Using ESX requires specific hardware and system resources.

VMware ESX 4.1 will install and run only on servers with 64-bit x86 CPUs.

Known 64-bit processors:

All AMD Opterons support 64 bit.

All Intel Xeon 3000/3200, 3100/3300, 5100/5300, 5200/5400, 7100/7300, and 7200/7400 support 64 bit.

All Intel Nehalem (no Xeon brand number assigned yet) support 64 bit.

2GB RAM minimum

For upgrades, 3GB RAM is required if the ESX host is managed by vCenter Server.

One or more network adapters. Supported network adapters include:

Broadcom NetXtreme 570x gigabit controllers

Intel PRO 1000 adapters

One or more of the following controllers (any combination can be used):

Basic SCSI controllers are Adaptec Ultra-160 and Ultra-320, LSI Logic Fusion-MPT, and most NCR/Symbios SCSI controllers.

Fibre Channel, see the Hardware Compatibility Guide at

RAID adapters supported are HP Smart Array, Dell PERC (Adaptec RAID and LSI MegaRAID), and IBM (Adaptec) ServeRAID controllers.

SCSI disk, Fibre Channel LUN, or RAID LUN with unpartitioned space. In a minimum configuration, this disk or RAID is shared between the service console and the virtual machines.

For hardware iSCSI, a disk attached to an iSCSI controller, such as the QLogic qla405x. Software iSCSI is not supported for booting or installing ESX.

Serial attached SCSI (SAS).

For Serial ATA (SATA), a disk connected through supported SAS controllers or supported on-board SATA controllers. SATA disk drives connected behind supported SAS controllers or supported on-board SATA controllers.

Supported SAS controllers include:

LSI1068E (LSISAS3442E)

LSI1068 (SAS 5)

IBM ServeRAID 8K SAS controller

Smart Array P400/256 controller

Dell PERC 5.0.1 controller

Supported on-board SATA controllers include:

Intel ICH9


ServerWorks HT1000

When installing ESX on SATA drives, consider the following:

Ensure that your SATA drives are connected through supported SAS controllers or supported onboard SATA controllers.

Do not use SATA disks to create VMFS datastores shared across multiple ESX hosts.

ATA and IDE disk drives – ESX supports installing and booting on either an ATA drive or ATA RAID, but ensure that your specific drive controller is included in the supported hardware. IDE drives are supported for ESX installation and VMFS creation.