Make sure the host meets the minimum hardware configurations supported by ESXi 4.0.

You need the following hardware and system resources to install and use ESXi 4.0:

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

VMware ESXi 4.0 will only install and run 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

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 4.0 host. To use the SATA CD-ROM device, you must use IDE emulation mode.

ESXi 4.0 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

Nvidia MCP55

ServerWorks HT1000


Sharing VMFS datastores on SATA disks across multiple ESXi 4.0 hosts is not supported.

Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) disk drives – Supported for installing ESXi 4.0 and for storing virtual machines on VMFS partitions.

USB devices – Supported for installing ESXi 4.0. For more information, refer KB 1010574 at