When using ESXi free licenses, you might get an error message referencing a fault called RestrictedVersionFault e.g.:
Fault string: Current license or ESXi Version prohibits execution of the requested operation.
Fault detail: RestrictedVersionFault
Failed : Current license or ESXi version prohibits execution of the requested operation.
This happens when you start, stop or suspend a VM using the command line interface ( vCLI or PowerCLI) or the SOAP interface (using VI for Java or directly the vSphere API). But it might also happen when configuring SNMP, performing scheduled backups or putting an ESXi host in maintenance mode.
This is caused by a restriction based on the VMWare license you are using. The free ESXi license (also known as the vSphere Hypervisor license) only allows read-only access to the vSphere API. This not only affects you when using the vSphere API directly but also when using any of the vSphere toolkits or management tools.
You’ll notice that when using the vSphere Client to manage your ESXi hosts, you will not face this problem. Using the vSphere Client, you have access to this functionality without read-only restriction. But as soon as you try to automate this, you will be affected.
So even though the fault message tells you it’s a problem with the version you’re using, it is not the case. It is only a problem with the license type you’re using. So instead of using a vSphere Hypervisor license, you should invest a few dollars and upgrade to a vSphere Essentials Kit or the vSphere Standard, Enterprise or Enterprise Plus editions.
If you were using the free edition waiting for some other licenses to be received, you should rather use the trial license (evaluation license) instead of the free license. This will provide access to the feature set of vSphere Enterprise Plus until the end of the 60-days evaluation period.