I can create an ESXi5 Lab as follows:
Host = MacPro OS X 10.5 (Dual Quad Core Xeon 2008)
1st Layer virtualisation = VMWare Fusion
2nd Layer virtualisation = ESXi5
3rd Layer virtualisation = does 'not' allow for for 64bit OS (Windows 2008 R2). A 32bit OS does install fine.
a)- As I understand it, although the host cpu's are Xeon and support Intel VT-x technology, the Apple Bios (EFI) settings switch VT-x off! Is this correct and/or is there a fix?
b)- If there is no fix for (a) Has anyone managed to install and crate a Lab environment for ESXi5 barebone on a MacPro ?
The reason you're limited to just 32 bit OS's in the nexted ESXi host setup is that the Virtualization Technology cannot get passed to a VM (server on ESXi host) within a VM (virtual ESXi host). It's just the nature of using nexted ESXi hosts. It's also why I would only advise using such a configuration either for testing, or where you'll ONLY be running 32-bit OS VMs.
Personally, I wouldn't even look to use any apple hardware to run ESXi on. I wouldn't (and don't) use apple systems for anything these days. This is coming from someone that was a huge fan of all apple products even just a few years back (about 4 yeast ago that started to change). IMO, your better choice would be to sell that macpro tower and use those funds to get a system that WILL run ESXi 5 without issue. There are some excellent priced server hardware out there if you just know where to look. You could probably get two, or more, perfectly suited host servers for what you get for that old apple...
Agreed, however the MacPro tower is a work machine that I have available to use for testing ESXi at the moment.
Thats what I thought regarding "... Virtualization Technology cannot get passed to a VM (server on ESXi host) within a VM (virtual ESXi host)...", hence I asked about running ESXi barebone on the MacPro tower.
Sounds like trying to get around the Apple EFI boot partition is going to be more trouble than it's worth though.
What would you recomend when you say "... There are some excellent priced server hardware out there if you just know where to look..."?
I am running it fine on a MacBOOKPro, but a MacPro should be similar as long as it is a fairly up to date system. Intel-VT needs to be enabled in the BIOS. Make sure you have the latest BIOS updates installed as well.
How to check that Intel VT-x is supported in CPU:
1. Open Terminal application from Application/Utilities
2. Copy/paste command bellow
sysctl -a | grep machdep.cpu.features
3. You may see output similar to the one bellow
Mac:~ user$ sysctl -a | grep machdep.cpu.features
kern.exec: unknown type returned
machdep.cpu.features: FPU VME DE PSE TSC MSR PAE MCE CX8 APIC SEP MTRR PGE MCA CMOV PAT CLFSH DS ACPI MMX FXSR SSE SSE2 SS HTT TM SSE3 MON VMX EST TM2 TPR PDCM
If you see VMX entry then CPU supports Intel VT-x feature, but it still may be disabled.
Check out this as well:
If your processor is an i3 or greater (that is, you do not have a Core 2 Duo) you can enable nested VT. This allows you to run 64-bit virtual machines within ESXi. To enable nested VT, add this line to your .vmx file:
vhv.enable = "TRUE"