What you need to know
- Virtualization outfit VMware has ditched plans to bring its ESXi hypervisor to the 2019 Mac Pro.
- VMware says that Apple's transition to Apple silicon is one of the reasons it won't be looking to pursue hardware verification for ESXi.
Virtualization outfit VMware has announced that it will no longer pursue hardware verification for its ESXi hypervisor on the one machine you would expect to get it — the 2019 Mac Pro. Hypervisors are layers of software that allow virtual machines to be installed.
According to VMware, one of the reasons that it's ditching plans to support the Mac Pro is Apple's move to Apple silicon. It's possible the company doesn't want to do the work to get hardware verification signed off only for Apple to pull the rug on the Intel Mac Pro.
This is a shame for a few reasons, not least the fact that the 28-core Mac Pro with 1.5TB of RAM would make for one very impressive virtual machine host
As The Register also points out, this leaves some businesses in a pickle — Apple only allows macOS to be virtualized on its own hardware and the current Mac Pro would be perfect for that.
All this means that, amazingly, the old Intel i7 Mac mini is the most recent Mac that is supported by ESXi. And that's just ... odd. It's a great machine, but is it the best Mac for running high-power virtual machines? No, probably not. But it's the best we've got in terms of ESXi, it seems.
Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.
Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.
You'd think that someone from Apple would've reached out to VMware prior to this to communicate its timeline for Intel releases & support. Seems pretty short-sighted not to, since it seems fairly likely that there are numerous Mac Pro users who need virtualization due to the lack of actual Apple servers. (And, no, the Mini doesn't have enough horsepower to run multiple beefy VMs.)
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