As a heads up, I just wanted to share that VMware has just published a new knowledge base article to communicate that ESXi 7.x will be the last major release to officially support Apple macOS Virtualization, which was originally introduced back in 2011 with the release of vSphere 5.0.
Last year, VMware had also published a blog outlining that they will no longer pursue hardware certification for the Apple 2019 Mac Pro 7,1 for ESXi and as unfortunate as this is, hopefully this updated news will not come as a surprise to any of our customers or partners due to the various challenges in supporting the Apple hardware platform with ESXi.
On a more personal note, this is also a bitter sweet end, I have been writing about Apple macOS Virtualization on ESXi since its inception almost exactly 11 years ago. I came to learn about the new virtualization capability during an on-site beta for vSphere 5.0 (codenamed MN) at VMware HQ back when I was a customer. Not only did our organization have a need for this capability, but this was also the time that Apple had announced EOL'ed of Apple XServe, which was the initial hardware platform that was officially supported. I still recall emailing our leadership after the on-site to purchase as many XServe as we could before you could no longer buy the systems so that we can enable our development teams who were building both iOS and macOS applications.
It certainly has been a wild ride over the years in advocating for our users and their plethora of use cases to getting the Apple Mac Mini to run ESXi like any other x86 platform and even getting the Apple Mac Mini added to the VMware HCL. I still remember all the hoops and hacks that one needed to jump through just to boot ESXi and over the years, various VMware Engineers have incrementally helped get us to where we are at today, so a big thanks for all of their support over the years.
What does this mean for Fusion, if anything? Does Apple's own hypervisor framework provide a platform for native macOS virtualization that just needs to be taken advantage of by developers? Where do you suppose we go from here?
William Lam says
For Fusion, see https://blogs.vmware.com/teamfusion/2022/07/just-released-vmware-fusion-22h2-tech-preview.html for an update with their latest 22H2 Tech Previw
David K. Lee says
If not for you and your advocacy, William, I bet these 11 years would’ve been shortened by half. Thanks for your hard, though no doubt enjoyable, work over the years on it!
Greivin Venegas says
Thanks for the heads up.
According to the VMware lifecycle page, ESXi 7.x will be supported through 2025/2027(extended), so that's still five possible years to keep using vCenter to manage those Apple VMs. Assuming the next five years of future releases will still run on x86.
It's sad, though. I've used vSphere on Xserve and MacMinis since those 5.x days, and your blog helped me many times.
... and then it will come back with vSphere on ARM.