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Problems with CPU in incompatible error during VMWare vMotion

One of our users reported problems with vMotion after firmware upgrade of IBM server. Firmware were upgraded using BOMC (utility to create ISO images to upgrade IBM server to the lastest versions available).

After upgrade user was not able to do vMotion. They received following error:

Host CPU is incompatible with the virtual machine’s requirements at CPUID level 0x1 register ‘ecx’.

CPU is incompatible

After couple minutes of googling I found out following official articles:

Based on information there is change when you do firmware upgrade. Sometime (from some version) AES feature is Enabled and sometime is disabled. This setting cannot be changed in BIOS and this is really sad. So let’s look at the way you can change it.

In second mentioned article IBM suppose to download some prepared ISO image called BoMC-2.20-uEFI-AesEnable-to-enabled-vmotion-fix.iso. But I couldn’t find this ISO image. So I had to use other way around. I downloaded IBM Advanced Setting Utility. I downloaded and installes version for Windows 64b. You need your RSA card to be accessible through network. Then you can run following command to check actual value:

asu64.exe showvalues UEFI.AesEnable –host RSA_IP_ADDRESS –user RSA_USER –password RSA_PASSWORD

AES showvalue

You can check it on all ESX servers. To decide whether feature should be enabled or disabled you this article. We need to change it to the same setting using following command:

asu64.exe set UEFI.AesEnable Disable –host RSA_IP_ADDRESS –user RSA_USER –password RSA_PASSWORD

set AES

When values are the same on all ESX server you are able to do vMotion. I was kinda mad on IBM, because I would preffer to change this value in BIOS instead of some application.

  1. Ryan
    April 26th, 2014 at 03:14 | #1

    I have to do this. Can you install the windows version on your desktop and then connect to the ESXi host? What I read you had to copy the file to the hard drive of the esxi server and then launch it? If you could give me some more steps on how you actually used the application would help me. Thanks!

  2. April 27th, 2014 at 16:31 | #2

    @Ryan
    Hello Ryan. You need to download IBM Advanced Settings Utility on some Windows/Linux machine. This machine has to have network connectivity to your ESXi server’s RSA card. When you download it, you can run command to change the settings on ESX server.

    There is nothing to to copy into ESXi server and nothing to launch on ESXi server.

    All the trick is to change some UEFI setting using remote application downloaded on some Windows/Linux machine.

    I hope not it’s clear to you 🙂

  3. Grega
    August 7th, 2014 at 09:45 | #3

    Hello,

    with asu64.exe on flex x240 I’m runing command:
    asu64.exe showvalues UEFI.AesEnable –host XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX –user USERNAME –password HOST_PASSWORD

    And I got this:
    IBM Advanced Settings Utility version 9.61.85B
    Licensed Materials – Property of IBM
    (C) Copyright IBM Corp. 2007-2014 All Rights Reserved
    Connected to IMM at IP address XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX
    Could not find setting UEFI.AesEnable

    OS in ESXi 5.1 Any idea?

  4. August 7th, 2014 at 10:46 | #4

    @Grega
    Is your server one of those mentioned in http://www-947.ibm.com/support/entry/portal/docdisplay?lndocid=MIGR-5086963 ? Do you have updated BIOS/UEFI?

    And it looks this is not affected on ESX version 5.1 (http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=1991)

  5. Grega
    August 7th, 2014 at 11:27 | #5

    @Ondrej
    No, our server is not on that list. We have flex x240. I have update UEFI to the latest.

  6. August 7th, 2014 at 11:29 | #6

    @Grega
    It means this problems “should not” apply to you. Are you having some problems?

  7. Grega
    August 7th, 2014 at 11:32 | #7

    @Ondrej
    Yes, vMotion is not working. I get this message:

    The virtual machine requires hardware features that are unsupported or disabled on the target host:
    * Carryless multiply (PCLMULQDQ) (see KB 1034926)
    * SSE4.2
    * AES instructions (AES-NI) (see KB 1034926)

  8. August 7th, 2014 at 11:44 | #8

    @Grega
    Have you checked http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=1034926 ? Look into BIOS if you have AES enabled.

    Other way I suppose you should open ticket @VMWare or @IBM. Your server is not listed under affected servers so it can be caused by something else.

  9. rony
    October 27th, 2014 at 05:23 | #9

    Hi Ondrej,
    I have an IBM 3650 M2 server, and I have a problem vmotion. I’ve tried to disable AES, but there is an error message “could not find the setting uEFI.AesEnable” “vmotion fix failed”.
    if you have a solution?
    thank you.

  10. October 27th, 2014 at 09:12 | #10

    @rony
    Hi Rony. What ESX version do you have? What processor do you have in this server?

  11. rony
    October 29th, 2014 at 06:36 | #11

    @Ondrej Žilinec

    vmware 5.5
    IBM System x3650 M2 7947 – Xeon E5520 2.26 GHz

  12. October 29th, 2014 at 09:07 | #12

    But this should be a issue only up to ESXi version 5.0.
    Do you have virtualization support enabled on your CPUs in BIOS?

  13. OscarF.R
    February 16th, 2016 at 23:01 | #13

    Hi guys, someone could correct the error in the server x240? I have the same problem

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