ESXi 8.0 with Dell R720

Short post, to hopefully save someone from trashing their R720 home lab server too soon. TL;DR, ESXi 8.0 works on an R720 with a PERC H710 controller.

I was really content with ESXi 6.7 for my home lab. It did everything I needed it to do and matched well with my R720 hardware. At some point, I upgraded to vSphere 7.0. That was fine until it suddenly went haywire a few days ago.

Knowing 7.0 wasn’t officially supported with the R720, I figured I’d just reload 6.7 and be happy. The host has no exposure to the internet and has no sensitive data on it. So 6.7 was fine for me.

Problem, I didn’t have the 6.7 ISO on hand and VMware doesn’t have it for download any longer (understandable). I was hesitant to load 7.0 again and figured I was going to be shelling out another 3k or so for an updated hardware platform.

Just for the heck of it, I tried loading 8.0 on it. I knew 100% it wouldn’t work. It’s not supported and really past a hardware platform that’s not supported at that.

To my shock, it complained about the CPU, let me bypass it, and then… it just worked. Not a production solution, but worth saving 3K to buy a server with no more compute power than you probably already have for a home lab.