ESXi Hardware Requirements
Make sure the host meets the minimum hardware configurations supported by ESXi 5.0.
You must have the following hardware and system resources to install and use ESXi 5.0:
Supported server platform. For a list of supported platforms, see http://www.vmware.com/resources/compatibility.
ESXi 5.0 will install and run only on servers with 64-bit x86 CPUs.
ESXi 5.0 requires a host machine with at least two cores.
ESXi 5.0 supports only LAHF and SAHF CPU instructions.
Known 64-bit processors:
All AMD Opteron processors
All Intel Xeon 3000/3200, 3100/3300, 5100/5300, 5200/5400, 5500/5600, 7100/7300, 7200/7400, and 7500 processors
2GB RAM minimum.
One or more Gigabit or 10Gb Ethernet controllers. For a list of supported network adapter models check http://www.vmware.com/resources/compatibility.
Basic SCSI controllers.Adaptec Ultra-160 or Ultra-320, LSI Logic Fusion-MPT, or mostNCR/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. SATA disks will be considered remote, not local. These disks will not be used as a scratchpartition by default because they are seen as remote
NOTE You cannot connect a SATA CD-ROM device to a virtual machine on an ESXi 5.0 host. To use the SATA CD-ROM device, you must use IDE emulation mode.
ESXi 5.0 supports installing on and booting from the following storage systems
1. SATA disk drives: SATA disk drives connected behind supported SAS controllers or supported on-board SATA controllers.
NOTE ESXi does not support using local, internal SATA drives on the host server to create VMFS datastores that are shared across multiple ESXi hosts.
2. Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) disk drives. Supported for installing ESXi 5.0 and for storing virtual machineson VMFS partitions.
3. Dedicated SAN disk on Fibre Channel or iSCSI
USB devices: Supported for installing ESXi 5.0. For a list of supported USB devices check http://www.vmware.com/resources/compatibility.
vSphere 5.0 supports booting ESXi hosts from the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI). With UEFI you can boot systems from hard drives, CD-ROM drives, or USB media but no SCSI Controllers. Network booting or provisioning with VMware Auto Deploy requires the legacy BIOS firmware and is not available with UEFI.
ESXi can boot from a disk larger than 2TB provided that the system firmware and the firmware on any addin card that you are using support it.
NOTE Changing the boot type from legacy BIOS to UEFI after you install ESXi 5.0 might cause the host to fail to boot. In this case, the host displays an error message similar to: Not a VMware boot bank. Changing the host boot type between legacy BIOS and UEFI is not supported after you install ESXi 5.0.