[VMC on AWS] Applications may not run efficiently on i3en metal with VMs running default Virtual Hardware version 14
search cancel

[VMC on AWS] Applications may not run efficiently on i3en metal with VMs running default Virtual Hardware version 14


Article ID: 313639


Updated On:


VMware Cloud on AWS


Virtual Machine Compatibility “ESXi 7.0 ad later” (vHW v17) introduces support of Intel Xeon Scalable Gen2 processor, Cascade Lake (82xx, 62xx, 52xx, 42xx). The i3en.metal host type uses Intel Xeon Platinum 8259CL CPU. Intel Cascade Lake provides new capabilities such as DLBoost, AVX-512 and VNNI that are available in i3en.metal instances. The Virtual hardware version used by the VM needs to be at Version 17 or above for these new features to be exposed to the workloads running in the VM. This KB provides further details about these new CPU capabilities of i3en.metal and guidance on creating virtual machines with hardware version 17 to leverage these features.

“VMware Cloud on AWS uses Virtual hardware version 14 as default, set to ESXI 6.7 and later”. If the VM on a VMware Cloud on AWS SDDC is built with default settings, your applications within the VM may not run efficiently on the i3en.metal host type with VMware Cloud on AWS.


vHW v17 enables following advanced features of the Intel 2nd Generation processors:
  • DLBoost - Intel's Deep Learning Boost (DL Boost) is an instruction set architecture features on the x86-64 designed to improve performance on deep learning tasks such as training and inference. DL Boost consists of two sets of features:
Accelerates AI/deep learning/vision workloads up to 14X the inference throughput performance over previous generation processors.
  • TPM 2.0 – trusted platform module 2.0 The Intel Trusted Platform Module is a hardware-based security device that protects the system start-up process by ensuring that it is tamper-free before leasing system control to the operating system.
  • Intel® Security Libraries for Data Centers (Intel® SecL - DC) was created to aid our customers in adopting and deploying Intel Security features, rooted in silicon, at a massive scale. Intel® SecL - DC consists of software components providing end-to-end cloud security solutions with integrated libraries.
  • TDT - Intel® Threat Detection Technology (Intel® TDT) provides cyberattack monitoring and increased security performance at the hardware level.


To create a VM with Virtual Hardware compatible with  ESXi 7.0 or later

When you create a VM, on the step 5. “Select compatibility” in the VM creation wizard, use the drop-down to specify “ESXi 7.0 and later”, corresponding to vHW v17, or above.


After upgrading to vHW v17 you would not be able to start the VM on an ESXi host version 6.7 and below.

Graphical user interface, text, application, email  Description automatically generated

To upgrade Virtual Hardware for a VM after it has been created

Follow the KB1010675 . Select Compatible with “ESXi 7.0 or later” (vHW v17) or higher.
  1. Ensure to have a backup of a VM before upgrading virtual hardware.
  2. Ensure to update VMware Tools first.
  3. Upgrading vHW is an offline operation

Note: Once upgraded you cannot roll back the vHW.

Additional Information