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 [Multiple VM migrations from different ESXi versions (6.0.0 and 7.0 U3 to 8.0 U2)]

Axel Heubeck's profile image
Axel Heubeck posted Jun 13, 2024 03:52 AM

Greetings everyone,

i have a situation and might need some help.

Please excuse me for posting this thread relatively direct after just joining the communiy, but my online searches to this specific situation lead to more confusion instead of answers.

To be honest, i am not very familiar with ESXi (all versions) yet and might be asking something that professionals and experienced users might be smiling upon.

My situation:

  • I have three different ESXi Hosts (each with a separate Storage) in a network.
  • The oldest one is version 6.0.0 and runs a single VM.
  • The second one is just loaned / tempoary used and is version 7.0 U3.
  • The newest one (which is the one that will effectively replace the first two) is version 8.0 U2.
  • All of these ESXi Hosts are located within the same building and server rack and are also located within the same network.

What i want to do:

  • First i need to move a VM from the 7.0 U3 ESXi to the 8.0 U2 ESXi.
  • Following up i would like to move a VM from the 6.0.0 ESXi to the 8.0 U2 ESXi, but this is optional.

I have a workstation (not inside this network) that can access the network and all three ESXi Webinterfaces and can connect remotely on all of the VMs contained on each of the ESXi Hosts.

If necessary, i can create another VM on the 8.0 U2 ESXi as a client (Windows 10).

Because i have no years-long experience with ESXi and such situations in particular, i don't really know what to do next.

All of the VMs are used daily and productive.

My online search results - until now - are these:

and (linked in the article above):

So, my plan - until now - would go like this:

  • I shut down the VM i want to move located on the 7.0 U3 ESXi.
  • I change the MAC Adress as described in the second link above.
  • I export the VM from the 7.0 U3 ESXi (via Host UI Client).
  • I Import the VM into the 8.0 U2 ESXi (via vSphere Client).

My questions:

  • Does this do the trick or does this procedure miss important stept, regarding that the ESXI Hosts have different versions or because of other conditions?
  • What exactly is meant by "Host UI Client"? Is this the webinterface?
  • Where do i need to install the vSphere Client? On my workstation or on the VM (Windows Server 2022) located on the 8.0 U2 ESXi?

I want to apologize for eventually "bad Englisch", i am not a native Englisch speaker.

Thank you in advance for all of your help!

Kind regards,


Casey's profile image

Hi Axel,

Welcome to the community! No need to apologize for your questions; everyone starts somewhere, and we're here to help. Let's walk through your situation step-by-step to ensure a smooth VM migration between your ESXi hosts.

Moving a VM from ESXi 7.0 U3 to ESXi 8.0 U2

Here's a detailed procedure for migrating your VM:

  1. Shut Down the VM:

    • Ensure that the VM on the ESXi 7.0 U3 host is properly shut down before proceeding.
  2. Export the VM:

    • Use the "Export" feature available in the vSphere Client connected to your ESXi 7.0 U3 host to export the VM as an OVF or OVA template.
    • To export the VM:
      1. Navigate to the VM in the vSphere Client.
      2. Right-click the VM and select Template > Export OVF Template.
      3. Save the OVF or OVA files to a location accessible to your ESXi 8.0 U2 host.
  3. Import the VM:

    • Use the vSphere Client connected to your ESXi 8.0 U2 host to import the OVF/OVA template.
    • To import the VM:
      1. Right-click on the desired host or cluster in the vSphere Client.
      2. Select Deploy OVF Template.
      3. Follow the prompts to upload the OVF or OVA files and configure the VM settings.

Moving a VM from ESXi 6.0.0 to ESXi 8.0 U2 (Optional)

The steps are similar to the ones described above. The main difference is the version compatibility check you might need to perform to ensure the VM settings are compatible with ESXi 8.0 U2.

Additional Steps and Considerations

  1. MAC Address Considerations:

    • Normally, when you export and import VMs, the MAC address is preserved. However, if you need to set a static MAC address, you can do this in the VM settings after import.
  2. vSphere Client Installation:

    • The vSphere Client (HTML5) is web-based for recent versions, so you can access it via a web browser without installing additional software. Simply navigate to the ESXi host's IP address or vCenter Server address if you are using vCenter.
  3. Networking and Storage:

    • Ensure that the network configuration (port groups, VLANs) on the new host matches what the VM requires.
    • Check that the storage on the ESXi 8.0 U2 host has enough space and is properly configured.
  4. Compatibility and Configuration:

    • Verify that any hardware-specific configurations or software dependencies are addressed during the migration.
    • Consider upgrading VMware Tools after migrating the VM to ensure optimal performance and compatibility.

General Tips

  • Backup: Always create a backup of your VM before performing any migrations or major changes.
  • Documentation: Keep notes of any settings or configurations you change during the process. This can help in troubleshooting if something doesn’t work as expected.
  • Testing: If possible, perform a test migration with a non-critical VM to ensure that the process works smoothly before migrating critical VMs.

Feel free to update us with how it goes. Include logs, screenshots, and any specific steps you took if you encounter any issues. 😊