vCenter Server host machines must meet hardware requirements.

vCenter Server and the vCenter Server Appliance are management applications that require adequate resources in order to perform optimally. You should view this guidance as the minimum requirements for a specified environment. Oversizing vCenter Server might result in improved performance, reduced latency, and better concurrency in production deployments.

vCenter Single Sign-On, the vSphere Web Client, vCenter Inventory Service, and vCenter Server Hardware Requirements

You can install vCenter Single Sign-On, the vSphere Web Client, vCenter Inventory Service, and vCenter Server on the same host machine (as with vCenter Simple Install) or on different machines. See 1.

The following tables list the hardware requirements for vCenter Single Sign-On and Inventory Service, running on separate host machines.

If you use Custom Install to install vCenter Single Sign-On, vCenter Inventory Service, and vCenter Server on the same host machine, the vCenter Single Sign-On, and Inventory Service memory and disk storage requirements are in addition to the requirements for vCenter Server. See 4.

Table 1. Minimum Hardware Requirements for Simple Install Deployment of vCenter Single Sign-On, the vSphere Web Client, vCenter Inventory Service, and vCenter Server

Host Hardware for Simple Install Deployment

Minimum Requirement

Processor

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

Memory

12GB.

Memory requirements are higher if the vCenter Server 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 6.

Disk storage

100GB recommended.

40-60GB of free disk space are required after installation, depending on the size of your inventory. You should provide more space to allow for future growth of your inventory.

Disk storage requirements are higher if the vCenter Server database runs on the same machine as vCenter Server, depending on the size of the database.

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.

Network speed

1Gbps

Table 2. 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. If vCenter Single Sign-On runs on the same host machine as vCenter Server, see 1 or 4.

Disk storage

2GB.

Network speed

1Gbps

Table 3. 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 1 or 4.

Disk storage

If vCenter Inventory Service runs on the same host machine as vCenter Server, these requirements are in addition to the disk space required for vCenter Server and any other applications running on the vCenter Server host machine. See 4.

Disk storage requirements for Inventory Service depend on inventory size and the amount of activity in the virtual machines in the inventory. At typical activity rates, Inventory Service uses 6GB - 12GB of disk space for 15,000 virtual machines distributed among 1,000 hosts.

A high rate of activity (more than 20 percent of your virtual machines changing per hour) results in write-ahead logs (WAL) being written to disk to handle updates, instead of in-line writes into existing disk usage. This high rate of activity is often associated with Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) use cases.

In the following guidelines for required disk space, a small inventory is 1-100 hosts or 1-1000 virtual machines, and a large inventory is more than 400 hosts or 4000 virtual machines.

  • Small inventory, low activity rate: 5GB.

  • Small inventory, high activity rate: 15GB.

  • Large inventory, low activity rate: 15GB.

  • Large inventory, high activity rate: 40GB-60GB.

Network speed

1Gbps

Table 4. 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 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 6.

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. You should provide more space to allow for future growth of your inventory. For guidelines about the disk space required for vCenter Single Sign-On and Inventory Service, see 2 and 3

Disk storage requirements are higher if the vCenter Server 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

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.

vSphere Web Client Hardware Requirements

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

Table 5. Hardware Requirements for the vSphere Web Client Server Component

vSphere Web Client Server Hardware

Requirement

Memory

At least 3GB: 2GB for the Java heap, and 1GB for

  • The resident code

  • The stack for Java threads

  • Global/bss segments for the Java process

CPU

2GHz processor with two or more cores

Disk Storage

At least 2GB free disk space

Networking

Gigabit connection recommended

JVM heap settings for vCenter Server

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

Table 6. JVM Heap Settings for vCenter Server

vCenter Server Inventory

VMware VirtualCenter Management Webservices (tc Server)

Inventory Service

Profile-Driven Storage Service

Overall minimum memory recommendation

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

512MB

3GB

1GB

16GB

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

512MB

6GB

2GB

24GB

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

1024MB

12GB

4GB

32GB

VMware vCenter Server Appliance Hardware Requirements and Recommendations

Table 7. Hardware Requirements for VMware vCenter Server Appliance

VMware vCenter Server Appliance Hardware

Requirement

Disk storage on the host machine

For most deployments, the vCenter Server Appliance requires at least 70GB of disk space, and is limited to a maximum size of 125GB. The required disk space depends on the size of your vCenter Server inventory. The vCenter Server Appliance can be deployed with thin-provisioned virtual disks that can grow to the maximum size of 125GB. 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

Using the embedded PostgreSQL database, the vCenter Server Appliance supports up to 100 hosts or 3000 virtual machines, and has the following memory requirements

  • Very small inventory (10 or fewer hosts, 100 or fewer virtual machines): at least 8GB.

  • Small inventory (10-50 hosts or 100-1500 virtual machines): at least 16GB.

  • Medium inventory (the maximum inventory supported with the embedded database; 50-100 hosts or 1500-3000 virtual machines): at least 24GB.

Using an external Oracle database, the vCenter Server Appliance supports up to 1000 hosts or 10000 registered virtual machines, and 10000 powered-on virtual machines, and has the following memory requirements:

  • Very small inventory (10 or fewer hosts, 100 or fewer virtual machines): at least 8GB.

  • Small inventory (10-100 hosts or 100-1000 virtual machines): at least 16GB.

  • Medium inventory (100-400 hosts or 1000-4000 virtual machines): at least 24GB.

  • Large inventory (More than 400 hosts or 4000 virtual machines): at least 32GB.

For inventory and other configuration limits in the vCenter Server Appliance, see Configuration Maximums.

Table 8. JVM Heap Settings for VMware vCenter Server Appliance

vCenter Server Appliance Inventory

VMware VirtualCenter Management Webservices (tc Server)

Inventory Service

Profile-Driven Storage Service

Overall minumum memory recommendation

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

512MB

3GB

1GB

16GB

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

512MB

6GB

2GB

24GB

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

1024MB

12GB

4GB

32GB

See Configuring VMware vCenter Server - tc Server Settings in vCenter Server.