VMware Virtual Machine and ESXi Maximums

VMware Virtual Machine and ESXi Maximums:

Every product has its limits, and same is applied to VMware vSphere. In this blog, I am sharing the maximum supported configuration of three recent versions of vSphere – 6.5, 6.0 and 5.5. This information is very useful in 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 configure of virtual and physical equipment, we must stay at or below the maximums 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 6.5
vCPUs per VM64128128
RAM per VM1 TB4 TB6 TB
Virtual disk size per VM62 TB62 TB62 TB
Virtual NICs per VM101010
Virtual SCSI adapters per VM444
Virtual SCSI targets per VM606060
Virtual NVMe adapters per VM--4
Virtual NVMe targets per VM--60
Video memory per VM512 MB512 MB2 GB
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 6.5
Logical CPUs per host320480576
NUMA Nodes per host161616
Virtual machines per host51210241024
Virtual CPUs per host409640964096
Virtual CPUs per core323232
RAM per host4 TB12 TB12 TB
ESXi Storage Maximums:

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

ESXi Storage ParametersESXi 5.5ESXi 6.0ESXi 6.5
Virtual Disks per Host204820482048
LUNs per server256256512
Software iSCSI NICs per server888
Number of total paths per server102410242048
Number of paths to a LUN (software+hardware iSCSI)888
Software iSCSI targets256256256
NAS: NFS mounts per host256256256
FC: Number of HBAs of any type888
Software FCoE adapters444
VMFS Volume size64 TB64 TB64 TB
Volumes per host256256512
Hosts per volume646464
Powered on virtual machines per VMFS
Concurrent vMotion operations per VMFS
ESXi Networking Maximums:

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 6.5
igb 1Gb Ethernet ports (Intel)161616 (ibgn)
tg3 1Gb Ethernet ports (Broadcom)323232 (ntg3)
bnx2 1Gb Ethernet ports (Broadcom)161616
ixgbe 10Gb Ethernet ports (Intel)81616
bnx2x 10Gb Ethernet ports (Broadcom)888
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 ports
mlx4_en 40GB Ethernet Ports (Mellanox)444 (nmlx4_en)
SR‐IOV Number of virtual functions6410241024
SR‐IOV Number of 10G pNICs888
VSS portgroups per host100010001000
Distributed switches per host161616
Total virtual network switch ports per host (VDS and VSS
Maximum active ports per host (VDS and VSS)101610161016
Virtual network switch creation ports per standard switch408840884088
Port groups per standard switch512512512
Ports per distributed switch60,00060,00060,000

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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