Home Support system VMware offers hardware compatibility list for home labs • The Register

VMware offers hardware compatibility list for home labs • The Register

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Vendors’ hardware compatibility lists detail the kit on which they guarantee that their software will run at useful performance levels.

But what if you can’t afford this kit for a home lab or other non-production project? Or have material you think could do the job at work?

VMware now offers manufacturers of these platforms a tool to help them understand if the kit they have will suffice: a Solution Designer.

Offered as Fling – VMware’s name for approved but unsupported software – the Solution Designer runs a script to automate the acquisition of your available hardware, then reports its suitability to run ESXi.

VMware Staff William Lam learned about Solution Designer and asked for a feature to be added that allows Fling users to “specify whether a specific hardware inventory is viewable when it is initially created.”

This has the effect of making user inventories available to others, with the result that Solution Designer can serve as what Lam calls “an ‘unofficial’ VMware community hardware compatibility list.”

Lam a demand the VMware community to use the new tool and upload their hardware inventories, so that more manufacturers can benefit from their experience.

While the tool has obvious potential to help commercial users understand if the kit they have can run ESXi, running it based on the output of Solution Designer would be unwise. Vendors tend not to offer their most enthusiastic support for platforms that don’t meet their compatibility lists, and given that ESXi tends to support critical infrastructure and applications, this stance is understandable.

So can we direct you to the official VMware HCL, which you can find here?

If this list and Solution Designer leave you cold, VMware also offers cutting of ESXi that runs on a single Raspberry Pi 4. This version can’t do much real work but allows users to experience a VMware environment on very cheap hardware. ®