Hosts, image profiles, and individual VIBs have acceptance levels. VIB acceptance levels show how the VIB was tested. Understanding what each acceptance level implies, how to change levels, and what a change implies is an important part of installation and update procedures.

Acceptance levels are set for hosts, image profiles, and individual VIBs. The default acceptance level for an ESXi image or image profile is PartnerSupported.

Host acceptance levels
The host acceptance level determines which VIBs you can install on a host. You can change a host's acceptance level with ESXCLI commands. By default, ESXi hosts have an acceptance level of PartnerSupported to allow for easy updates with PartnerSupported VIBs.
Note: VMware supports hosts at the PartnerSupported acceptance level. For problems with individual VIBs with PartnerSupported acceptance level, contact your partner's support organization.
Image profile acceptance levels
The image profile acceptance level is set to the lowest VIB acceptance level in the image profile. If you want to add a VIB with a low acceptance level to an image profile, you can change the image profile acceptance level with the Set-EsxImageProfile cmdlet. See Set the Image Profile Acceptance Level.

The vSphere Update Manager does not display the actual acceptance level. Use vSphere ESXi Image Builder cmdlets to retrieve the acceptance level information for VIBs and image profiles.

VIB acceptance levels
A VIB's acceptance level is set when the VIB is created. Only the VIB creator can set the acceptance level.

If you attempt to provision a host with an image profile or VIB that has a lower acceptance level than the host, an error occurs. Change the acceptance level of the host to install the image profile or VIB. See Change the Host Acceptance Level. Changing the acceptance level of the host changes the support level for that host.

The acceptance level of a host, image profile, or VIB lets you determine who tested the VIB and who supports the VIB. VMware supports the following acceptance levels .

The VMwareCertified acceptance level has the most stringent requirements. VIBs with this level go through thorough testing fully equivalent to VMware in-house Quality Assurance testing for the same technology. Today, only I/O Vendor Program (IOVP) program drivers are published at this level. VMware takes support calls for VIBs with this acceptance level.
VIBs with this acceptance level go through verification testing, but the tests do not fully test every function of the software. The partner runs the tests and VMware verifies the result. Today, CIM providers and PSA plug-ins are among the VIBs published at this level. VMware directs support calls for VIBs with this acceptance level to the partner's support organization.
VIBs with the PartnerSupported acceptance level are published by a partner that VMware trusts. The partner performs all testing. VMware does not verify the results. This level is used for a new or nonmainstream technology that partners want to enable for VMware systems. Today, driver VIB technologies such as Infiniband, ATAoE, and SSD are at this level with nonstandard hardware drivers. VMware directs support calls for VIBs with this acceptance level to the partner's support organization.
The CommunitySupported acceptance level is for VIBs created by individuals or companies outside of VMware partner programs. VIBs at this level have not gone through any VMware-approved testing program and are not supported by VMware Technical Support or by a VMware partner.