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Processors and guest operating systems that support VMware Fault Tolerance (1008027)

Details

VMware Fault Tolerance (FT) requires specific processors (CPUs) and guest operating systems.

Solution

Processors

VMware collaborated with AMD and Intel in providing an efficient vSphere FT capability on modern x86 processors. The collaboration required changes in both the performance counter architecture and virtualization hardware assists of both Intel and AMD and these have been included in all processors launched since early 2008.
 
For vSphere FT to be supported, the ESXi servers that host the Primary virtual machine and Secondary VUM must both use compatible processors. Compatible processors share the same Fault Tolerant Compatible Set as shown in the VMware Compatibility Guide. Processors in different Fault Tolerant Compatible Sets are not compatible.
 
In general, a Fault Tolerant Compatible Set comprises processors within the same CPU vendor generation (for example, Intel Nehalem). However, processors across different generations (for example, Intel Westmere with Intel Nehalem) are not FT compatible. This also means that vSphere FT does not support cross compatibility between Intel and AMD processors. You cannot pair Intel and AMD processors for FT virtual machines.
 
Lastly, some processors are only FT compatible with themselves. Those are shown as belonging to the Only With Itself set .

For more information on FT, see VMware Fault Tolerance FAQ (1013428)

Guest Operating Systems

All guest operating systems supported with ESXi are supported with vSphere FT unless noted below. For specific guest operating system version information, see the Guest Operating System Installation Guide.
 
Guest Operating System
Notes or Limitations
 
Windows 7
Requires VMware vSphere 4.0 Update 1 or greater.
Windows Server 2003 (32 bit)
Requires Service Pack 2 or greater when AMD Opteron Barcelona processor type is used.
Windows XP (32 bit) AMD Opteron Barcelona processor type is not supported.
Windows 2000
AMD Opteron Barcelona processor type is not supported.
Windows NT 4.0
AMD Opteron Barcelona processor type is not supported.
Solaris 10 (64-bit)
Requires Solaris U1 when AMD Barcelona processor type is used.
Solaris 10 (32-bit) AMD Opteron Barcelona processor type is not supported.
 
Note: System vendors are certifying that their systems work with FT. You can find details on the FT-certified systems at VMware Compatibility Guide. More systems are being certified all the time, so check back if your platform is not currently listed.
 
For more information about VMware Fault Tolerance, see VMware Fault Tolerance FAQ (1013428).

Additional Information

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