Is your server hardware capable of running vSphere?

With VI3 you could run on either 32-bit or 64-bit server hardware but vSphere requires 64-bit hardware because the VMkernel and Service Console are now 64-bit. I did a tip a while ago for that talks about this in detail and shows how you can test your hardware to see if the CPU supports 64-bit and has some of the other CPU features that vSphere needs for certain features. To briefly summarize that tip:

  • Long mode is required to be able to install vSphere, it will not install without it.
  • To be able to run 64-bit VM’s on vSphere either the AMD-V or Intel-VT feature is required. Without it you can still run vSphere but are limited to using 32-bit VM’s.
  • For the Fault Tolerance feature to work you need specific processors that support Lockstep technology, you can read this KB article to find out which ones have this feature.

Here are some links to various information that can help you better understand all this:

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    • Arun Raju on June 10, 2009 at 5:18 am

    Please explain what Long Mode is.

  1. It’s explained in the first link, here’s an excerpt from it:

    You might also wonder what “long mode” is. 64-bit CPUs can operate in two modes: legacy and long mode. When operating in legacy mode, a CPU runs exclusively 32-bit code and none of the 64-bit extensions are used. When operating in long mode, the CPU can run native 64-bit applications but also 32-bit applications in a special compatibility mode.

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