vSphere 7 Upgrade Series – Part 2: Hardware Compatibility

This is second part of VMware vSphere 7 upgrade series which about hardware compatibility.

After the upgrade path is prepared and you are ready to pay for new hardware or upgrade current hardware, you have to choose compatible hardware, so you must know that why hardware compatibility is so important?

Why Hardware Compatibility is Important?

Currently, the most important of any computer system is hardware. Without hardware, software can do nothing. I’d better say that without compatible hardware. May be there is unofficial solutions to install software on incompatible hardware but compatible hardware with compatible software is the key to achieved best performance as well.

VMware vSphere, Hardware Compatibility

As a hypervisor, ESXi is compatible with x86-64 architecture, so it will be worked on CPU with the architecture. Also all other hardware should compatible with this architecture. Typically, there is two options:

  • Intel
  • AMD

Hopefully, most server hardware vendors are supporting both platform and they making servers for different workloads based on Intel or AMD processors.

Processor (CPU) is most important component in any server platform, but there are other components which important as well. You should consider about the below components:

  • Motherboard
  • I/O Devices
    • Network
    • SAN
    • Others
  • GPU

vSphere 7, Unsupported Server Platforms

vSphere 7 supporting 2243 server products from more than 50 vendors. It decreased compare to vSphere 6.7 U3 (3058 Server Products) because many of them are out of support by the vendors. vSphere 7 supporting the most updated products such as HPE ProLiant G10 servers.

458 Server products are unsupported till now, compare to vSphere 6.7:

Product Type Count
Balde 79
Mother Board 40
Rack or Tower 24
Rackmount 290
Tower 25
Total 458

This list may be changed, as an example: HPE ProLiant G10 are supported but HPE Synergy G10 is not supported yet.

How Do I Know if The Hardware is Compatible?

So easy, if you are looking for your hardware compatibility with VMware vSphere, VMware make it easy and trusty:

VMware Compatibility Guide

You can search and find hardware from different vendors and also check compatibility with ESXi 5.5 and later.

This is the second part of my vSphere 7 upgrade series and all was about compatibility, also considerations before upgrade to VMware vSphere 7.

Let’s review the first and second parts with a scenario.

Sample Scenario

Company X wants to upgrade vSphere to vSphere 7. Currently, they have some servers from different generation of HPE ProLiant that ESXi 6.0 U3 is installed on those servers.

Regarding to vSphere 7 Upgrade Series – Part 1: Define Upgrade Path, they defined upgrade path and they want to prepare plan for that.

First of all, they should upgrade their third-party solutions and VMware solutions to the version which is compatible with vSphere 7 or the version which has backward compatibility with current version of VMware vSphere and that’s compatible with vSphere 7 as well.

VMware vSphere 7 upgrade plan should be like this:

  1. Remove Gen7 servers and replace those servers with new generations, at least the last generation. Gen7 servers are not compatible with vSphere 6.5 and newer!
  2. Upgrade vCenter server to at least vCenter Server 6.5.
  3. Upgrade ESXi servers to at least ESXi 6.5.
  4. Upgrade vCenter Server to vCenter Server 7.
  5. Upgrade ESXi servers to ESXi 7.

Actually, there are some other tasks about virtual machines which we’ll review in the next parts.

vSphere 7 - Upgrade Flowchart
vSphere 7 – Upgrade Flowchart

Conclusion

Hardware is one of most important component in any computer system, you need to have compatibility between software and hardware. When new version of software is arrived, typically new version needs newest hardware to best performance or delivers new features.

As a hypervisor, ESXi also needs to compatibility with hardware. Compatible hardware or certified hardware will reassure you about better performance, fewer unexpected downtime and you may not face with strange issues.

There is way to install software on incompatible hardware but then you have no new feature, no reliable infrastructure and no support.

vSphere 7 Upgrade Series

vSphere 7 Upgrade Series – Part 1: Define Upgrade Path

Further Reading

What’s Removed From VMware vSphere 7?

What’s New in Hardware Version 17?

Optimized Setting for VMware vSphere on HPE G10 Servers

Davoud Teimouri

Davoud Teimouri is as a professional blogger, vExpert 2015/2016/2017/2018/2019, VCA, MCITP. This blog is started with simple posts and now, it has large following readers.

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