Enhanced vMotion Compatibility (EVC) is a cluster feature that ensures the CPU compatibility between hosts in a cluster, so that you can seamlessly migrate virtual machines within the EVC cluster. Starting with vSphere 6.7, you can also activate, deactivate, or change the EVC mode at the virtual machine level. The per-VM EVC feature facilitates the migration of the virtual machine beyond the cluster and across vCenter Server systems and data centers that have different processors.

The EVC mode of a virtual machine is independent from the EVC mode defined at the cluster level. The cluster-based EVC mode limits the CPU features a host exposes to virtual machines. The per-VM EVC mode determines the set of host CPU features that a virtual machine requires to power on and migrate.

By default, when you power on a newly created virtual machine, it inherits the feature set of its parent EVC cluster or host. However, you can change the EVC mode for each virtual machine separately. You can raise or lower the EVC mode of a virtual machine. Lowering the EVC mode increases the CPU compatibility of the virtual machine. You can also use the API calls to customize the EVC mode further.

Cluster-Level EVC and Per-VM EVC

There are several differences between the way the EVC feature works at the host cluster level and at the virtual machine level.

  • Unlike cluster-based EVC, you can change the per-VM EVC mode only when the virtual machine is powered off.
  • With cluster-based EVC, when you migrate a virtual machine out of the EVC cluster, a power cycle resets the EVC mode that the virtual machine has. With Per-VM EVC, the EVC mode becomes an attribute of the virtual machine. A power cycle does not affect the compatibility of the virtual machine with different processors.
  • When you configure EVC at the virtual machine level, the per-VM EVC mode overrides cluster-based EVC. If you do not configure per-VM EVC, when you power on the virtual machine, it inherits the EVC mode of its parent EVC cluster or host.
  • If a virtual machine is in an EVC cluster and the per-VM EVC is also enabled, the EVC mode of the virtual machine cannot exceed the EVC mode of the EVC cluster in which the virtual machine runs. The baseline feature set that you configure for the virtual machine cannot contain more CPU features than the baseline feature set applied to the hosts in the EVC cluster. For example, if you configure a cluster with the Intel "Merom" Generation EVC mode, you should not configure a virtual machine with any other Intel baseline feature set. All other sets contain more CPU features than the Intel "Merom" Generation feature set and as a result of such configuration, the virtual machine fails to power on.

To learn more about EVC clusters, see the vCenter Server and Host Management guide.

Compatibility and Requirements

The per-VM EVC feature has the following requirements.
Compatibility Requirement
Host compatibility

ESXi 6.7 or later.

vCenter Server compatibility

vCenter Server 6.7 or later.

Virtual machine compatibility Virtual hardware version 14 or later.

To check EVC support for a specific processor or server model, see the VMware Compatibility Guide at http://www.vmware.com/resources/compatibility/search.php.