Updates to VM Compatibility and VMware Tools with vSphere 6.7 Update 2

With VMware Tools version 10.0 VMware took the decision to separate it’s release cycle from that of vSphere. On that note I’m pleased to announce that the latest release of the VMware Tools 10.3 codebase is now available for download. In vSphere 6.7 Update 2 we also introduce a new version of VM Compatibility (formerly known as Virtual Hardware). This blogpost explains both of these, and why you might want to consider upgrading.

VMware Tools 10.3.10

VMware Tools
This release includes updates to the Open Source components glib, openssl and libxml2. It also includes a security fix for the Windows Display Driver Model (WDDM) driver.

Updates for Windows Guest Operating Systems

In 10.3.10 of VMware Tools for Windows we have made the vmxnet3 driver available through Windows Update for Windows Server 2016. This means that you can now update both this and the pvscsi driver as a part of your regular Windows patching cadence, reducing the required number of reboots. My colleague Eric Gray blogged about this functionality being added for pvscsi back in August last year here, and customer feedback has shown that this has been a popular feature. We continue to work to minimise the reboot requirements when patching VMware Tools.

Updates for Linux Guest Operating Systems

VMware Tools 10.3.5 was the final feature release to include OS Specific Packages (OSPs) and TAR tools (Linux ISO) for legacy Linux distributions. We recommend upgrading to 10.3.10 for the security updates to the open source components for these distros. More modern Linux Operating Systems should continue to use open-vm-tools, which is available through your OS package manager.

VMware Tools Compatibility with vSphere

While some versions of VMware Tools are bundled with ESXi, the versions are broadly backward and forward compatible. To check compatibility between releases you should check the Interoperability Matrices. You should consider a number of factors, including security risk appetite when deciding if you should upgrade.

Virtual Machine Compatibility

vSphere 6.7 Update 2 introduces VM Compatibility 15, allowing for monster VMs up to 256 vCPU and 6Tb of RAM. Customer demand for compute intensive workloads such as SAP HANA has driven this new version. In order to take advantage of the new configuration maximums you must upgrade virtual machines to VM Compatibility 15. If you want more information on vSphere Configuration Maximums we have just the site for you!

Note that you should only upgrade your VM Compatibility to v15 if you need these new configuration maximums: at present these are not supported on VMware Cloud on AWS and in some other products.

Further Information

We have a number of blogs available covering the options for upgrading VMware Tools and VM Compatibility:

Configuring a VMware Tools Repository in vSphere 6.7U1
Upgrading VMware Tools and VM Compatibility
Automating Upgrade of VMware Tools and VM Compatibility

For more information, including details of bugs fixed, guest OS support and more please head to the release notes for VMware Tools 10.3.10, VMware ESXi 6.7 Update 2 and VMware vCenter Server 6.7 Update 2 now!