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Minimum Hardware and Software Requirements

This topic includes the following sections:

Minimum Hardware Requirements for VMware

Table 1 lists the hardware requirements.

Table 1: Minimum Hardware Requirements for VMware



Number of cores


Performance mode is the default mode and the minimum value is based on one port.

For performance mode with low-bandwidth (virtio) or high-bandwidth (SR-IOV) applications: Minimum of 9

  • 1 for VCP

  • 8 for VFP

The exact number of required vCPUs differs depending on the Junos OS features that are configured and other factors, such as average packet size. You can contact Juniper Networks Technical Assistance Center (JTAC) for validation of your configuration and make sure to test the full configuration under load before use in production. For typical configurations, we recommend the following formula to calculate the minimum vCPUs required by the VFP:

  • Without QoS—(4 * number-of-ports) + 4

  • With QoS—(5 * number-of-ports) + 4


All VFP vCPUs must be in the same physical non-uniform memory access (NUMA) node for optimal performance.

In addition to vCPUs for the VFP, we recommend 2 x vCPUs for VCP and 2 x vCPUs for Host OS on any server running the vMX.

For lite mode: Minimum of 4

  • 1 for VCP

  • 3 for VFP


If you want to use lite mode when you are running with more than 3 vCPUs for the VFP, you must explicitly configure lite mode.



Performance mode is the default mode.

For performance mode:

  • Minimum of 5 GB

    1 GB for VCP

    4 GB for VFP

  • Recommended of 16 GB

    4 GB for VCP

    12 GB for VFP

For lite mode: Minimum of 3 GB

  • 1 GB for VCP

  • 2 GB for VFP


Local or NAS

Each vMX instance requires 44 GB of disk storage

Minimum storage requirements:

40 GB for VCP

4 GB for VFP


  • SR-IOV


    SR-IOV is only supported with Intel Ivy Bridge CPU (or higher) and Intel x520 NICs using ixgbe driver or X710 NICs with 10G ports and using i40e driver. Any other NIC models are not supported.

    Support for unmodified ixgbe driver and i40e driver is available from Junos OS Release 18.4R1 onwards.



See Virtual Network Interfaces for vMX for an overview on the types of virtual network interfaces supported by vMX.

Software Requirements for VMware

Table 2 lists the software requirements.

Table 2: Software Requirements for VMware




  • VMware ESXi 5.5 (Update 2)

  • VMware ESXi 6.0 and 6.5 (Starting in Junos OS 18.1R1)

  • VMware ESXi 6.7 and 7.0 (Starting in Junos OS 19.4R3)


Due to a DPDK version change in Junos OS Release 18.1R1 and later, ESXi 6.5 is the minimum version required to run the vMX router if you are operating in high-bandwidth mode (performance mode). If you are operating the vMX router in low-bandwidth (lite) mode, you can use ESXi 6.0 or ESXi 5.5.


For performance mode, the minimum software requirement for ESXI 6.5 is Junos OS Release 18.1R1 and later.

Management Client

vSphere 5.5 or vCenter Server