to create a test environment

I would like to install a test  or lab environment on my laptop which has 8 GB Ram and 500 GB disk space in Windows 7..and I will create three virtual machines on this environment that will work with Windows 2008R2 Server for some test purposes such as  to work with SQL servers so an expert said that ESxi is faster than VMware workstation as performance but as far as I remember,ESXi server is not installed on windows 7 that means we remove that operation system on my laptop and install ESXi server on the clean workstation  but If we want to run ESXi on a windows , it can be run as a VM in VMware Workstation, but performance will suffer accordingly but we can install VMware workstation directly on Windows workstation machine but I don't make sure how much permance it is then on the other hand,what remains is ,VMware Player so in this case,which method is the best to create a lab environment in terms of performance,speed something like that?
Teoman SahinAsked:
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Performance depends on user expectations, and the host processor, Host Processors, i5 and i7 have that much processing power today that you may find performance is acceptable.

We use ESXi in VMware Workstation, for Labs, and performance is acceptable.

8GB RAM however, is rather low, and you may want to consider upgrading. Easiest method to generate and get a Lab up and running is to use AutoLab.

see my EE Article

HOW TO: Set up a lab environment for vSAN using VMware Workstation
Zephyr ICTCloud ArchitectCommented:
Also, in my opinion and experience, having a normal (mechanical) disk opposed to a SSD will impact performance as well, so if you don't have an SSD in your workstation and have the option to add it, I would also consider it, that and add more memory like Andrew mentioned.

ESXi runs without a problem in Workstation, performance is all depended on mentioned topics, CPU, memory, disk ...
Teoman SahinAuthor Commented:
many thanks Andrew so that is wonderful..I have looked that but something I pointed out is that I could not understand completely why we are installing ESXİ server in VMware workstation so if we would like to install some servers,we can create directly them in VMware workstation by choosing a create New virtual this case, we are installing Host1,Host2 and Host 3 as ESXi server than I think all test servers will be created on ESXi server as VM..what don't we install these test server directly on VMware workstation rather then creating firstly ESXi server?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
What do you want to test?

VMware Workstation?
VMware vSphere features ?
Just host VMs ?

Best for performance is to install ESXi on *BARE METAL* e.g. no OS on the computer!

otherwise use VMware Workstation or VMware Player...installed on Windows OS.

VMware Workstation is a Type 2 Hypervisor, other Type 2 Hypervisors include, VMware Server 2, VMware Player 3.0, Virtualbox 4.0, and Parallels.

Type 2 Hypervisors are SLOW.  In most reviews and experience, they perform at roughly 30-40% hardware capability.  That means an OS in a VM run off VMWare Workstation will likely perform at best like it has an 800 MHz CPU if you have 2 GHz physical CPU. You install Type 2 hypervisors onto of an existing host operating system.

If you use a Type 1 Hypervisor, you get MUCH better performance. ESX, ESXi, are all Type 1 hypervisors - they (based on experience and reviews) typically get 80-90% hardware capability - so that same VM run off the same 2 GHz CPU should operate more like it has a 1.6 GHz CPU instead of 800 Mhz. Type 1 hypervisors are installed on the bare metal of the server.

Type 1 Hypervisors also include Hyper-V.
Teoman SahinAuthor Commented:
@Andrew,what I want to say is that I would like to create virtual servers running with windows 2012 servers using VMware workstation so according your test guide,we add hosts like host1,host2, and host3 which they will be installed as ESXi inside wmware workstation  then after installing ESXi servers,we can create virtual servers on that right? but without installing ESXi server inside VMware workstation, we can create directly these virtual windows servers for test purposes  inside VMware workstation by choosing Create a new virtual machine...can we create virtual servers running on windows 2012 servers by choosing create a new virtual machine without creating ESx I server? after installing ESX iserver,we have to create virtual servers on each ESXi server for my case at least? you say "Best for performance is to install ESXi on *BARE METAL" but I have already installed VMware workstation on my computer running on windows operating system so after this point, I think it is not important to install ESXi server inside VMware Workstation to increase the performance? for what purpose did you install the ESxi server inside VMware workstation? then wil you install virtual servers inside ESXi server? I hope I made myself clear so may be it is a little bit confusing..many thanks Andrew...
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:

If you just want to test virtual machines, create them in VMware Workstation.

If you want to test the features of ESXi, follow my EE Article.

Installing ESXi inside VMware Workstation, what we call nested, does no increase the performance of ESXi.

ESXi is designed to be installed on Bare Metal.

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