How to change the EVC processor mode got a Virtual Server in VMware?

After successfully installing a SAN about 2.5 months ago, I needed to enable E.V.C. Mode (Westmere Processor).  Everything was working and then I added a new ESXI host to the environment that allowed me to upgrade the EVC. mode to "Sandy Bridge".

I currently have about 25 Virtual Servers in our VMware environment and all of them changed their processor status from "Westmere" to "Sandy Bridge" except for 3 Virtual Servers.  All I did to try and change the processors status was to:

  • Properly change the Status in the VCenter settings.
  • Power off the Virtual Servers and then power them back on.

My questions are the following:

1.  What does this mean for the 2 virtual servers that have not changed over to the "Sandy Bridge Processor"?  Will I not be able to use VMotion on them?

2.  Do I need to try to chang ethe EVC mode settings on these 2 'rouge' virtuaql servers a different way?  I mean besides powering them off and then powering them back on?

The 3 virtual machines that still have the "Westmere" processor are currently using 2 different ESXi hosts (we have 3 total).  The Operating System Breakdown of the 3 virtual servers are as follows:

1.  Windows 2008 R2 - HP ProLiant Gen9
2.  WIndows 2008 R2 - HP ProLiant Gen8
3.  Linux ??                   - HP ProLiant Gen9

We do have other Windows 2008 R2 servers that reside on the HP ProLiant Gen8 server that were able to successfully upgrade their processor from to "Sandy Bridge".  What else can I try besides powering the virtul Servers off and then back on?  I did try the power-off and on method a couple of times the other night; but, the other virtual servers successfully changed over right away after the powering htem back on.
PkafkasNetwork EngineerAsked:
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
EVC mode is enabled on the Cluster and applies to Hosts, which means VMs will use a subset of CPU commands, and this is only required for vMotion e.g. a Live Migration.

What is the current baseline, and what our the processors in use in the cluster ?
PkafkasNetwork EngineerAuthor Commented:
This might help.

Here is a screen shot of the processor settings of the 'Cluster' and all 3 ESXi hosts.

All but 3 of the virtual servers were able to change the EVC Settings.  Those virtual servers looklike the follsoing:

PkafkasNetwork EngineerAuthor Commented:
The virtual servers that have been properly changed have the "Sandy Bridge" Processor indicated.

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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
What's the issue ?

Can you vMotion them still ?

This information is contained in the VMX file, and it looks like it's not updating to reflect the current EVC mode of the server, when powered on.

But it should still not give any real issue, unless you need the CPU instruction sets offered by Sandy Bridge

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PkafkasNetwork EngineerAuthor Commented:
I have not tried to vmotion them because E.V.C. mode appear different.  One of my questions were "what would be the concern if the E.V.C. mode was not able to be changed?"

These are very important servers; hence, I will try to vMotion 1 of them after hours.  Could there be any other potential problems?
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
I have not tried to vmotion them because E.V.C. mode appear different.  One of my questions were "what would be the concern if the E.V.C. mode was not able to be changed?"

Nothing, because EVC mode is lower processor.

It will either vMotion or not.
PkafkasNetwork EngineerAuthor Commented:
It appears that vMotion still works even though the summary tab indicated the EVC processor is westmere.  I successfully migrated one of the 'rouge' virtual servers' to a different ESXi Host.  I would image that both:

- Data Migration will work
- HA will work as well

Everything is theoretical until it is actually attempted.  Should I be worried about anything else besides the 2 points listed above?  Is there anything I can do to force the summary tab to "update" to the "Sandy Bridge" processor?
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Should not cause any problems.

If you really want to change it, power off the VM, Remove the VM from inventory, and re-create the configuration file, e.g. VMX file, by deleting and re-creating.
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