vSphere Quick Boot and Driver Woes

vSphere quick boot is a new technology included in vsphere 6.7 that allows you to restart only the hypervisor leaving the server hardware itself online.  This allows you to bypass the POST operations that seem to take an eternity when patching.  This may not seem like a big deal to some of you but for those of us with hundreds of hosts and/or thousands of guests to migrate around every minute counts.  This could take your patching cycle from a week to just a few days.

I know after hearing my ramblings you obviously could not wait another minute so you installed vCenter 6.7, you upgraded your hosts to esxi 6.7, and you tried to patch using quick boot only to find the option grayed out.

Muahahaha!  No I am not playing some terrible trick on you this is how vmware lets you know that it has found an issue with one or more drivers installed on your host that prevent it from enabling quick boot.  If your lucky it may just be one driver.  In my case it was the drivers for the intel network cards we have installed in our dell servers.  After doing some research I found out that quick boot does not support vmkernel drivers.  It only supports the newer “native” drivers.  You can run a quick check on your host to find out which drivers are holding you back using this command.



Once you have the list of drivers you need head on over to the VMware Compatibility Guide.  Search for your hardware and hopefully there will be some native drivers for you.  However, keep in mind not all hardware will have the newer drivers.  Unfortunately, for some this may be the end of the line.  However, if you happen to see “native” in the Type column you are in luck!

Once you get all your fancy new drivers installed you will probably have to reboot the old fashion way one last time.  Assuming everything goes well you will now be able to tick the box to enable quick boot and live life in the fast lane!  Happy quick booting!



Quick Boot Compatibility

VMware Compatibility Guide

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