If you’re going to be learning about ESXi, Hyper-V, XenServer, SRM, etc. One of the more efficient and cost-effective ways to do so, would be to build a nested virtualization lab, in other words, virtualize your virtualization lab :). I personally built my lab for this exact purpose.
To be quite honest, it’s not very difficult to do, all you really need is either a type one hypervisor like ESXi or a type two hypervisor like VMware workstation and you can easily build a nested virtualization lab for testing and learning new stuff. As I prepare for the XenServer exam in the coming month, I deployed multiple XenServer hosts with shared storage and all the networking I need in my vSphere 5.1 lab all running within virtual machines.
Here are the steps you can take to build yourself a nested hypervisor lab and more.
- How to configure your ESXi physical hosts to support nested hypervisors
- Next, you’ll want to configure the vSwitch to support your nested hypervisors’ networking. This step is fairly simple, once you build your Virtual Machine and attach it to the correct vSwitch/PortGroup you’ll then need to set that PortGroup to “Promiscuous Mode“