Slide notes list the CPU generations required for running VMware vSphere® ESXi™:
VMware vSphere® ESXi™ requires a 64-bit server (AMD Opteron, Intel Xeon, or Intel Nehalem).
Besides being out of date, this description is logically a nonsense: "Nehalem" is only one of the various Intel microarchitecture names and is a Xeon processor anyway, where "Xeon" is the Intel brand name for multi-socket-capable processors. Hence, mentioning "Intel Nehalem" as opposed to or an alternative to "Intel Xeon" is lexically a nonsense.
For constantly up-to-date information about supported hardware, please always check the online VMware Compatibility Matrix.
VMware Compatibility Guide.
When listing some of the configuration maximums for a host, slide notes state:
The server can have up to 160 logical CPUs (cores or hyperthreads) and can support up to 512 virtual CPUs per host.
The new configuration maximum for virtual CPUs per host is 2048. The number shown in the slide notes is related to vSphere 4.x.
For constantly up-to-date information about the Configuration Maximums, please always check the latest online version of the .PDF Guide.
Configuration Maximums for VMware vSphere 5.1.
Slide notes show a list of hardware components a host must have:
The ESXi host must have:
- One or more Ethernet controllers
- A basic SCSI controller
- An internal RAID controller
- A SCSI disk or a local RAID logical unit number (LUN)
The above list cannot be considered a "must", yet - rather - a list of hardware components an ESXi host can have.
Just think of - in example - diskless hosts booting via PXE and deployed via VMware vSphere® Auto Deploy™.
VMware Knowledge Base articles.