The virtual machine compatibility determines the virtual hardware available to the virtual machine, which corresponds to the physical hardware available on the host machine. You can upgrade the compatibility level to make additional hardware available to the virtual machine.

About this task

You can upgrade virtual machines manually, or schedule upgrades.

Manual Upgrade

This procedure upgrades one or more virtual machines to the latest supported virtual hardware version immediately.

Schedule VM Upgrades

Use this procedure to schedule an upgrade of one or more virtual machines at the next reboot of the virtual machine, and choose from all supported compatibility level upgrades.

Important:

Upgrading virtual machine hardware might cause some applications or the operating system to stop working properly. Perform a hardware version upgrade only if you need a feature that comes with the newer hardware version.

Prerequisites

  • Create a backup or snapshot of the virtual machines. See Using Snapshots To Manage Virtual Machines.

  • Upgrade VMware Tools. On Microsoft Windows VMs, the virtual machine might lose its network settings if you upgrade the compatibility before you upgrade VMware Tools.

  • Verify that all virtual machines and their .vmdk files are stored on storage connected to the ESXi host or the client machine.

  • Determine the ESXi versions that you want the virtual machines to be compatible with. See Virtual Machine Compatibility.

Procedure

  1. Log in to the vSphere Client and right click a virtual machine.
  2. (Optional) : Select Power > Power Off.

    Some Linux operating systems don't require a power off for VM upgrade.

  3. Perform or schedule the upgrade.

    Option

    Description

    Manual Upgrade

    1. Select Actions > Compatibility > Upgrade VM Compatibility.

    2. Click Yes to confirm the upgrade.

    3. Select a compatibility and click OK.

    Scheduled Upgrade

    1. Select Actions > Compatibility > Schedule VM Compatibility Upgrade

    2. Click Yes to confirm the upgrade.

    3. Select a compatibility and click OK.

    Note: You can select Only upgrade after normal guest OS shutdown. This prevents the scheduled upgrade from occurring unless the guest operating system of the virtual machine is shut down or restarted normally.