I have written a number of articles about VMware Nested Virtualization and even today, I am still surprised at how easy it is to virtualize not only our own hypervisor but other vendor's hypervisors as well. This week I received an interesting question from my old Technical Marketing colleague Rawlinson Rivera who wanted to run a nested RHEV (Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization) Hypervisor on ESXi. This was not something I had done before nor had any interest in doing and I told Rawlinson that it should technically work as long as the guestOS is enabled with VHV.
Rawlinson's attempt at installing RHEV resulted in the VM hanging after boot up. After a bit of research, it turns out some additional tweaks are required to get RHEV running on ESXi. I would like to give a huge thanks to Jim Mattson, one of the VMware developers who help made Nested Virtualization possible, for his assistance.
Disclaimer: This is not officially supported by VMware. Please use at your own risk.
Here are the instructions on creating a virtual machine that can be used to install RHEV (make sure you follow these exact steps, the VM must be created with these settings or it will not work):
Step 1 – Download RHEV 6.3 or 6.4 from Red Hat's website
Step 2 – Create a new Virtual Machine (vHW9) and when you get to the OS selection, you will need to select the following:
Guest Family – Other
Guest Version – Other (64-bit)