples, which show the versatility that comes with each virtual machine compatibility choice.

Objects in EnvironmentCompatibilityResults
Cluster with ESXi 6.0, ESXi 6.5,
and ESXi 6.7 hosts
ESXi 6.5 and laterGives you access to virtual hardware features that are not
available with ESXi 6.0.
i You cannot migrate this virtual machine to an ESXi 6.0 host.
ii This virtual machine does not have all the capabilities available
to virtual machines that run on ESXi 6.7 hosts.
Cluster with ESXi 6.0, ESXi 6.5,
and ESXi 6.7 hosts
ESXi 6.7 and laterThis provides access to the latest virtual hardware features and
ensures best performance. However, a virtual machine with such
compatibility cannot run on ESXi 6.0 or ESXi 6.5.

Set the Default Virtual Machine Compatibility for Virtual Machine Creation

You can set the default compatibility for visual machine creation in a host, collection, or data center. These options ensure that when virtual machines are added to an existing vSphere environment, it is compatible with host versions that reside there.

The following conditions apply:

In order to set the default compatibility in the collection, the collection must contain both hosted and non-configured modes.

The default host interaction setting overrides the default cluster or data center setting.

The default integration setting in the collection removes the default data center setting.

Schedule a Virtual Machine Compatibility Upgrade for a Single Virtual Machine

Interoperability level determines the virtual hardware available on the virtual machine, viz compatible with virtual hardware available on the host machine. You can improve compatibility to make the virtual machine compatible with the latest version of the host.

Change the Default Virtual Machine Compatibility Setting

Virtual machine compatibility determines the virtual hardware found in the virtual machine.

You can configure compliance upgrades to make the virtual machine compatible new versions of ESXi.

You can change the compatibility of a single machine by improving its compatibility or to plan compliance improvements.

You can also change the default setting of the host, collection, or data center.

Hardware Features Available with Virtual Machine Compatibility Settings

The optical compatibility of the device determines the optical hardware available on the visual machine, compatible with portable hardware located on the host. You can update again compare available computer systems for different levels of interaction to help you decide which to develop visual equipment in your area.

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