(Take Care) vSphere Virtual Machine Upgrade Process

I decided to name this post as “Take Care” as I found myself looking for promissed VSphere features that will not be avaiable in most Corporate environments therefore you should prepare yourself, and your environment.

While I as upgrading my VM’s from 3.x to VSphere I based my work on this great step-by-step article from @scot_lowe Scott Lowe’s (see link bellow). The main reason for upgrading was related to the ability to run the new VMXNET3, Paravirtualized SCSI and Hot-Add/Hot-Plug. I also wanted to customize my templates to use hardware v7.


After upgrading the first few VM’s I noticed the following caveats:

  • Hot-add/Hot-plug is not compatible with VMware Fault Tolerance
  • VMXNET3 and PVSCSI are not compatible with VMware Fault Tolerance
  • Linux supports Hot-add but not Hot-plug
  • For Hot-add/Hot-plug Windows 2003 Standard isn’t supported, only Enterprise and Datacenter Editions
  • VMware doesn’t support booting from a PVSCSI device (See comments on Scott Lowe’s Blog)

In my tests I have also been able to verify that VMware Fault Tolerance does not require hardware v7 to work as I have seen in other blog posts and comments.

In general lines, if you are keen to have Hot-Add/Hot-Plug in your environment you should consider upgrading your Windows versions ($$$) and reviewing FT requirements on your VM’s.

I take that if FT is enabled it is because there is a need for a higher SLA therefore Administrators should be able to Hot-Add/Hot-Plug on-demand Especially in these environments. VMware, you let me down on this one.

Have Fun and Break a Leg


    • Andre Leibovici on 09/17/2009 at 12:59 am

    As always Scoot Lowe’s has been way ahead of us. I just found a nice from from Scott discussing abotu disavantages to upgrade to hardware v7. http://blog.scottlowe.org/2009/07/05/another-reason-not-to-use-pvscsi-or-vmxnet3/

    • Andre Leibovici on 09/17/2009 at 2:05 am

    Yet another nice post from David Davis in regards to hot-add RAM and hot-plug CPU

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