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ESXi 4.1 within ESXi, errors when powering on inner virtual machine

Posted on 2011-03-16
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
I installed ESXi 4.1 within an ESXi 4.1 host. Installed and boots fine. When I power on my 1st virtual machine on the inner ESXi (no OS loaded yet), I get the following message:

Running VMware ESX in a virtual machine requires the outer virtual machine to be configured for running a VMware ESX guest operating system. You cannot power on a virtual machine until the outer virtual machine is reconfigured.

How do I configure the outer ESXi to allow this?
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Question by:MikeBroderick
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by:coolsport00
coolsport00 earned 250 total points
ID: 35153279
The error is because that type of embedded configuration isn't supported; see:
http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1030283

You need to install ESX/ESXi in a VM on either Workstation or Player.

Regards,
~coolsport00
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by:coolsport00
coolsport00 earned 250 total points
ID: 35153290
See this video on how to install in Workstation 7, if you choose to pursue it:
http://www.vladan.fr/how-to-install-esx-4-inside-vmware-workstaiton-7-video/

~coolsport00
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Accepted Solution

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sam_gcaus earned 250 total points
ID: 35153304
I have successfully done this - nested ESXi installations, powered on a VM running on the "inner" ESXi, and installed an OS. It was some time ago but I believe I was using ESXi 4.1 at the time. You need to make the following configuration change:
    * Shut down the virtual ESX VM
    * Click Edit Settings (of that VM)
    * Click the Options tab
    * Click Advanced / General / Configuration Parameters…
    * Click Add Row
    * For the Name/Value enter: monitor_control.restrict_backdoor / TRUE

Worked for me.

Source: http://www.vcritical.com/2009/05/vmware-esx-4-can-even-virtualize-itself/

Good luck.
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Netscaler Common Configuration How To guides

If you use NetScaler you will want to see these guides. The NetScaler How To Guides show administrators how to get NetScaler up and configured by providing instructions for common scenarios and some not so common ones.

 
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by:coolsport00
ID: 35153315
Yeah...I saw this post:
http://serverfault.com/questions/28399/how-to-run-vmware-esx-or-esxi-in-a-virtual-machine with that in it, but also saw the VMware KB.

I guess it's up to what the poster wants to do really. My recommendation will always side towards what is supported by VMware.

~coolsport00
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Expert Comment

by:sam_gcaus
ID: 35153366
Hey coolsport00, I agree - generally go with the vendor's recommendations. However, it sounds like this is probably a lab environment - I can't think of any reason you'd nest ESXi installations in production. In my case, it really didn't matter if my configuration was officially supported or not.
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by:coolsport00
ID: 35153385
Sure, but even for my labs, I tend to lean towards what's been 'approved' for testing in case I run into issues. That's why I mention it's really up to the poster :)

~coolsport00
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Author Closing Comment

by:MikeBroderick
ID: 35156281
It seems to work OK. The inner ESXi is only for doing some tests. Also, I also am surprized on the low price of Workstation 7 (~ $150). I shouldnt take too many risks to save that amount.
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