VMware Product Interoperability Matrices for VMware vSphere Hypervisor (ESXi)

Posted by Paul Braren on Apr 22 2018 (updated on Apr 23 2018) in
  • ESXi
  • Virtualization
  • HowTo
  • HomeLab
  • I haven't spotted this table out there recently, with all the vSphere 6.7 discussion these past few days since launch on Tue Apr 17 2018. So I figured I'd give it some visibility, since you may not have read these three documents carefully enough:

    1. Important information before upgrading to vSphere 6.7 (53704)

      This article provides important documentation and upgrade information that must be reviewed before upgrading to vSphere 6.7.

    2. Update sequence for vSphere 6.7 and its compatible VMware products (53710)

      Product                   |  Starting Version  |  Recommended Action for Upgrade
      vCenter Server Appliance  |  6.5 Update 1b     |  Upgrade to 6.7
      vSphere ESXi              |  6.5 Update 1b     |  Upgrade to 6.7
      VMware vSAN               |  6.6.1             |  Upgrade to 6.7

      Hmm, what is vSphere ESXi 6.5 Update 1b? Is that a typo? Does that include last month's version of ESXi such as 6.5U1 Build 7967591 (for Spectre mitigation)? I'll revisit that question below, as we inspect a table of releases.

    3. vSphere 6.7 Release Notes

      ESXi and vCenter Server Version Compatibility
      The VMware Product Interoperability Matrix provides details about the compatibility of current and earlier versions of VMware vSphere components, including ESXi, VMware vCenter Server, and optional VMware products. Check the VMware Product Interoperability Matrix also for information about supported management and backup agents before you install ESXi or vCenter Server.

    but you may have forgotten to actually click on that highlighted link above.

    VMware Product Interoperability Matrices

    Visit this direct link to view a visual of valid ESXi 6.7 upgrade paths:

    Here's how the the ESXi upgrade matrix looks on Apr 22 2018.

    From the main page, I already clicked on Upgrade Path, then selected VMware vSphere Hypervisor (ESXi) from the drop-down menu for you, then shared the above direct URL to the results. Note that you can hover your mouse over the grey i badges to get more details.

    What's missing

    What I noticed is that you won't find in the table below is the aforementioned ESXi 6.5 Update 1b:

    • Build numbers and versions of VMware ESXi/ESX (2143832)

      Version                    | Release Date | Build Number | Install Build Number
      ESXi 6.7 GA                  2018-04-17     8169922        N/A
      ESXi 6.5 U1g                 2018-03-20     7967591        N/A
      ESXi 6.5 Patch 02            2017-12-19     7388607        N/A
      ESXi 6.5 U1 Express Patch 4  2017-10-05     6765664        N/A
      ESXi 6.5 U1                  2017-07-27     5969303        N/A
      ESXi 6.5.0d                  2017-04-18     5310538        N/A
      ESXi 6.5. Express Patch 1a   2017-03-28     5224529        N/A
      ESXi 6.5. Patch 01           2017-03-09     5146846        5146843
      ESXi 6.5.0 a                 2017-02-02     4887370        N/A
      ESXi 6.5 GA                  2016-11-15     4564106        N/A

    I have reached out to try to get to the bottom of being absolutely sure about whether it is supported to upgrade directly from any 6.5.x version to 6.7, whether or not vSAN is in use, since I'm seeing some differing opinions on the valid upgrade paths, see examples in the See Also below. I also heard a brief mention on the recent vForum Online Spring 2018 as well, I'll be circling back and looking into that. I hope to post updates below this article, once I know more.

    Whether or not the various upgrade methods allow you to proceed, even if it unsupported to do so, is really a different matter. Some methods do no validation checking, such as the ESXCLI method popular with folks kicking the tires with the free hypervisor.

    Disclaimer/Disclosure - I cannot feasibly provide support for your upgrade, especially given the variety of unsupported hardware out there, see full disclaimer at below-left. This article is focused mostly on small home labs, was voluntarily authored, and not associated with my employment at VMware. It is not official documentation. I work in the storage division, separate from the group developing and supporting the hypervisor.

    See also at TinkerTry

    All vSphere 6.7 articles.

    See also