A Review of VMware View 5.0 Limits and Maximums

A while back I released the a “Review of VMware View Limits and Maximums” and I think it deserves a review and update due to VMware View 5.0 launch.

As an administrator and/or designer you should always make sure that your numbers are within VMware View maximums and limits to be able to get technical support from VMware.



The limits may vary according to the releases in use. The limits in this post are specific to VMware View 5.0, View Composer 2.7 and vCenter 5. The comparisons are against limits published with VMware View 4.


· 8 Hosts per Cluster (including 1 hot spare) – did not change
This limit is hard-coded in View Composer; however it comes from a VMFS limitation on the number of hosts that can simultaneously read from a single VMDK. This VMDK in a VMware View environment with View Composer is the Replica disk.

· 16 VM’s per CPU core – changed from 8 VM’s per CPU core

· 1,000 VMs per desktop pool or replica  – changed from 512 Clones per Master Replica

· 140 VMs per LUN with VAAI support – changed from 64 VMs per LUN
Without VAAI support the recommended number is still 64 VMs per LUN. This limit comes from the number of SCSI LUN reservations caused by VM metadata updates. With VAAI the reservation happens at the VMDK level.

· 2,000 VMs per vCenter – did not change
Despite the limit above I recommend you to keep this number at around 1,500 desktops observe vCenter response times as you scale up to 2,000. VMware View generates a lot of activities (power on and off, reconfiguration, cloning, snaps) that will consume vCenter resources very quickly.

· 512 VMs per host – changed from 320 VMs per host
This limit is established by vSphere 5, not VMware View.
[UPDATE – Official number supported now is 1000]


Maximum Number of Connections

· 1 Connection Server with Direct connection, RDP or PCoIP, 2,000 – did not change

· 7 Connection Servers (5+2 spares) Direct connection, RDP or PCoIP, 10,000 – changed from 5 servers for 5,000

· 1 Connection Server with Tunneled connection, 2,000 – changed from 3 Connection Servers for 2,000

· 1 Connection Server with PCoIP Secure Gateway, 2,000 – NEW



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    • Francesco on 11/11/2011 at 12:04 am

    Nice article.
    There’s any limit or suggested number of vm for a NSF datastore in a view 5 environment?


  1. @Francesco
    Unfortunately VMware has not published any guidance for NFS. Since SCSI reservations do not exist on NFS you should be able to have more than 140 VMs per datastore. However, there is no statement support from VMware, thefore I would not recommend.


    • AC on 11/13/2011 at 3:18 pm

    I’m a bit confused by the vCenter limit. I’ve not found any proof that the limit is actually 2000 VMs. Your post at http://myvirtualcloud.net/?p=1155 even says the limit is 10,000 VMs (which is vCenter 4.1’s powered-on VM max, same with vCenter 5.0). The View architecture guide just talks about how you can have “blocks” of 2000 VMs, just that they haven’t tested that configuration, which is also what you said in the aforementioned post. If we keep an eye on vCenter resources (and increase them as necessary) do you see any issue going beyond 2000? I ask because our ESX hosts are large enough that getting 1000 VMs in a cluster is easily possible and it would be nice to have at least a couple clusters per vCenter before having to deal with the overhead of managing another vCenter server.

    Also, you mention 16 VMs per core. Where does this maximum come from? I don’t see it in the vSphere 5 configuration maximums doc or the View 5 architecture guide. What I do see in the View 5 arch. guide is:

    Pg. 36: ‘As a general framework, consider compute capacity in terms of 8 to 10 virtual desktops per CPU core. For information about calculating CPU requirements for each virtual machine, see “Estimating CPU Requirements for Virtual Desktops,” on page 35.’

    Pg. 42: ‘Each CPU core has compute capacity for 8 to 10 virtual desktops.’

    In the end, it doesn’t probably matter to us since we won’t be maxing that value out, but it would be nice to know where in the official VMware documentation I can find these numbers for future planning (and as these numbers change with newer releases of vSphere/View).

