How to Setup Nested vSphere Lab on a PC by Using VMware Workstation

Free E-book: How to setup nested VMware vSphere lab on a PC or laptop? Ever wanted to test the latest vSphere Suite without having enough hardware? Features like vMotion, Fault Tolerance, DRS (distributed ressource scheduler) or HA (High Availability) can be tested in nested environment by using VMware Workstation. Note that the latest vSphere 6 would need a PC or laptop with at least 16 Gb of RAM.

In VMware Workstation you can directly choose to install ESXi host, as a virtual machine. The whole process of setting up vSphere Lab on a PC or laptop can be challenging. Especially for new people coming to learn something new about virtualization. You have to save every Gb of space, because the solution must obviously run on a SSD drive…

That’s why I started this little project of a Free E-book that I’m giving away. In this e-book you’ll be able to find the exact step-by-step instructions with screenshots on how to setup the nested lab. I’m not saying that this is the ONLY way it can be done…. -:)

Nested ESXi

What’s inside of the E-book?

– What you’ll need to get started (hardware, software..)
– The network design of  vSphere lab in VMware Workstation
– Preparation of Windows templates used to save disk space (linked clones)
– Installation of nested ESXi hosts
– Instalation of vCenter
– Choosing shared storage in order to implement HA, vMotion and FT
– Network design of nested ESXi hosts

The E-book is free, if you sign up to our weekly newsletter. You’ll receive weekly e-mail with the latest articles from the blog. ESX Virtualization website has the latest news from virtualization, news and how-to articles and videos.

Actually, why would one want to run nested vSphere lab? What would be the reasons to push people to run nested ESXi hosts? For several reasons nested lab is the only way that some of us. Here are some of those reasons:

Financial – usually to build a physical lab cost some real money. You’ll need at least 2 whiteboxes (Three boxes if you want to run VSAN), shared storage, management station, switches…. People who don’t have the money to build a decent lab at home to learn stuff can use the possibility to run nested hypervisors in order to test quickly the configuration. Usually everyone has a PC or Laptop at home with Intel x64 capable CPU.

– Polyvalency – The PC or laptop where you’ll install the necessary components can of course be used for other stuff, games, etc… You can do more with a PC or laptop running linux or Windows and having your nested vSphere lab running inside of VMware Workstation.

– Ecological – You don’t want to end up each month with an astronomical electricity bill, and, you do want to save the planet, right? Another reason to build a nested VMware vSphere lab !

Download Free E-book


 Please allow 1 business day to my e-mail provider to mail you the link. It’s kinda a semi-automated process.. -:)

I hope that you’ll enjoy it and it will be useful. While I recommend going nested for learning towards VCP exam, I went for physical lab.  I have 3 hosts and running All-Flash VSAN 6.0 with 10GbE Network.

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  1. Anand_kumar_deva says

    Great Vladan. I am a regular visitor of your blogs and I find quite useful VM stuss. Greatly appriciated.

  2. Mayurjdpatel says

    I have been a follower of yor blog for a few years now and find it very informative. I recently started looking at the new esxi5 and wanted to test it in a virtual lab. I registered for your sphere lab free book but I can’t seem to be able to down load it. Pls help.

  3. Marco says

    Hi Vladan,

    many thanks for sharing your knowledge. Since I’m currently renewing my homelab hardware these are very valuable ressources :-)


  4. bb1497 says

    Hello, thank you very much for your booklet. I was able to do vMotion and Storage vMotion on VMware Workstation 8 with no problems. However, I was unable to get FT to work. Errors included “long mode is disabled for this virtual machine” and “using software virtualization with a software MMU. Hardware MMU virtualization with Record/Replay is unsupported.” My processor is a desktop i5-2400 which does have support for EM64T and VT-x. Or must I have a Xeon as described in the VMware knowledge base:

  5. iman says

    hi guys
    i have cpu core i 5 760 and i cant enable FT in host nested workstation 8 because my cpu dont support This feature. in esxi5 also get error that the host dont support FT check host.
    can i enable FT in my workstation for test?

  6. iman says

    hi vladan.thanks for you book it was very useful and i can implement nested esxi5 inside of my pc but when i turn on FT secondary vm be create but in windows loading be hang and FT be Stop but Secondary vm steel ON What do you Think?

  7. imel says

    Hi guys, want the guide and register with two email address, but can’t get the link even after confirmation… no subscription confirmation back…
    please help.

    B. Regards

  8. Ali says

    bonjour j’ai posté plusieurs message pour demander le lien mais à ma grande surprise mes postes ont été supprimés bizzare !

  9. Jo says

  10. Husam Saleh says

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