VMware vSphere System Requirements

SoftNAS® System Requirements

Listed below is a table to assist with the setup decisions during the configuration required to accomplish various tasks and goals.

Specifying Memory and CPU Reservations

Always specify the CPU and Memory reservations for the SoftNAS® VMs to prevent over-commitment of vSphere Server resources.

Over-committing vSphere Server resources without specifying CPU and Memory reservations will cause unwanted HA failovers.


Configuration Note

VMware Version Supported

Version 5.5 and above


Set a compute reservation for all of the CPU assigned to the SoftNAS® VM.

Small Workloads

4 vCPU


Medium Workloads

8+ vCPU

recommended, based on use of compression

Heavier Workloads

16+ vCPU

large-scale use with compression and deduplication


Set a memory reservation for all of the memory assigned for the SoftNAS® VM.

Base RAM - Light

16 GB


System RAM - Medium

32 GB

medium-scale use

System RAM - Heavy

64+ GB

large-scale use with increased caching

Additional RAM

1 GB per 1 TB of deduplicated storage.

required for best performance

e.g.: 50 TB deduplicated storage = 50 additional GB for deduplication tables.


Boot Disk

64-bit Linux CentOS 4/5/6 (64-bit)

100 GB, Thin-provisioned

Data Disks

Virtual Hard Disks (VMDK) for data storage will support any VMware-supported datastore.

Hardware RAID

If the local disk controller supports hardware RAID, hardware RAID can be used to create VMware host datastores.

Software RAID

If SoftNAS® is preferred to handle RAID, add VMDKs to the SoftNAS® VM and configure RAID in the SoftNAS® product.


SoftNAS® can mount and support all VMware-supported disk configurations, including iSCSI SAN via software or hardware HBA.


Up to 120 MB/sec

1 GbE


Up to 750 MB/sec

10 GbE

Other VMware-supported networks, such as InfiniBand, are also available.

HA Networking

Active/Active or Active/Passive vSwitch

Required setting for VMware vSphere to tolerate a NIC or switch failure.

Use of "full mesh" HA switch configurations are also recommended to prevent switch failures from interrupting storage access.

HA Host Failover

Ensure that, for each host operating with SoftNAS®, the Data Disks are accessible. Preferred method: dual-path disks or iSCSI or fiber-attached disks with VMware drivers.

SoftNAS® System Capacities

Listed below is a table representing the capabilities of the SoftNAS® for VMware vSphere.

SoftNAS® Capacity

Configuration Note



NANo capacity limits


RAM Cache

16 GB to 100 GB

Defaults to 50% total RAM for read cache

SSD Cache

low-speed level 2 cache


Ephemeral Cache

low-speed level 2 cache

Optional for read cache


Maximum Storage

16 PB

Maximum usable storage capacity with SoftNAS®, contingent on license.

Number of Storage Pools


Number of Volumes


Number of Snapshots


Number of Snapshot Clones



Unlimited Pools & Volumes

SnapReplicate Throttle

56Kb/sec to Unlimited bandwidth

Active Directory

Kerberos Integration

Files and Directories





NFS Exports:

Linux Default

iSCSI Targets

Linux Default

CIFS Shares

Linux Default

Firewall Ports22 (ssh), 443 (https)Plus NFS, iSCSI, and CIFS as required by network (please refer to Security for additional details

IP Tables Firewall

Off by default

May be configured but is not required. Use an alternative method to set Security Groups unless added firewall protection on a SoftNAS® instance is required.