vSphere 6.0: Virtual Machine Virtual Hardware (Part-9)

In previous post, we have discussed about virtual machines files. If you have missed previous posts of this series, you can find them here.

  1. Introduction to vSphere 6.0
  2. Introduction to Virtual Infrastructure
  3. vSphere Lab Setup
  4. vSphere Client 6.0
  5. Install and Configure ESXi 6.0 
  6. Configure IP Address and Hostname of ESXi 6.0
  7. Configure NTP Client using vSphere Web Client
  8. Understanding Virtual Machine Files

In this post, we’ll discuss about VM virtual hardware and its hardware version. Virtual machine uses virtual hardware. Each guest operating system sees ordinary hardware devices. The guest operating system does not know that these devices are virtual. All virtual machines have uniform hardware, except for a few variations that the system administrator can apply. Uniform hardware makes virtual machines portable across VMware virtualization platform.

You can configure virtual machine memory and CPU settings. VMware vSphere supports many of the latest CPU features, including virtual CPU performance counters. You can add virtual hard disks and vNICs. You can also add and configure virtual hardware such as CD/DVD drives, floppy drives and SCSI devices. Not all devices are available to add and configure. For example, you cannot add video devices, but you can configure available video devices and video cards.

Following figure shows a virtual machine supports maximum of virtual hardware that can be configured with a single VM.

Virtual Machine hardware Configuration

                                                                    Figure: Thanks to VMware

Following table shows that how much virtual hardware can be attached to a single VM up-to maximum. Above figure and following table are the same, I’ve just tried to elaborate the virtual machine hardware that can be attached to a single VM.

virtual machine virtual hardware

You can add multiple USB devices, such as security dongles and mass storage devices, to a virtual machine that resides on ESXi host to which the devices are physically attached. When a USB device is attached to a physical host, the device is available only to a VMs that reside on a host. this USB device cannot be attached to VMs which are hosted on others hosts in your virtual environment. A USB device is available to only one VM at a time. When device is removed from on VM, then it would be available to other VMs on same host.

Virtual Hardware Versions

The virtual hardware version determines the operating system functions that a VM supports.  As we are working in this series with vSphere 6.0, its hardware version is 11. For further reference regarding VMware virtual hardware version, follow this link https://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=1010675.

Note: Do not use a version that is higher than supported by the VMware product.

Following table shows hardware versions and their compatibility.

VMware virtual hardware versions

Virtual Hardware Version 11

As I mentioned earlier, we’re working with virtual hardware version 11.  This version is compatible with vSphere 6.0 and its components (vSphere Web Client, ESXi 6.0, vCenter Server etc). Virtual hardware version 11 provides following features and benefits.

virtual hardware ver 11 benefits

To know more about Virtualization, ESXi, and VMs you can follow VMware vSphere 6 Part 1 – Virtualization, ESXi and VMs course.

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