kcvman
Contributor
Contributor

ESX 4 guest hardware upgrade to version 7 - implications of not upgrading

We have 30+ Windows Server 2003 / 2008 guests that server as License servers for various applications (eg. AutoCAD, SolidWorks, etc.) in our environment. These license servers require a static MAC address and/or IP address in order to continue to server up licenses without fail. Some of these licenses cannot be re-obtained from the softare vendor for various reasons, including the vendor is no longer in business. We are currently moving to the ESX version 4 which appears to require that we upgrade the guest "hardware" to version 7 from version 4. By doing this, we have found that a new NIC is created, thus a new MAC, and causing our licensing apps to fail.

My questions are...

1. Is the guest hardware upgrade from version 4 to version 7 a definitive requirement by VMware for ESX version 4?

2. Are there any implications of not performing the upgrade?

Thanks.

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3 Replies

You can work with virtual hardware 4 in ESX 4 without any troubles. VH7 just provides such new functions as paravirtualized iSCSI and VMXNET3.

Here you can read how to change MAC address manually - http://www.vmware.com/support/esx21/doc/esx21admin_MACaddress.html

StarWind Software R&D

http://www.starwindsoftware.com

StarWind Software R&D http://www.starwindsoftware.com
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vmroyale
Immortal
Immortal

Hello.

1. Is the guest hardware upgrade from version 4 to version 7 a definitive requirement by VMware for ESX version 4?

No, it is not required to go to v7, unless you want to use some of the newer drivers. You can leave the virtual machines at v4 "as-is" with no problem.

2. Are there any implications of not performing the upgrade?

Again, not unless you want to make use of some of the newer drivers that require v7 virtual machine hardware.

If these servers are already virtual machines, then you should be able to keep the existing MAC addresses. You will have to record the current addresses, update the virtual machine hardware and then change them back manually as described in kb 219. I haven't personally tried this, but I don't see why it would not work. Might be worth testing, if you ever have to get to v7.

Good Luck!

Brian Atkinson | vExpert | VMTN Moderator | Author of "VCP5-DCV VMware Certified Professional-Data Center Virtualization on vSphere 5.5 Study Guide: VCP-550" | @vmroyale | http://vmroyale.com
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Troy_Clavell
Immortal
Immortal

...and hot swap to guest OS's that support it.

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