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parsani
Contributor
Contributor

Need help with Nested ESXi please :)

Hi All,

This is my first discussion and I am very new to VMware community. I was wondering if you can help me with my questions regarding the project I am working on. Here is the scenario:

I have two decent laptops with i7 CPU and 32GB or RAM which are running workstation 10. On these workstations I have successfully installed two ESXi , VCenter (win2K8R2), Domain Controller (win2K8R2),Nexus 1000V and an Openfiler. These instances are running without any issues however I cannot find a way to make these two laptops to make a unified system. By that I mean I would like to somehow connect these two workstations to share resources as if all of the ESxi and other systems(windows, nexus and openfiler) use the same resource pool on a super server(2X i7 CPUs = 2X8cores, 2X32GB of Ram and etc.)

I believe to do so I would need to somehow get rid of Workstation layer and make it abstract but don't know how. I understand that if I had one super server I could easily install everything on a same workstation but the problem now is that these two laptops have different physical NIC and workstations are running on two different Windows 7 machines. How can make these workstations combine as one? Is it even possible?

Thank you all for your time and consideration, I apologize if my question is too simple or stupid as I am new to visualization concepts.

Cheers,

Ali

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13 Replies
Linjo
Leadership
Leadership

Do you have the ESX hosts in the same cluster? Etc

Is networking working? Can you vmotion etc?

Best regards, Linjo Please follow me on twitter: @viewgeek If you find this information useful, please award points for "correct" or "helpful".
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parsani
Contributor
Contributor

Hi Linjo,

Thanks for your quick response I really appreciate it Smiley Happy

ESXi hosts on same laptop are clustered and networking (as well as vmotion) work fine on each laptop. However I cannot make these two workstations to see each other.

Cheers,

Ali

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Ethan44
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Hi

Welcome to communities.

Please go through below link this will give more details about resource sharing .

yhttp://pubs.vmware.com/vsphere-55/topic/com.vmware.ICbase/PDF/vsphere-esxi-vcenter-server-55-resourc...

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parsani
Contributor
Contributor

Thanks for your reply Ethan. I went through the document however it is more related to Resource Allocation and management. My question is somehow different: how to connect two laptops that are running ESXi/Vcenter on top of vmware workstation. I want these two laptops to join forces as if they are a super server and this requires to somehow bypass Workstation layer and make VMs and ESXi hosts on those Workstations to believe they are on the same machine (while in fact they are on two separate machines)

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parsani
Contributor
Contributor

Please refer to this diagram for more clarification:

idea.PNG

As you can see from the diagram each laptop is currently running VMWare Workstation which in turn runs couple of other stuff( two ESXi, WIN_AD as domain controller, Win_VC which is Vcenter, OpenFiler and Nexus 1000V). Each environment is working fine separately on individual laptops. The goal is to merge these Workstations so they can share resources.

My initial idea: use Bridged-Networking on Workstations so they use Laptops NICs and use an ethernet switch. Maybe this way all of the other stuff can see/ping each other if they are in same subnet. any ideas?

Cheers,

Ali

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a_p_
Leadership
Leadership

The only way to make the VM's talk to each other is to configure "Bridged" networking. This may however no be appropriate for the different networks you need for ESXi hosts (Management, VM, vMotion, storage, ...) and only a single physical network adapter.

André

PS: You can safely ignore Ethan44 and his replies. He's known as a user with dozens of accounts who mostly posts unrelated stuff.

parsani
Contributor
Contributor

Hi Andre,

Thanks I think "Bridged" network is the only option now. Can you please elaborate on why it may not be "appropriate"? I was thinking of use bridged net only between laptop-to-workstation layer. Would that work? or do I need to use bridged for both laptop-to-workstation and workstation-to-VMs? if later is the case, is there anyway to manage VLANs and use Nexus1000V?

Thanks,

Ali

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parsani
Contributor
Contributor

Please help Smiley Happy

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parsani
Contributor
Contributor

Honestly guys I was expecting more from official VMWare forum. I know there are hundreds of decent and well educated people here

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Linjo
Leadership
Leadership

To be honest I am not sure about what you are trying to achieve here.

You are mentioning wanting to create a "super-server" from two nested ESXi-hosts running on 2 laptops, I have no idea of why and how that would work.

There are many good books out there that could be a starting point if you want to get more familiar with the technology.

// Linjo

Best regards, Linjo Please follow me on twitter: @viewgeek If you find this information useful, please award points for "correct" or "helpful".
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admin
Immortal
Immortal

If your laptops are capable of running ESXi, you should go down this path.. This is how i have done with my laptops.

Take a look on the picture - this is the way to manage your ressources.

vsphere.jpg

If your laptops are capable of running ESXi, I suggest you:

  • Install ESXi on your laptops.
  • Deploy the vCenter Server Appliance
  • Connect to vCenter server with the vSphere Web client to:
    • Create a datacenter in vCenter Server
    • Create a cluster within the datacenter you just created
    • Add your physical ESXi hosts to the cluster you just created (your laptops)
    • Create Virtual machines to run Nested ESXi hosts or other Operating systems.

\Ibrar

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Sigi2962
Contributor
Contributor

Hi Parsani,

I am also not 100% sure what you want to achive. But if I get you right, you think of combining the ressources of both notebooks to use them as one "superserver".

I think that what you want to achieve is not what VMware has in mind with their virtualization approach.

Ibrar's picture is showing you what you might be able to do instead with VMware's technology. You install each of the hypervisors directly on a compatible hardware platform and use vCenter to manage their ressources together and afterwards using technologies like HA and DRS to be more flexible in distributing your VMs between your ESXi Hosts. But each host is only able to use it's own CPU/Memory resources for the VMs running on this particular host.

If I misunderstood the aim of your question and you just want that all the VMs you already installed on your two notebooks within VMware Workstation to see each other, the bridged network option Andrê and Ali are mentioning might be the solution you are looking for.

If you want to run VMs within your nested ESXi's and you want to let them communicate with the VMs in Workstation as well don't forget to set the vSwitch within you nested ESXi to "Accept" promiscuous mode.

Best regards,

Sigi

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VRBitman
Hot Shot
Hot Shot

As others have said, what you essentially need to do is start thinking about creating a "super cluster" instead of a "super server".

The Workstation instances are desktop software and aren't really that smart. They won't talk to each other, but if the network settings are correct they can be completely transparent to your vSphere environment.

Configure your network settings so that all virtual ESXi hosts are on the same subnet (and VLAN if necessary).

Once all the network bits are in place, under vCenter (which you can deploy as a virtual appliance as others have suggested or as a regular VM) simply create one single cluster and add all your ESXi hosts to it. Enable DRS and it will autonomously and automatically balance whatever VMs you have across both laptops, pooling all resources together.

Keep in mind though that if your laptops have only one NIC (are there even any laptops with more than 1 NIC out there?) it can be a bottleneck once you start playing with large VMs and features such as vMotion.

-- VR Bitman | http://virtualis.info | vSphere 5.5 Guide: http://goo.gl/QUqTH7 VMware professional, virtualization & FOSS evangelist, informatician, geek VCA-Cloud, VCA-WM, VCA-DCV, VCP-DCV
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