This is a VMware-focused community and not a Microsoft one. Since your question deals with nested virtualization on Hyper-V, I think you'd have more results either 1) posting on a Hyper-V forum or 2) performing nested virtualization on top of vSphere/ESXi where we can be of help.
OK thanks, gonna try to get an answer from Hyper-V forum, hoping they won't answer me to ask VMWare forum because I use ESXi :-s
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For what it is worth, running ESXi as a VM, regardless of the underlying hypervisor, is not officially supported by VMware.
Because your base virtualization layer is Hyper-V, this is definitely be more appropriate in a Microsoft forum. In this case, ESXi is the "guest operating system" to Hyper-V.
I suggest looking at any Microsoft documentation regarding running Hyper-V on top of Hyper-V and see what configuration settings they recommend in that case. I have a feeling that that is the best starting point for you.
That said, you are attempting to run a Windows VM on top of an ESXi VM on a Windows Desktop OS. Performance is never going to be great in the second-layer virtual machine: everything must pass through two layers of virtualization. That means quite a bit of overhead for access to memory, disk and network. Even CPU will likely take a hit. Context switching at two layers is not going to result in an optimal user experience. When we do this in our labs, the second-layer VMs are usually something small running Linux (as in, 512 MB RAM, 1 CPU and a few GB disk). They're not running a GUI and only run the minimal services needed to model our use case.
If the goal is to run Windows 2016 in a VM, I'd suggest simply installing the Windows 2016 into a Hyper-V VM on your machine. Adding the extra layer of indirection, while a neat science project, is not likely to get you what you want... unless what you want is to simply show that it can be done.
Thank you for detailed answer.
Wow, I have to completely re consider my lab
The goal was to use a 192 GB Proliant ML350 G6 with two processors for nesting 8 ESXi hosting Windows and Linux VM. While load was light enough, I wanted to host the VMs on my desktop computer.
OK, good to know this all before investing money in memory for the Proliant (at the moment it has only 44 GB RAM, I planned to add RAM as one goes along).
Do you think that if I invest in 4 mini ITX PC with 16 GB each and Xeon 1260 processor, using DPM and TPS, could be a solution for testing the following labs :
1st lab : shared storage (ONTAP Simulator) on a 5th ESXi for converged storage
2nd lab : vSAN
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If your goal is to host Windows and Linux VMs on a ProLiant that is natively running ESXi, you should be fine. That is something that VMware is very good at.
The way people typically do this (again, not supported) is to run ESXi on the metal and then create ESXi VMs to represent their lab environments.
We call these "vESXi." When running any VM on a vESXi machine, don't expect performance to be *awesome* ... more like "functional" .. and even that depends on the workload and overall load on the hardware. Still, it will generally be a lot faster than hosting your VMs on ESXi in a Hyper-V VM on a desktop machine. When you're doing this, you should consider the speed and number of the disks. Think about how many VMs you will have sitting on the same disk -- most desktop machines have a single drive and you can overwhelm that pretty fast. I am very rusty on my HP hardware knowledge, but imagine that the ProLiant would have some kind of RAID, or at least more than a single drive.
Beyond the hardware, I suggest taking a look here for some pointers and even pre-built vESXi appliances you can download and use.
William has a section on running VSAN in such an environment as well:
Unfortunately, I am not very familiar these days with what people are doing in home labs, but, as for hardware, you may be interested in this current thread.
As you can see, there is a ton of information at this site, including using an Apple Mac or an Intel NUC as a host machine, too.
Wow, Awesome !
Big thanks !
This will be very very helpful !