Keeping VMware Tools current is one of the best practices of vSphere operations. VMware Tools interfaces with both ESXi and VM (the virtual motherboard or virtual machine). Hence, there are 2 comparisons to consider:
- VM Hardware version
- ESXi version
From the vSphere API, here is what you get when you query it:
- Guest Tools Current
- Guest Tools Not Installed
- Guest Tools Supported New
- Guest Tools Supported Old
- Guest Tools Too Old
- Guest Tools Unmanaged
What do they mean?
- Guest Tools Not Installed:
- Tools are not installed on the VM. You should install it as you get both drivers and visibility.
- Tools version matches with the Tools available with ESXi. Each ESXi has a version of Tools that comes with it. See this for the list. This is the ideal scenario.
- Supported New
- Newer than the ESXi VMware tools version, but it is supported.
- Supported Old
- The opposite of New. It is also supported. Even it is older by 0.0.1 is considered old. It does not have to far behind.
- Too Old
- Tools version is older than the minimum supported version of Tools across all ESXi versions. Minimum supported version is the oldest version of Tools we support. Basically, guest is running unsupported Tools. You should upgrade. As of now for Linux and Windows guests. minimum supported version is the Tools version bundled with ESXi 4.0 which is 8.0.1. Supporting such old versions is challenging. We are planning to change this in future to something newer. In the meantime, you should upgrade as might not work as expected
- Tools installed in the guest did not come from ESXi, so Tools is not being managed by ESXi host. It may be supported or maybe not, depends on what type of Tools is running in the guest. We support open-vm-tools packaged by Linux vendors and OSPs, which both show up as unmanaged.
- If a customer builds their own open-vm-tools from source code, we may not support that because we will not know if they have done it correctly or not.
Operationalize Your World has a dashboard that highlights the VMs not running the current or supported new. You should expect the number to be minimal, or ideally none.