  2. @AC
    If you are looking for official words from VMware I am not the right person given that i do not work anymore for VMware. In saying that, I have done many implementations and have strong relationship with the EUC technical marketing, QA and development teams.

    The 2000 VM’s limit per vCenter is due to the number of operations caused by VMware View (Power On, Off, Refresh, Recompose etc…). Those operations heavily utilize resources. On the other side, the VMware QA Team only validated 2000 VMs per vCenter. Therefore, even if you have resources to push those numbers beyong the tested boundaries, they would not be supported by VMware.

    The 16 VMs per core is a vSphere 5 limitation and has been published at vSphere Maximuns and Limits document. Also, please note that there is a limit of 512 VMs per host with vSphere 5.

    Back to the “pushing the bondaries”. You may push bondaries but always remember that VMware will only support what has been oficially tested by the QA team. I hope that helps you to understand where those limits come from.

    Thanks for your comments.

    • Suresh Thoppay on 11/23/2011 at 8:41 am

    VMware Configuration Maximums for vSphere 5 document mentions that max number of powered on VMs per vCenter is 10000 and max number of VMs per cluster is 3000. So, I would think VMware will support upto 10000 desktops per vCenter.

  3. @Suresh Thoppay
    The 10,000 limit is only aplicable to a server environment. For VDI the tested limit is around 2,000. The 2000 VM’s limit per vCenter is due to the number of operations caused by VMware View (Power On, Off, Refresh, Recompose etc…). Those operations heavily utilize resources. On the other side, the VMware QA Team only validated 2000 VMs per vCenter. Therefore, even if you have resources to push those numbers beyong the tested boundaries, they would not be supported by VMware.


    • AC on 11/26/2011 at 2:07 pm

    @Andre Leibovici

    I wasn’t looking for any official word from VMware via you, but was just trying to figure out where the idea of the 2000 maximum came from as it isn’t clear from the official VMware documentation (but really should be). However, I have also contacted our support rep from VMware and they have informed me that they would still support us if we went over the 2000 VM mark, just that they do not recommend doing so (or not by much anyway). We have BCS, so I’m not sure if that makes any difference.

    In the end, it is a shame they haven’t bothered to do any QA testing past 2000 VMs when the vCenter max is actually 10,000. I’ve encouraged them to test more VMs on the next version of View.

    Lastly, I still cannot find where there is a 16 VM per core limit. The only core limit mentioned in the vSphere 5 Configuration Maximums document states you can have 25 vCPUs per physical core. If you have a 32-core server, then the effective max is 16 single vCPU VMs as the host max is 512, but if you are just using a 16-core server, that changes things. It isn’t that big of a deal as I don’t think we’re going to get close enough to that max, but it would be nice for it to be in an official VMware doc for future reference.

    • pricemc1 on 05/09/2012 at 6:45 am

    Nice to have this concise reference. Would you mind either republishing or updating this article for changes around the v5.1 release?

  4. @pricemc1
    I have it ready and should be publishing very soon…


    • vsoft (@vsoftinfotech) on 11/09/2013 at 9:48 pm

    If we are using full clones with view 5.0 then can we use 32 host cluster with VMFS.

    • VMware View 5.0 Maximum Composer Pool Size | Revolusionline on 12/03/2011 at 11:03 pm

    […] not a lot of people are aware, so I just wanted to clarify the point. As mentioned both at myvirtual.net and in the VMware View 5.0 Architecture Planning […]

  1. […] continuity to my VMware View Limits and Maximums series (VMware View 4.0 | VMware View 5.0) I am now releasing an updated version for Horizon View […]

  2. […] Andre Leibovici over at myvirtualcloud.net has already blogged about this (thanks Andre!) so to save re-inventing the wheel here is a link to his post http://myvirtualcloud.net/?p=2455 […]

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