Migrating from ESX to ESXi? Watch the HCL differences

November 16th, 2008 by jason Leave a reply »

If you are an ESX shop contemplating a migration to ESXi and all that it has to offer, keep in mind the two products do not share an identical list of compatible hardware. Generally speaking, the ESXi Hardware Compatibility List (HCL) is more limited in terms of hardware than ESX. There is a chance the hardware you have running ESX in the datacenter right now may not be supported by VMware for running ESXi.

Here are some examples of hardware models that are supported for ESX but not for ESXi:


  • 1855
  • 2600
  • 2650
  • 6650
  • M805
  • R300
  • T300


  • DL360G3/G4
  • DL380G3/G4
  • DL385
  • DL580G2/G3/G4
  • DL585
  • DL760G2
  • All BL p-class blades


  • HS20-8843
  • LS20-8850
  • 346-8840
  • 366
  • 445
  • 460-8872
  • x3400
  • x3500-7977
  • x3550
  • x3650
  • x3655
  • x3755
  • x3800
  • x3950

Keep in mind VMware updates the various HCLs on average about once per week so what is or is not on the HCL today, may change at any time. Typically, hardware is added to the HCL on a regular basis as it is certified by VMware.

The ESX and ESXi 3.5u3 HCL can be found here.


No comments

  1. tim says:

    Any reason behind all of this? I was looking forward to run esxi on an ibm x3500. Is there an unsupported, but working method?

  2. jason says:

    VMware natively works on a lot of unsupported boxes. There is a good chance it will work on your x3500 either right out of the box or with a minor component upgrade (usually an array controller and/or NIC).