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Dell R820/VMware compatability

Bill Courtney
Last Modified: 2018-11-29

I am looking at the VMWare HCL. We have Dell R820s with Xeon E5-4640 v2 processors.
The processors are a go for 6.7.x but the host itself is not. Is it likely the motherboard itself
is keeping the 820 off the list??

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Mal OsborneAlpha Geek

There are TWO questions implied here:

1. Is it supported?  Obvious answer is no.
2. Will it work? That is a little trickier, but I would guess it would run just fine. Realistically, you would need to test it to be sure though. Fortunately, it is pretty easy to obtain a free version, which is adequate for testing purposes.

So, my advice would be to grab a copy, try installing it, and see what happens. If it installs and seems to work it is almost certain to be fine, but for production work I would advise more extensive testing; load up a heap of VMs and thrash them for a few days with a heap of file copies, CPU benchmarks, VM migrations and whatever else you can throw at it.

The problematic areas are typically the NIC and RAID card, these will block installation if no drivers are supplied in the native image. It is possible to add drivers, if they exist, but it gets a bit tricky.
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Is it likely the motherboard itself
is keeping the 820 off the list??

or Dell/VMware want you to purchase a new server!

Install ESXi 6.7 on it, and TEST, TEST, TEST and when you finished TESTING do some more testing.

Also you need to assess the RISK, if you need support with VMware, if you have any issues, because usually they'll not support you, e.g. answer your support call (if they found out or work it out!).

if you were using FREE ESXi - then does it matter ?

So these are Risks you need to manage for your organisation.

We have many clients, that do not use Certified Hardware, and ESXi is working fine, but those Clients, also choose not to have VMware Support! (with VMware)

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