Each virtual device performs the same function for the virtual machine as hardware on a physical computer does.

A virtual machine might be running in any of several locations, such as ESXi hosts, datacenters, clusters, or resource pools. Many of the options and resources that you configure have dependencies on and relationships with these objects.

Every virtual machine has CPU, memory, and disk resources. CPU virtualization emphasizes performance and runs directly on the processor whenever possible. The underlying physical resources are used whenever possible. The virtualization layer runs instructions only as needed to make virtual machines operate as if they were running directly on a physical machine.

All recent operating systems provide support for virtual memory, allowing software to use more memory than the machine physically has. Similarly, the ESXi hypervisor provides support for overcommitting virtual machine memory, where the amount of guest memory configured for all virtual machines might be larger than the amount of the host's physical memory.

You can add virtual disks and add more space to existing disks, even when the virtual machine is running. You can also change the device node and allocate shares of disk bandwidth to the virtual machine.

VMware virtual machines have the following options:

General Options

View or modify the virtual machine name, and check the location of the configuration file and the working location of the virtual machine.

VMware Tools

Manage the power controls for the virtual machine and run VMware Tools scripts. You can also upgrade VMware Tools during power cycling and synchronize guest time with the host.

Advanced Options

Disable acceleration and enable logging, configure debugging and statistics, and change the swap file location. You can also change the latency sensitivity and add configuration parameters.

Power Management

Manage guest power options. Suspend the virtual machine or leave the virtual machine powered on when you put the guest operating system into standby.


Hide or expose the NX/XD flag. Hiding the NX/XD flag increases vMotion compatibility between hosts.

Memory/CPU Hotplug

Enable or disable CPU and memory hotplug. You can add Memory or CPU resources to a virtual machine while the virtual machine is running. You can disable Memory or CPU hotplug to avoid adding memory or CPUs while the virtual machine is running. Memory hotplug is supported on all 64 bit operating systems, but to use the added memory, the guest operating system must also support this feature. See the VMware Compatibility Guide at http://www.vmware.com/resources/compatibility.

Boot Options

Set the boot delay when powering on virtual machines or to force BIOS setup and configure failed boot recovery.

Fibre Channel NPIV

Control virtual machine access to LUNs on a per-virtual machine basis. N-port ID virtualization (NPIV) provides the ability to share a single physical Fibre Channel HBA port among multiple virtual ports, each with unique identifiers.

vApp Options

Enable or disable vApp functionality. When you select the checkbox, you can view and edit vApp properties, vApp Deployment options, and vApp Authoring options. For example, you can configure an IP allocation policy or a network protocol profile for the vApp. A vApp option that is specified at the level of a virtual machine overrides the settings specified at the level of the vApp.