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Creating Windows Hyper-V training VMs

Posted on 2015-01-26
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Last Modified: 2015-01-29
We need to create a lab environment where we can spin up the following to help train people how to use HyperV with our applications.

Each student will need:
2 HyperV systems
each system will have 4 Windows Server 2012 R2 VMs on it.

The 2 hosts need to be virtual so that we can duplicate them and grow with scale depending on the number of students in the class.

However at this time it looks like HyperV cannot be a role installed on a VM that is hosted by VMware host or HyperV host. At least not in a supported state.

We're not sure how else we're supposed to train our staff on using HyperV in the field. It can't just be basic HyperV training that is already out there.

Is there any product out there where you can create a virtual machine that runs HyperV and then inside that VM which is now a virtual host, run four other VMs?

Since Microsoft and VMware both don't officially support running nested HyperV I'm not sure where to look.
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Question by:DITGUY
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by:Lee W, MVP
Lee W, MVP earned 250 total points
ID: 40571948
You could have one host (or a couple) and use the Management tools for each workstation to train with.  Or get a bunch of old machines and use them.  Unfortunately, both Hyper-V and VMWare ESXi are hardware level virtualization technologies (as opposed to VMWare Workstation and Virtual PC and Virtual Box) which means they really need DIRECT access to the hardware and a virtual system simply won't cut it for performance or reliability (being so non-standard and ill-advised, finding professionals with experience doing this who could help you would likely be difficult).  MANY things can be virtualized these days, but there are still a few that can't - I consider this to be one.
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kevinhsieh earned 250 total points
ID: 40573170
It is possible to nest at least one copy of Hyper-V inside ESXi. It isn't supported, and is only useful if you can get multiple copies running. I suggest you try. The only other alternative is to run many physical servers. Fortunately you should be able to use low end servers.
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Author Comment

by:DITGUY
ID: 40577625
Thanks. I'll have to talk to management and the training teacher about those options. This is what I'm seeing:

OPTION 1:
Have two hosts running Hyper-V. Have 1 VM on each host for each student. Train the products from those VM. Show the users how to manage Hyper-V on those two hosts but don't give students ability to configure them.

OPTION 2: purchase 2 basic servers with plenty of ram per student so they can learn how to set up Hyper-V and manage it. Then learn how to do the VM management as well and finally the application. if I want to cut hardware in half have 1 host per student and have them work in pairs for the classes.

OPTION 2 has a drawback of cost well as having to spend far more time learning how to set up Hyper-V and VMs.

Thanks!
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