Requirements of Nested ESXi host Installation in VMWARE Lab

If you want to create you home lab. just like i did for my cloud setup. then you need or configure nested virtualization technique in your lab environment. there are some settings which should do before installation in order to make nested virtualization work in your lab.


In this lab we will perform following configuration.

  1. Upgrade VM Hardware capability/Version.
  2. Enable VT and EPT for VM
  3. Enable Promiscuous Mode on Network

Our first task is to upgrade the VM Hardware Capability. for this  we need to make sure that VM hardware version is  version 9.  If you create a VM with the Windows client, it will create VM with version 8. You can see from “VM Hardware summary” tab from vCenter Web Client. in this case you have to upgrade the VM hardware;


In above picture VM properties shows VM “Hardware version 8”. It is because I created this VM from VSphere Desktop Client. However, with the web client, the default was hardware version 9.

1-Upgrade VM Hardware Version  

If you are version 8, simply edit the VMsettings, and choose or schedule Upgrade VM compatibility.


When you choose upgrade VM compatibility then it will prompt you for confirmation. Choose “yes”


Choose “compatable with ESX 5.5 and later”, press “OK”


To verify that you’re VM has been successfully updated to latest compatibility mode. Go to “VM Setting summary” tab from “VCenter web client” and look into the “VM Hardware” tab for VM hardware version and it shows “VM Version 10” as below.


2-Enable VT and EPT for VM

At this point, we will need to enable Hardware Virtualization in the Guest, Go to vsphere web client edit “ESXi VM settings” and verify the highlighted settings.


And also, change the “Guest OS type” to “Other, ESXi 5.x.”  From “VM Option” tab


3-Enable Promiscuous Mode on Network

Finally, we need to enable “Promiscuous Mode” on our vSwitch where our all VM Management VM Resides, we need to make sure the networking is setup properly.  On each physical/virtual host where you build you nested ESXi lab, for your VM Network, enable promiscuous mode for the port group.

Go to the host networking from “VCenter web client” and follow the highlighted settings, make sure you choose the right “vSwitch”, which you want to use for nested VM’s. Click on little “pencil” sign to edit the “vSwitch” settings.


Now set the “promiscuous mode” from reject to “accept” and also “accept” the “MAC address changes, Forged Transmission” as well. Click “Ok”


Repeat the same steps for other “vSwitches”. If any, which you want to use for nested ESXi lab.


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