MikeOD
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Enthusiast

How important is it to upgrade the VM hardware level if you don't need the extra features the later version provides?

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Is there any advantage or reason to upgrade the virtual machine hardware levels if you don't need the new features that the later versions give you?

We're preparing to go to VSphere 6 and are starting to migrate some of our hosts.  Most of our VM's are at levels 7, 8, or 9.

From what I've seen, the features in hardware level 10 and 11 aren't anything we would need on most of our VM's.  I'm just wandering if the later hardware versions are better, more stable, etc. and we should upgrade the hardware even if we don't need the expanded features.

Mike O'Donnell

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mcrape
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Hi Mike,

VMware sees it as a best practice to run on the latest hardware version (see the Virtual Machines section on this page: VMware KB: Upgrading from vSphere 5.x to vSphere 6.0 Best Practices) and if you run into a problem with a VM, support may ask you to upgrade the version. In practice it might give you some more stability or some performance improvements.

I have been similar to you though in that I don't necessarily keep my VMs up to date at the hardware level. I make sure they are relatively recent though.

You will want to make sure that all guests in the cluster are compatible on all hosts; the last thing you want is to have a failure and find out that the guest can't run on a different host due to an incompatibility.

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mcrape
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Enthusiast

Hi Mike,

VMware sees it as a best practice to run on the latest hardware version (see the Virtual Machines section on this page: VMware KB: Upgrading from vSphere 5.x to vSphere 6.0 Best Practices) and if you run into a problem with a VM, support may ask you to upgrade the version. In practice it might give you some more stability or some performance improvements.

I have been similar to you though in that I don't necessarily keep my VMs up to date at the hardware level. I make sure they are relatively recent though.

You will want to make sure that all guests in the cluster are compatible on all hosts; the last thing you want is to have a failure and find out that the guest can't run on a different host due to an incompatibility.

View solution in original post

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MikeOD
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Thanks.  Our current production environment is esxi 5.1.  We're going to 6.0, but we weren't planning on upgrading any guest hardware level beyond 9 until we get the hosts up to 6.0.  That was partly why I posted the question, I was wondering if it was going to be a big issue running the newer ESXi with "old" VM hardware versions.

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