If you are still trying to catch up with all the awesomeness that has been shared, blogged, tweeted, etc. about in the last 24hrs with the announcement of the new vCloud Suite 5.1 release, here is one additional tidbit to add to that list which you might not have heard about it. With the release of ESXi 5.1, the Apple Mac Pro is now officially supported!
I came across this little tidbit from some folks internally who have been working hard to get the Mac Pro platform certified and supported on ESXi. After the vCloud Suite went live, I did a quick search on the VMware HCL and sure enough, the Apple Mac Pro was listed with support for ESXi 5.1.
If you recall back when vSphere 5.0 was released, VMware introduced support for ESXi to run on Apple's XServe ... unfortunately, Apple had decided to announce it's EOL (End of Life) several months prior which made it difficult to purchase and rely on the XServe as a platform. The only way you could get your hands on an XServe is if you were one of the few who purchased them before the EOL date (I personally went through this) or you were willing to look on Ebay. Luckily, now with the latest release of ESXi 5.1, if you need to virtualize Mac OSX Server Virtual Machines and other guestOSes, you can do so using the Apple Mac Pro.
I'm still bummed the Mac Mini isn't officially supported. 🙁
ESXi requires the use of ECC memory, until Apple decides to provide support for ECC memory, I don't see Mini getting certified. If you would like to see Mini get on the HCL, you can help by writing a letter to Apple 🙂
So does this mean you can't legally run it, or you physically can't run Mac VM's on a MacMini? I'm in the process of going through this, so I'm currently working on attempting this.
It just means it's not on the HCL list from VMwares perspective. You can physically install/run ESXi 5.x on a MacMini. I am doing so in my home lab environment and it is working great. I honestly can't imagine using Apple/Mac hardware for anything other than a lab/test environment even on Apple qualified hardware.