March 1, 2023

LPe12000 and other old Emulex cards are unsupported if you patch ESXi 7.0U3


In January 2020 Broadcom announced that a series of Emulex cards would soon go End Of Life. They have however worked fine in VMware ESXi until recently, including 7.0U3d. 


If you patch your ESXi 7 host with the latest patches the lpfc driver will be replaced by one that doesn't support these old cards and you will no longer see your FC LUNs (vmfs datastores & RDM disks). The driver will be upgraded from to 14.0.543.0. We've also found that installing ESXi 7.0U3j comes with a non-working driver.


Using supported hardware is always recommended. Swapping these old cards with newer ones would be optimal.


Installing an old driver (right click this link, Save As) that still supports old hardware is possible and you will then see your LUNs again.


In order to identify where this problem will occur before patching I used the following PowerCLI script:

$vmhosts = get-vmhost|sort-object

foreach($vmhost in $vmhosts){

  $devices = Get-VMHostHba -VMHost $vmhost.Name | Where-Object {$_.Model -match "3530C|LPe1605|LPe12004|LPe12000|LPe12002|SN1000E"}

  foreach ($device in $devices) {

    Write-Output "$vmhost - $($device.Model) device with WWN $($device.PortWorldWideName)"



This script will check the HBAs of all of your ESXi hosts and you'll get a listing similar to this:

It's highly unusual that a device gets unsupported while patching a version of ESXi. As far as I can recall we have only seen devices being discontinued between major or minor versions of ESXi, not while installing non-critical patches.

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