The new VMware vSphere 6.5, recently available in GA, increase all configuration maximums to new limits (compared to the 6.0 and previous versions).

Maybe we can say with no limit, or at least, to be serious, with really huge numbers compared to the actual needs and the existing compunting power. Those new limits are both for scalability aspect, but also to fit with possible performance requirements, considering that a bigger number of business critical applications are going in the virtual environment.

For more information see the official docs Minimum & Maximum for VMware vSphere 6.5.

Host ESXi 6.5

In most cases there is 2x increase from vSphere 5.5! For each ESXi the new limits are now:

vSphere 4.0 vSphere 4.1 vSphere 5.0 vSphere 5.1 vSphere 5.5 vSphere 6.0 vSphere 6.5
Logical CPU
64 160 160 160 320 480 576
Physical RAM
1 TB 1 TB 2 TB 2 TB 4 TB 12 TB 12 TB
NUMA Nodes
8 nodes 8 nodes 16 nodes 16 nodes 16
Virtual CPU 512 512 2048 2048 4096 4096 4096
Virtual Disks 2048
Virtual Machines 320 320 512 512 512 1024 1024

Note that maximum physical CPUs of ESXi 6.5 will dependent on hardware at launch time. It’s used the logical CPU concept to consider also cores and hyper-threading.

Also note that 12 TB is supported on specific OEM certified platform. See VMware Hardware Compatibility Limits for guidance on the platforms that support vSphere 6.0 with 12 TB of physical memory.

Virtual Machine with Virtual Hardware (vHW 12)

For each virtual machines those are the new limits:

vSphere 4.0 vSphere 4.1 vSphere 5.0 vSphere 5.1 vSphere 5.5 vSphere 6.0 vSphere 6.5
Virtual CPU
8 8 32 64 64 128 128
Virtual RAM
255 GB 255 GB 1 TB 1 TB 1 TB 4 TB 6128 GB
Max VMDK size
2 TB – 512 B 2 TB – 512 B 2 TB – 512 B 2 TB – 512 B 62 TB 62 TB 62 TB
Virtual SCSI target
60 60 60 60 60 60 60
Virtual NICs
10 10 10 10 10 10 10

Some limits and features are available only with virtual hardware 12, other also for previous versions.

vCenter Server 6.5

There is a 2x increase compared to previous vCenter Server 6.0 and the new vCenter Server maximums are:

vSphere 4.0 vSphere 4.1 vSphere 5.0 vSphere 5.1 vSphere 5.5 vSphere 6.0 vSphere 6.5
Hosts per vCenter
300 1000 1000 1000 1000 1000 2000
Hosts per datacenter 100 400 500 500 500 500 200
Hosts per cluster 32 32 32 32 32 64 60
VMs per cluster 1280 3000 3000 4000 4000 6000 6000
Powered on VMs 3000 10000 10000 10000 10000 10000 25000
Registered VMs 4500 15000 15000 15000 15000 15000 35000
Linked vCenter Servers 10 10 10 10 10 10 10

The number of powered on VMs and registered VMs could be increase using linked mode across vCenter Servers: 30,000 and 50,000 (that remain the same limites of version 6.0).

The vCSA version of vCenter Server will now have the same limits of the Windows installable version (also with the embedded DB!). And finally the vCSA is now the first choice with also some new features available only for it!

Andrea MauroAbout Andrea Mauro (2532 Posts)

Virtualization & Cloud Architect.
VMUG IT Co-Founder and board member. VMware VMTN Moderator and vExpert (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015). PernixPro 2014. Dell TechCenter Rockstar 2014. MVP 2014.
Several certifications including: VCDX-DCV, VCP-DCV/DT/Cloud, VCAP-DCA/DCD/CIA/CID/DTA/DTD, MCSA, MCSE, MCITP, CCA, NPP.


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