Starting with vSphere 6.5, vSphere vMotion always uses encryption when migrating encrypted virtual machines. For virtual machines that are not encrypted, you can select one of the encrypted vSphere vMotion options.

Encrypted vSphere vMotion secures confidentiality, integrity, and authenticity of data that is transferred with vSphere vMotion. Encrypted vSphere vMotion supports all variants of vSphere vMotion for unencrypted virtual machines, including migration across vCenter Server systems. Migration across vCenter Server systems is not supported for encrypted virtual machines.

For encrypted disks, the data is transmitted encrypted in all cases. For unencrypted disks, the following applies:

  • If disk data is transferred within a host, that is without changing the host, you change only the datastore, the transfer is unencrypted.

  • If disk data is transferred between hosts and encrypted vMotion is used, the transfer is encrypted. If encrypted vMotion is not used the transfer is unencrypted.

For virtual machines that are encrypted, migration with vSphere vMotion always uses encrypted vSphere vMotion. You cannot turn off encrypted vSphere vMotion for encrypted virtual machines.

For virtual machines that are not encrypted, you can set encrypted vSphere vMotion to one of the following states. The default is Opportunistic.


Do not use encrypted vSphere vMotion.


Use encrypted vSphere vMotion if source and destination hosts support it. Only ESXi versions 6.5 and later use encrypted vSphere vMotion.


Allow only encrypted vSphere vMotion. If the source or destination host does not support encrypted vSphere vMotion, migration with vSphere vMotion is not allowed.

When you encrypt a virtual machine, the virtual machine keeps a record of the current encrypted vSphere vMotion setting. If you later disable encryption for the virtual machine, the encrypted vMotion setting remains at Required until you change the setting explicitly. You can change the settings using Edit Settings.

See the vCenter Server and Host Management documentation for information on enabling and disabling encrypted vSphere vMotion for virtual machines that are not encrypted.