vSphere 6.5 Configuration Maximums – Compare to Earlier Versions- Part 1

Each version of vSphere has some improvements and one of important improvements are configuration maximums that allows administrators to have much bigger virtual machines, hosting more virtual machines, use faster network and storage connections.

This is very important that you should aware about your current configuration maximums because you can prepare your forecast plans for increasing virtual machine or ESXi host resources or even changes on network or SAN environments based on these configuration maximums.

Lets review latest vSphere configuration maximums and compare them with earlier versions.

Virtual Machine

Item vSphere 5.5 vSphere 6.0 vSphere 6.5
vCPU 64 128 128
Memory 1TB 4TB 6128GB
Swap File 1TB 4TB 6128GB
Virtual SCSI adapters per virtual machine 4 4 4
Virtual SCSI targets per virtual SCSI adapter 15 15 15
Virtual SCSI targets per virtual machine 60 60 60
Virtual disk size 62TB 62TB 62TB
IDE controllers per virtual machine 1 1 1
IDE devices per virtual machine 4 4 4
Floppy controllers per virtual machine 1 1 1
Floppy devices per virtual machine 2 2 2
Virtual SATA adapters per virtual machine 4 4 4
Virtual SATA devices per virtual SATA adapter 30 30 30
Virtual NICs per virtual machine 10 10 10
USB host controllers per virtual machine 1 1 1
USB devices connected to a virtual machine 20 20 20
Parallel ports per virtual machine 3 3 3
Serial ports per virtual machine 4 32 32
Concurrent remote console connections to a virtual machine 40 40 40
Video memory per virtual machine 512MB 512MB 2GB

As you can see on the above table, maximum memory size is larger than earlier version. Six times bigger than vSphere 5.5!

Also if you have virtual desktop (VDI) in your environment, you can improve user experience by upgrade to vSphere 6.5 because you can assign maximum 2GB video memory instead of 512MB.

vSphere 6.5 allows you add “Virtual RDMA Adapter” but just one adapter per each machine.

If you want to know what is RDMA and vRDMA, you can read this link for more information.

vSphere 6.5 supports NVMe devices and you can add:

  1. 4 x Virtual NVMe adapters per virtual machine
  2. 15 x Virtual NVMe targets per virtual SCSI adapter
  3. 60 x Virtual NVMe targets per virtual machine

Note: Please consider that configuration maximums maybe not supported by guest OS.

ESXi Host

Compute Maximums

Item vSphere 5.5 vSphere 6.0 vSphere 6.5
Host CPU maximums      
Logical CPUs per host 320 480 576
NUMA Nodes per host 16 16 16
Virtual machine maximums      
Virtual machines per host 512 1024 1024
Virtual CPUs per host 4096 4096 4096
Virtual CPUs per core 32 32 32
Fault Tolerance maximums      
Virtual disks 16 16 16
Virtual CPUs per virtual machine 1 4 4
RAM per FT VM 64GB 64GB 64GB
Virtual machines per host 4 4 4
Virtual CPU per host   8 8

Each ESXi 6.5 can have 576 logical processor, that means, you can use servers with more logical cores and hosting virtual machines with more virtual cores totally.

FT has improvements but the improvements are not about FT maximums in vSphere 6.5 .

You can find more information in “What’s New in VMware vSphere 6.5” white paper.

Memory Maximum

Item vSphere 5.5 vSphere 6.0 vSphere 6.5
RAM per host 4TB 6TB 12TB
Number of swap files per VM 1 1 1

About host memory, you can use 12TB memory on each ESXi 6.5 host from now but this is not an improvement actually because you could use this amount of memory if you was using OEM hardware in vSphere 6.0 .

Storage Maximum

Item vSphere 5.5 vSphere 6.0 vSphere 6.5
Virtual Disks per Host 2048 2048 2048
LUNs per server 256 256 512
NICs that can be associated or port bound with the software iSCSI stack per server 8 8 8
Number of total paths on a server 1024 1024 2048
Number of paths to a LUN (software iSCSI and hardware iSCSI) 8 8 8
Software iSCSI targets 256 256 256
NFS mounts per host 256 256 256
Fibre Channel      
LUNs per host 256 256 512
LUN size 64TB 64TB 64TB
LUN ID 255 1023 0 to 16383
Number of paths to a LUN 32 32 32
Number of total paths on a server 1024 1024 2048
Number of HBAs of any type 8 8 8
HBA ports 16 16 16
Targets per HBA 256 256 256
Software FCoE adapters 4 4 4
Common VMFS      
Volume size 64TB 64TB 64TB
Volumes per host 256 256 512
Hosts per volume 64 64 64
Powered on virtual machines per VMFS volume 2048 2048 2048
Concurrent vMotion operations per VMFS volume 128 128 128

VMFS 6 has been introduced in current version and there is some new features but there is no big change about VMFS 3 and VMFS 5.

A big change is number of path that increased from 1024 to 2048. More path is equal to more reliability.

Also more LUN per server, so you can have more LUNs and more paths and so more storage space totally.

This was part 1 of reviewing vSphere 6.5 configuration maximums and we’ll review and compare the rest of items in the next parts.

Davoud Teimouri

Professional blogger, vExpert 2015/2016/2017/2018/2019/2020/2021/2022/2023, vExpert NSX, vExpert PRO, vExpert Security, vExpert EUC, VCA, MCITP. This blog is started with simple posts and now, it has large following readers.

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