Make sure the host meets the minimum hardware configurations supported by ESXi 4.1.

You need the following hardware and system resources to install and use ESXi 4.1:

Supported server platform (for a list of supported platforms, see the Systems Compatibility Guide)

VMware ESXi 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 ESXi host is managed by vCenter Server.

One or more Gigabit or 10Gb Ethernet controllers. For a list of supported network adapter models, see the Hardware Compatibility Guide at

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

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

RAID controllers – Dell PERC (Adaptec RAID or LSI MegaRAID), HP Smart Array RAID, or IBM (Adaptec) ServeRAID controllers.

SCSI disk or a local (non-network) RAID LUN with unpartitioned space for the virtual machines.

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


You cannot connect a SATA CD-ROM device to a virtual machine on an ESXi 4.1 host. To use the SATA CD-ROM device, you must use IDE emulation mode.

ESXi 4.1 Installable supports installing on and booting from the following storage systems:

SATA disk drives – 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 include:

Intel ICH9


ServerWorks HT1000


Sharing VMFS datastores on SATA disks across multiple ESXi 4.1 hosts is not supported.

Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) disk drives – Supported for installing ESXi 4.1 and for storing virtual machines on VMFS partitions.

Fibre Channel or iSCSI