You can use the Enhanced vMotion Compatibility (EVC) feature to help ensure vMotion compatibility for the hosts in a cluster. EVC ensures that all hosts in a cluster present the same CPU feature set to virtual machines, even if the actual CPUs on the hosts differ. Using EVC prevents migrations with vMotion from failing because of incompatible CPUs.

Configure EVC from the cluster settings dialog box. When you configure EVC, you configure all host processors in the cluster to present the feature set of a baseline processor. This baseline feature set is called the EVC mode. EVC uses AMD-V Extended Migration technology (for AMD hosts) and Intel FlexMigration technology (for Intel hosts) to mask processor features so that hosts can present the feature set of an earlier generation of processors. The EVC mode must be equivalent to, or a subset of, the feature set of the host with the smallest feature set in the cluster.

EVC masks only those processor features that affect vMotion compatibility. Enabling EVC does not prevent a virtual machine from taking advantage of faster processor speeds, increased numbers of CPU cores, or hardware virtualization support that might be available on newer hosts.

EVC cannot prevent virtual machines from accessing hidden CPU features in all circumstances. Applications that do not follow CPU vendor recommended methods of feature detection might behave unexpectedly in an EVC environment. VMware EVC cannot be supported with ill-behaved applications that do not follow the CPU vendor recommendations. For more information about creating well-behaved applications, search the VMware Knowledge Base for the article Detecting and Using New Features in CPUs.