If a virtual machine has multiple hard disks or CD/DVD-ROM devices, you can add up to three additional SATA controllers to assign the devices to. When you assign the devices to different controllers, you can improve performance and avoid data traffic congestion. You can also add controllers if you need to exceed the thirty-device limit for a single controller.

You can boot virtual machines from SATA controllers and use them for large-capacity virtual hard disks.

Not all guest operating systems support AHCI SATA controllers. Typically, when you create virtual machines with ESXi 5.5 and later compatibility and Mac OS X guest operating systems, a SATA controller is added by default for the virtual hard disk and CD/DVD-ROM devices. Most guest operating systems, including Windows Vista and later, have a default SATA controller for CD/DVD-ROM devices. For verification, see the appropriate VMware Compatibility Guide at http://www.vmware.com/resources/compatibility.


  • Verify that the virtual machine compatibility is ESXi 5.5 and later.
  • Verify that you are familiar with storage controller behavior and limitations. See vSphere Virtual Machine Administration.
  • Verify that you have the Virtual machine.Configuration.Add or remove device privilege on the virtual machine.
  • Power off the virtual machine.


  1. Click Virtual Machines in the VMware Host Client inventory.
  2. Right-click a virtual machine in the list and select Edit settings from the pop-up menu.
  3. On the Virtual Hardware tab, select Add other device, and select SATA Controller from the drop-down menu.
    The SATA controller appears in the hardware list.
  4. Click Save.