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In ESX 3.5, is there a limit of virtual machines? I am running into a problem where I have 58 vm's on a host, and when I add the 59th, the virtual NIC on the guest drops its connection.

Posted on 2008-10-09
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Last Modified: 2012-05-05
I have 58 virtual XP desktops running on a single ESX host. I have the resources to add many more, but when I attempt to add the 59th guest machine, the virtual NIC on the guest becomes disconnected. I did find where there is a 256 MAC address limit per host, so it is not that. Anyone else have a similar problem? Is there a checkbox or setting I am missing somewhere?
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Question by:kckip
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by:Patrick49er
ID: 22680208
How many physical NICs do you have on the ESX server?  Do you have your service console on a dedicated NIC like it is advised?
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Expert Comment

by:Patrick49er
ID: 22680245
According this document, there is a 60 VM limit.  Here is the document with all the information:

http://www.vmware.com/pdf/vi3_301_201_config_max.pdf
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Author Comment

by:kckip
ID: 22680352
In response to Patrick49er: I have 1 NIC configured as the service console, and 4 NIC's configured for vm data traffic. These are all 1GB connections. Thanks for the document, but the 60 limit refers to devices connected to a virtual machine, not the limit of virtual machines per host.
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by:Patrick49er
ID: 22680431
Ack!  You are right.  Serves me best to read it more carefully. ;-)  There is a vCPU limit of 128, but since I doubt you are assigning 2 vCPUs per XP machine, that wouldn't put you at the limit either.

The following link has a discussion on VMware's community.  Some good discussion there that boils down to it basically depending on what physical hardware you have your ESX server running on and how much resources are installed.  It also depends on how much resource you allocate to your VMs.

http://communities.vmware.com/thread/170137
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Stappmeyer earned 200 total points
ID: 22683751
I suspect that you may need to change the number of ports on the virtual switch.  I believe that by default it is set to 58.  You will need to increase and restart the ESX host.
Steve
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Assisted Solution

by:DChaffey
DChaffey earned 50 total points
ID: 22685707
Seconding Stappmeyer's comment, the base default number of ports on a vSwitch is most likely to be your issue here.

The hard limit on VM's in virtual centre is 2000 for VI3.5 / VC2.5, there is no 'hard limit' on the number of guests as such (that I know of) however the limit you may run into is the maximum number of vCPU's that can be assigned per host - for VDI this is 11 per core, for servers it is 8 per core.

Here is the configuration maximums document for your version (3.5) http://www.vmware.com/pdf/vi3_35/esx_3/r35/vi3_35_25_config_max.pdf

Hope this helps!
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Author Closing Comment

by:kckip
ID: 31504723
Thank You!
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