The Intel NUC is one of the most popular and affordable hardware platform for running vSphere and vSAN Home Labs. For customers that want a bit more computing power, Intel also has their Skull Canyon platform which was released back in 2016 and has also gained in popularity amongst VMware Home Labbers. To be clear, the none of the Intel NUC platforms are on VMware HCL and therefore are not officially supported.
Earlier this year, Intel released their second generation of their higher-end Intel NUCs dubbed Hades Canyon which comes in two flavors NUC8i7HNK and NUC8i7HVK, with the latter being the higher-end unit. Based on the previous generation of hardware, most customers assumed ESXi should just work and went out and purchased the lower-end "HNK" version just to find out that was not case. The ESXi Installer would boot up to a certain point and then stop with the following error:
“Shutting down firmware services…..
Using “simple offset” UEFI RTS mapping policy”
To add to the confusion, this issue was not observed with the higher-end NUC8i7HVK model which was also quite interesting. Over on the nucblog.net, they also confirmed ESXi runs fine on "HVK" model and the issue seems to be isolated to the lower-end "HNK" model.