Learn about specific capabilities and limitations of the use of NPIV with ESXi.

ESXi with NPIV supports the following items:

  • NPIV supports vMotion. When you use vMotion to migrate a virtual machine it retains the assigned WWN.

    If you migrate an NPIV-enabled virtual machine to a host that does not support NPIV, VMkernel reverts to using a physical HBA to route the I/O.

  • If your FC SAN environment supports concurrent I/O on the disks from an active-active array, the concurrent I/O to two different NPIV ports is also supported.

When you use ESXi with NPIV, the following limitations apply:

  • Because the NPIV technology is an extension to the FC protocol, it requires an FC switch and does not work on the direct attached FC disks.

  • When you clone a virtual machine or template with a WWN assigned to it, the clones do not retain the WWN.

  • NPIV does not support Storage vMotion.

  • Disabling and then re-enabling the NPIV capability on an FC switch while virtual machines are running can cause an FC link to fail and I/O to stop.