The ESXi host must not be configured to override virtual machine (VM) configurations.
Each VM on an ESXi host runs in its own "vmx" process. Upon creation, a vmx process will look in two locations for configuration items, the ESXi host itself and the per-vm *.vmx file in the VM storage path on the datastore. The settings on the ESXi host are read first and take precedence over settings in the *.vmx file.
This can be a convenient way to set a setting in one place and have it apply to all VMs running on that host. The difficulty is in managing those settings and determining the effective state. Since managing per-VM vmx settings can be fully automated and customized while the ESXi setting cannot be easily queried, the ESXi configuration must not be used.