Maximum manageable storage in VMware versions


Maximum manageable storage per VM by ESX version

  • 4.1: 32TB (vmdk) / 120TB (RDM)
  • 5.0: 60TB (vmdk) / 3.75PB (RDM)
  • 5.1: 60TB (vmdk) / 3.75PB (RDM)
  • 5.5: 3.63PB (vmdk) / 3.75PB (RDM)

Note that the 60TB limit for 5.0 and 5.1 requires Update 1. Without this the limit is 24TB.

Exceeding the limits on ESX < 5.5 can result in VMFS heap exhaustion and data corruption!

More details:
Component ESX 3.5 * ESX 4.0 ESX 4.1 ESX 5.0 ESX 5.1 ESX 5.5
vCPUs 4 8 8 32 64 64
RAM 64GB 255GB 255GB 1TB 1TB 1TB
Disk Size (VMDK) 2TB 2TB 2TB 2TB 2TB 62TB
Number of Disks 60 60 60 60 60 60
RDM Size 2TB 2TB 2TB 64TB# 64TB# 64TB#
Max Storage per VM (VMDK) 32TB** 32TB** 60TB** 60TB** 3.63PB
Max Storage per VM (RDM) 120TB 120TB 3.75PB 3.75PB 3.75PB
NICs 10 10 10 10 10 10
* VMware has EOL support for 3.x
**See limits related to VMFS heap at
#RDM size is based on physical-mode RDMs. Virtual-mode RDM limits match VMDKs.

ESX 5.0, 5.1 VMFS addressable storage limit is 60TB when patches are applied

  1. VMware KB-1004424, good blog post
  2. Delphix Support Technical Bulletin: I/O Errors May Occur if VMware Heap Exhausted

ESX5.5 VMFS addressable storage limit is 3.63PB, performance max is 100TB

Note: MaxAddressableSpaceTB sets pointer-block cache for performance: default 32TB, max 128TB. Threshold where PB cache eviction starts is 80%: so 100 TB is maximum for performance. Details in this blog post.


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April 11th, 2014 by

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