When you select a custom configuration, the New Virtual Machine wizard prompts you to select the I/O controller type for the virtual machine.

Workstation installs an IDE controller and a SCSI controller in the virtual machine. SATA controllers are supported for some guest operating systems. The IDE controller is always ATAPI. For the SCSI controller, you can choose BusLogic, LSI Logic, or LSI Logic SAS. If you are creating a remote virtual machine on an ESX host, you can also select a VMware Paravirtual SCSI (PVSCSI) adapter.

BusLogic and LSI Logic adapters have parallel interfaces. The LSI Logic SAS adapter has a serial interface. The LSI Logic adapter has improved performance and works better with generic SCSI devices. The LSI Logic adapter is also supported by ESX Server 2.0 and later.

PVSCSI adapters are high-performance storage adapters that can provide greater throughput and lower CPU utilization. They are best suited for environments where hardware or applications drive a very high amount of I/O throughput, such as SAN environments. PVSCSI adapters are not suited for DAS environments.


The choice of SCSI controller does not affect whether the virtual disk can be an IDE, SCSI, or SATA disk.

Some guest operating systems, such as Windows XP, do not include a driver for the LSI Logic or LSI Logic SAS adapter. You must download the driver from the LSI Logic Web site. Drivers for a Mylex (BusLogic) compatible host bus adapter are not obvious on the LSI Logic Web site. Search the support area for the numeric string in the model number, for example, search for 958 for BT/KT-958 drivers.

See the VMware Guest Operating System Installation Guide for driver support information. For guest operating system support information and known issues, as well as SATA support, see the online Compatibility Guide on the VMware Web site.