VMware had an odd announcement to make; it does not plan to support ESXi running on Apple’s 2019 Mac Pro.
VMware said it could not comment on future hardware enablement for its ESXi platform but felt that an update was needed for customers who have been asking about support for the Apple 2019 Mac Pro.
The update stated that “VMware will no longer pursue hardware certification for the Apple 2019 Mac Pro 7,1 for ESXi.”
A beast of a machine
The machine in question is quite a heavy hitter with at least a dozen and up to 28 cores, handles up to a dozen DIMMS, boasts 1.5TB of RAM, eight TB of disk, runs four GPUs, and drives 6 4K displays. With eight PCI slots, you get adequate extensibility. It is a workstation with enough power to take on tasks like video production with ease. It can even handle hosting macOS virtual machines.
Running macOS VMs may be one of the most in-demand workloads in the world. However, workstations are experiencing increased demand as it is hard to make efficient media production pipelines that include remote workers. Note that Apple only allows macOS VMs to run on its own hardware, even in the cloud.
So, why would VMware cut off its users from what is a capable host machine? VMware said the decision is due to various pandemic challenges and the recent announcement by Apple that it was moving away from x86 to Apple Silicon.