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.

You can install vCenter Single Sign On, Inventory Service, and vCenter Server on the same host machine (as with vCenter Simple Install) or on different machines. Minimum Hardware Requirements for vCenter Single Sign On, Running on a Separate Host Machine from vCenter Server and Minimum Hardware Requirements for vCenter Inventory Service, Running on a Separate Host Machine from vCenter Server list the hardware requirements for Single Sign On and Inventory Service, running on separate host machines. If you install vCenter Single Sign On, vCenter Inventory Service, and vCenter Server on the same host machine, the Single Sign On and Inventory Service memory and disk storage requirements are in addition to the requirements for vCenter Server. See Minimum Hardware Requirements for vCenter Server.

Minimum Hardware Requirements for vCenter Single Sign On, Running on a Separate Host Machine from vCenter Server

vCenter Single Sign On Hardware

Requirement

Processor

Intel or AMD x64 processor with two or more logical cores, each with a speed of 2GHz.

Memory

3GB. Memory requirements might be higher if the vCenter Single Sign On database runs on the same host machine. If vCenter Single Sign On runs on the same host machine as vCenter Server, see Minimum Hardware Requirements for vCenter Server.

Disk storage

2GB. Disk requirements might be higher if the vCenter Single Sign On database runs on the same host machine.

Network speed

1Gbps

Minimum Hardware Requirements for vCenter Inventory Service, Running on a Separate Host Machine from vCenter Server

vCenter Inventory Service Hardware

Requirement

Processor

Intel or AMD x64 processor with two or more logical cores, each with a speed of 2GHz.

Memory

3GB. If vCenter Inventory Service runs on the same host machine as vCenter Server, see Minimum Hardware Requirements for vCenter Server.

Disk storage

At least 60GB for medium- to large-sized inventories (more than 100 hosts or 1000 virtual machines).

If vCenter Inventory Service runs on the same host machine as vCenter Server, see Minimum Hardware Requirements for vCenter Server.

Network speed

1Gbps

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

The amount of memory needed depends on your vCenter Server configuration.

If vCenter Server is installed on a different host machine than vCenter Single Sign On and vCenter Inventory Service, 4GB of RAM are required.

If vCenter Server, vCenter Single Sign On and vCenter Inventory Service are installed on the same host machine (as with vCenter Simple Install), 10GB of RAM are required.

Memory requirements are higher if the vCenter Server database or vCenter Single Sign On database runs on the same machine as vCenter Server.

vCenter Server includes several Java services: VMware VirtualCenter Management Webservices (tc Server), 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 JVM Heap Settings for vCenter Server.

Disk storage

The amount of disk storage needed for the vCenter Server installation depends on your vCenter Server configuration.

If vCenter Server is installed on a different host machine than vCenter Single Sign On and vCenter Inventory Service, 4GB are required.

If vCenter Server, vCenter Single Sign On and vCenter Inventory Service are installed on the same host machine (as with vCenter Simple Install), at least 40-60GB of free disk space are required after installation, depending on the size of your inventory. 100GB are recommended, to allow for future growth of your inventory.

Disk storage requirements are higher if the vCenter Server database or vCenter Single Sign On database runs on the same machine as vCenter Server, depending on the size of those databases.

In vCenter Server 5.x, 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.

Network speed

1Gbps

The JVM heap settings for vCenter Server depend on your inventory size. See Configuring VMware Tomcat Server Settings in vCenter Server 5.1.

JVM Heap Settings for vCenter Server

vCenter Server Inventory

VMware VirtualCenter Management Webservices (tc Server)

Inventory Service

Profile-Driven Storage Service

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

1GB

3GB

512MB

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

2GB

6GB

1GB

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

3GB

12GB

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

The vCenter Server Appliance requires at least 7GB of disk space, and is limited to a maximum size of 80GB. The vCenter Server Appliance can be deployed with thin-provisioned virtual disks that can grow to the maximum size of 80GB. If the host machine does not have enough free disk space to accommodate the growth of the vCenter Server Appliance virtual disks, vCenter Server might cease operation, and you will not be able to manage your vSphere environment.

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 16GB.

Large inventory (More than 400 hosts or 4000 virtual machines): at least 24GB.

JVM Heap Settings for VMware vCenter Server Appliance

vCenter Server Appliance Inventory

VMware VirtualCenter Management Webservices (tc Server)

Inventory Service

Profile-Driven Storage Service

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

1GB

3GB

512MB

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

2GB

6GB

1GB

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

3GB

12GB

2GB

See Configuring VMware Tomcat Server Settings in vCenter Server 5.1.

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

Disk Storage

At least 2GB free disk space

Networking

Gigabit connection recommended