How to nest a Hyper-V hypervisor inside VMWare ESXi infrastructure

I have found these pieces of information separated around the web, about how to nest a Hyper-V hypervisor inside VMware ESXi infrastructure, so I’m putting all together.

This “how to” was made using a licensed VMware ESXi 6.5, and a Windows Hyper-V Server 2012 obtained through Microsoft Evaluation Center.

You may install the Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2012 right after create the VM, or you may install it after the configurations. The result will be the same.

  • Create a guest in VMware using normal parameters, like memory, CPU, HDD, etc.
  • Once created the VM, right-click on it and edit settings. On the settings window, open the CPU options, and click to choose the option CPU/MMU Virtualization, and select Hardware CPU and MMU, and click OK, exiting the settings window.

  • After that, navigate to the datastore location of your new VM, and download its .VMX file. Save it where you can easily access, and after that, edit the file, adding to the end of it the following parameters:
hypervisor.cpuid.v0 = “FALSE”
mce.enable = “TRUE”
vhu.enable = “TRUE”
  • Save the file, and upload it back to it’s original location. IMPORTANT: Before upload it, rename the original file in the datastore, the ESXi won’t allow you to overwrite it, and also, it’s recommended to have the original file saved.
  • Once again, edit the VM settings, go to the CPU again, and now check the option to “Expose hardware assisted virtualization to the guest”.

  • After this, you’ll be able to run the Hyper-V inside your ESXi infrastructure.
  • There’s one final step that you may be required to do. Once installed the Hyper-V and executed the initial configurations, when running your your first guest, you may receive a informational window stating that “the Virtual Machine can’t be started because the hypervisor is not running”.

If this happen, you’ll need to run the following command on the command prompt inside the Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2012:

bcdedit /set HypervisorLaunchType auto

That’s it. You may now be able to run your VMs from inside the Hyper-V, nested in the ESXi. Remember to install the VM Tools in Hyper-V to have improved performance.


DISCLAIMER: These information are provided for environmental tests, or, educational purposes, and are provided as-is, with no guarantee. I am not responsible for any loss of data that you may have implementing these solutions in production environment.