VMware has released an updated version of KB85685 SD card/USB boot device revised guidance (85685). Previous versions of this KB stated that in the next major version of ESXi SD Card / USB boot would be deprecated and unsupported. This has now changed, as the updated version dated 27th of April 2022 states the following:
VMware will continue supporting USB/SD card as a boot device through the 8.0 product release, including the update releases. Both installs and upgrades will be supported on USB/SD cards. The change from the previous guidance is that SD/USB as a standalone device will now be supported on previously certified server platforms.
This is good news, even if the recommendation still is to move away from SD Card / USB boot for new hosts. We all know that especially SD Cards are troublesome, as well as USB pendrives, but still allowing USB boot in the next major version is great news for home lab users, who like me, often run ESXi from an external SSD drive, connected via USB.
As a sidenote, it’s curious that VMware now explicitly mentions version 8.0 in a public KB, given that no information on the next major version has been made publicly available at this time. The KB also outlines how 8.0 will move the entire OSData partition to an available persistent device, and to RAMDisk should one not be available.
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