This page describes the NETLAB+ system requirements to support the VMware IT Academy Program. The NETLAB+ pod design for the VMware IT Academy vSphere Install, Configure, Manage Course (ICM), uses 100% virtualized lab components (i.e. ESXi-in-ESXi) to achieve a high pod to physical host ratio, at a significantly lower cost point relative to traditional delivery of vSphere ICM.

Using VMware virtualization and the sharing and scheduling capabilities of NETLAB+, each student (or team of students) has access to their own pod, which they may maintain exclusive use of throughout the course.

Please review the NETLAB+ System Requirements and specific requirements for other courses and lab content.

Required Hardware Components

The following interactive diagram and table lists required hardware components that are required to support the VMware IT Academy Program. See the Scaling section of this page to determine how many ESXi servers are required.


NETLAB+ integrates with VMware vSphere to provide remote PC support.

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# Component Description Learn More
1 NETLAB+ Server NETLAB+® is a server appliance with all software pre-installed. NETLAB+ Overview
2 VMware vCenter VMware vCenter enables you to manage the resources of multiple ESXi hosts and allows you to monitor and manage your physical and virtual infrastructure. NETLAB+ integrates with VMware vCenter to assist the administrator with installing, replicating and configuring virtual machine pods. vCenter Requirements
3 VMware ESXi Physical VMware ESXi servers host the virtual machines in your pods. Virtualization using ESXi is performed on separate physical servers, not included with NETLAB+. You can interface with multiple ESXi servers if necessary. Recommended Hardware for ESXi

VMware ESXi Host Requirements and vCenter Requirements

These components are used for NETLAB+ management of VMs. Specifications are provided on the Remote PC Support page.

Host Server Requirements
  • ESXi 6.0 is supported on physical host servers.
  • ESXi 5.1/5.5 is deprecated on physical host servers.
  • The physical ESXi host server memory requirement for ICM 5.0 has increased to 128GB per server (previously 72GB for ICM 4.1) to maintain the same 8-to-1 pod to host ratio. (see table below)
  • 16GB DIMMs are recommended to accommodate memory expansion for ICM 5 and beyond. A memory upgrade may be required if you previously built a 72GB system based on 4GB DIMMs.

Scaling and Host Server Specifications

The number of active pods that can be used simultaneously depends on the NETLAB+ product edition and the number of VMware ESXi host servers meeting the current NDG virtual machine host server specifications.

Please review the minimum server configurations recommended for various NDG supported courseware.