VMware Virtual Machine and ESXi Maximums

VMware Virtual Machine and ESXi Maximums:

Every product has its limits, and the same is applied to VMware vSphere. In this blog, I am sharing the maximum supported configuration of three recent versions of vSphere – 8.0, 7.0, 6.7, 6.5, 6.0 and 5.5. This information is very useful in the Solution Designing and Infrastructure Planning phase. Although there are very few chances that we reach this limit still it should be known so that during the configuration of virtual and physical equipment, we must stay at or below the maximum supported values by VMware vSphere (ESXi maximums).

Virtual Machine Maximums:

This table shows the maximum limits of Virtual Machine (VM) components like vCPU, vMEM,  Virtual Disk, vNIC and Graphic video device memory.

Virtual Machine ParametersESXi 5.5ESXi 6.0ESXi 6.5ESXi 6.7ESXi 7.0ESXi 8.0
vCPUs per VM64128128256768768
RAM per VM1 TB4 TB6 TB6 TB24 TB24 TB
Virtual disk size per VM62 TB62 TB62 TB62 TB62 TB62 TB
Virtual NICs per VM101010101010
Virtual SCSI adapters per VM444444
Virtual SCSI targets per VM606060606060
Virtual NVMe adapters per VM--4444
Virtual NVMe targets per VM--60606060
Video memory per VM512 MB512 MB2 GB2 GB4 GB4 GB
PCI passthrough devices----1664
Compute Maximums (ESXi Maximums):

ESXi Host maximum represents the top limit of ESXi parameters like maximum CPU Core, logical CPUs, Memory etc.

Compute ParametersESXi 5.5ESXi 6.0ESXi 6.5ESXi 6.7ESXi 7.0ESXi 8.0
Logical CPUs per host320480576768896896
NUMA Nodes per host161616161616
Virtual machines per host51210241024102410241024
Virtual CPUs per host409640964096409640964096
Virtual CPUs per core323232323232
RAM per host4 TB12 TB12 TB16 TB24 TB24 TB
ESXi Storage Maximums:

Storage related maximum configurations of VMware ESXi are part of below table.

ESXi Storage ParametersESXi 5.5ESXi 6.0ESXi 6.5ESXi 6.7ESXi 7.0ESXi 8.0
Virtual Disks per Host204820482048204820482048
LUNs per server256256512102410241024
Software iSCSI NICs per server888888
Number of total paths per server10241024204840961282048
Number of paths to a LUN (software+hardware iSCSI)88883232
Software iSCSI targets256256256256256256
NAS: NFS mounts per host256256256256256256
FC: Number of HBAs of any type888888
Software FCoE adapters444444
VMFS Volume size64 TB64 TB64 TB64 TB64 TB64 TB
Volumes per host256256512102410241024
Hosts per volume6464646412816
Powered on virtual machines per VMFS
Concurrent vMotion operations per VMFS
ESXi Networking Maximums:

The below table represents the maximum supported values of Networking related parameters like the number of NICs, switches, ports etc.

ESXi Networking ParametersESXi 5.5ESXi 6.0ESXi 6.5ESXi 6.7ESXi 7.0ESXi 8.0
1 Gb Ethernet portsN/AN/AN/Aup to 32up to 32up to 32
igb 1Gb Ethernet ports (Intel)161616 (ibgn)N/AN/AN/A
tg3 1Gb Ethernet ports (Broadcom)323232 (ntg3)N/AN/AN/A
bnx2 1Gb Ethernet ports (QLogic)161616N/AN/AN/A
ixgbe 10Gb Ethernet ports (Intel)81616N/AN/AN/A
bnx2x 10Gb Ethernet ports (QLogic)888N/AN/AN/A
Combination of 10Gb and 1Gb ethernet portsEight 10Gb and Four
1Gb ports
Sixteen 10 Gb and four 1 Gb portsSixteen 10 GB and four 1 GB portsN/AN/AN/A
mlx4_en 40GB Ethernet Ports (Mellanox)444 (nmlx4_en)N/AN/AN/A
Combination of Physical NICs between 10Gb to 100Gb and 1GbN/AN/AN/Aup to 16 (10Gb to 100Gb) and up to 16 (1Gb) portsup to 16 (10Gb to 100Gb) and up to 16 (1Gb) portsup to 16 (10Gb to 100Gb) and up to 16 (1Gb) ports
10 Gb Ethernet portsN/AN/AN/Aup to 16up to 16up to 16
20 Gb Ethernet portsN/AN/AN/Aup to 16up to 16up to 16
25 Gb Ethernet portsN/AN/AN/A161616
40 Gb Ethernet portsN/AN/AN/A888
50 Gb Ethernet portsN/AN/AN/A888
100 Gb Ethernet portsN/AN/AN/A444, up to 8
SR‐IOV Number of virtual functions6410241024102410241024
SR‐IOV Number of 10G pNICs888888
VSS portgroups per host100010001000100010001000
Distributed switches per host161616161616
Total virtual network switch ports per host (VDS and VSS
Maximum active ports per host (VDS and VSS)101610161016101610161016
Virtual network switch creation ports per standard switch408840884088408840884088
Port groups per standard switch512512512512512512
Ports per distributed switch60,00060,00060,00060,00060,00060,000
VMDirectPath PCI/PCIe devices per virtual machine4444464

The above limits are tested, recommended and fully supported by VMware. But It can be affected by other factors, such as hardware dependencies. That’s why before taking any decision please check the hardware compatibility.

Ref: VMware vSphere Configuration Maximums (Link)

For Configuration Maximums of other products and solutions, like vCenter Server , vSAN, vCloud Directors, please read my next blogs.

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