The vCenter Server system is a physical machine or virtual machine with access to a supported database. The vCenter Server system must meet specific requirements. The vCenter Server machines must meet the hardware requirements.

Minimum Hardware Requirements for vCenter Server

vCenter Server Hardware

Requirement

CPU

Two 64-bit CPUs or one 64-bit dual-core processor.

Processor

2.0GHz or faster Intel 64 or AMD 64 processor. The Itanium (IA64) processor is not supported. Processor requirements might be higher if the database runs on the same machine.

Memory

4GB RAM. Memory requirements might be higher if the database runs on the same machine.

vCenter Server includes several Java services: VMware VirtualCenter Management Webservices (Tomcat), Inventory Service, and Profile-Driven Storage Service. When you install vCenter Server, you select the size of your vCenter Server inventory to allocate memory for these services. The inventory size determines the maximum JVM heap settings for the services. You can adjust this setting after installation if the number of hosts in your environment changes. See the recommendations in Recommended JVM Heap Settings for vCenter Server.

Disk storage

4GB. Disk requirements might be higher if the vCenter Server database runs on the same machine. In vCenter Server 5.0, the default size for vCenter Server logs is 450MB larger than in vCenter Server 4.x. Make sure the disk space allotted to the log folder is sufficient for this increase.

Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Express disk

Up to 2GB free disk space to decompress the installation archive. Approximately 1.5GB of these files are deleted after the installation is complete.

Networking

Gigabit connection recommended.

The recommended JVM heap settings for vCenter Server depend on your inventory size.

Recommended JVM Heap Settings for vCenter Server

vCenter Server Inventory

VMware VirtualCenter Management Webservices (Tomcat)

Inventory Service

Profile-Driven Storage Service

Small inventory (1-100 hosts or 1-1000 virtual machines)

1GB

2GB

512MB

Medium inventory (100-400 hosts or 1000-4000 virtual machines)

2GB

4GB

1GB

Large inventory (More than 400 hosts or 4000 virtual machines)

3GB

6GB

2GB

Note

Installing vCenter Server on a network drive or USB flash drive is not supported.

For the hardware requirements of your database, see your database documentation. The database requirements are in addition to the vCenter Server requirements if the database and vCenter Server run on the same machine.

Important

The embedded database is not configured to manage an inventory that contains more than 5 hosts and 50 virtual machines. If you use the embedded database with the vCenter Server Appliance, exceeding these limits can cause numerous problems, including causing vCenter Server to stop responding.

Hardware Requirements for VMware vCenter Server Appliance

VMware vCenter Server Appliance Hardware

Requirement

Disk storage on the host machine

At least 7GB, and a maximum of 80GB

Memory in the VMware vCenter Server Appliance

Very small inventory (10 or fewer hosts, 100 or fewer virtual machines): at least 4GB.

Small inventory (10-100 hosts or 100-1000 virtual machines): at least 8GB.

Medium inventory (100-400 hosts or 1000-4000 virtual machines): at least 13GB.

Large inventory (More than 400 hosts or 4000 virtual machines): at least 17GB.

Recommended JVM Heap Settings for VMware vCenter Server Appliance

vCenter Server Appliance Inventory

VMware VirtualCenter Management Webservices (Tomcat)

Inventory Service

Profile-Driven Storage Service

Small inventory (1-100 hosts or 1-1000 virtual machines)

1GB

2GB

512MB

Medium inventory (100-400 hosts or 1000-4000 virtual machines)

2GB

4GB

1GB

Large inventory (More than 400 hosts or 4000 virtual machines)

3GB

6GB

2GB

Make sure that the vSphere Client host machine meets the following requirements.

vSphere Client Minimum Hardware Requirements and Recommendations

vSphere Client Hardware

Requirements and Recommendations

CPU

1 CPU

Processor

500MHz or faster Intel or AMD processor (1GHz recommended)

Memory

500MB (1GB recommended)

Disk Storage

1.5GB free disk space for a complete installation, which includes the following components:

Microsoft .NET 2.0 SP2

Microsoft .NET 3.0 SP2

Microsoft .NET 3.5 SP1

Microsoft Visual J#

Remove any previously installed versions of Microsoft Visual J# on the system where you are installing the vSphere Client.

vSphere Client

If you do not have any of these components already installed, you must have 400MB free on the drive that has the %temp% directory.

If you have all of the components already installed, 300MB of free space is required on the drive that has the %temp% directory, and 450MB is required for vSphere Client.

Networking

Gigabit connection recommended

The number of hosts and powered-on virtual machines in your environment affects performance. Use the following system requirements as minimum guidelines for reasonable performance. For increased performance, you can configure systems in your environment with values greater than those listed here.

Processing requirements are listed in terms of hardware CPU cores. Only physical cores are counted. In hyperthreaded systems, logical CPUs do not count as separate cores.

Important

The recommended disk sizes assume default log levels. If you configure more detailed log levels, more disk space is required.

Medium Deployment of Up to 50 Hosts and 500 Powered-On Virtual Machines

Product

Cores

Memory

Disk

vCenter Server

2

4GB

5GB

vSphere Client

1

1GB

1.5GB

Large Deployment of Up to 300 Hosts and 3,000 Powered-On Virtual Machines

Product

Cores

Memory

Disk

vCenter Server

4

8GB

10GB

vSphere Client

1

1GB

1.5GB

Extra-Large Deployment of Up to 1,000 Hosts and 10,000 Powered-On Virtual Machines

Product

Cores

Memory

Disk

vCenter Server

8

16GB

10GB

vSphere Client

2

1GB

1.5GB

The vSphere Web Client has two components: A Java server and an Adobe Flex client application running in a browser.

Hardware Requirements for the vSphere Web Client Server Component

vSphere Web Client Server Hardware

Requirement

Memory

At least 2GB: 1GB for the Java heap, and 1GB for

The resident code

The stack for Java threads

Global/bss segments for the Java process

CPU

2.00 GHz processor with 4 cores

If you install vCenter Server on a custom drive, note the following space requirements:

1GB on the custom drive for vCenter Server

1.13GB on the C:\ drive for Microsoft .NET 3.0 SP1, Microsoft ADAM, Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Express (optional), and Microsoft Visual C++ 2008 Redistributable

375MB for the custom drive %temp% directory