Storage vMotion Fails with VM Hardware Version 4

Having recently enabled Storage DRS in a vSphere 5.1 environment we began to see a lot of the following errors in vCenter:

The device or operation specified at index ‘x’ is not supported for the current virtual machine version ‘vmx-04’. A minimum version of ‘vmx-06’ is required for this operation to succeed

The host(s) running the VM(s) in question contained the error matched in this VMware KB article:

[2009-07-10 14:13:41.632 F638BB90 info ‘vm:/vmfs/volumes/4a56e6c2-9319e3df-f1af-001e0bea4030/RVHOLS029/RVHOLS029.vmx’] Upgrade is required for virtual machine, version: 4

The VMs in question were all quite old, were still running VM Hardware Version 4 and required upgrading to a later version before Storage vMotion would move them.

This can sure generate a lot of failure alerts with Storage DRS turned on, a thin-provisioned datastore going over the specified capacity threshold and many VMs attempting to be moved to clear some space back ;-)

I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you that keeping VM Hardware Versions, VMware Tools, OS patches etc up-to-date in your environment is one of those necessary maintenance tasks to keep smooth running systems.

You can identify which VMs are on a particular Hardware Version with a simple PowerCLI command:

Get-VM | Where-Object {$\_.Version -eq 'v4'} | Sort-Object Name | Format-Table Name,Version -AutoSize

Even better, if you are regularly running the vCheck report then you would have already picked up on this since one of the checks is for VM Hardware Versions prior to a value you have specified ;-)