*** DISCLAIMER **** This is not officially supported by VMware, do not bother asking if it is supported or calling into VMware support for details or help.
If you wish to run nested ESXi or other hypervisors on ESXi 5.1 and run 32-bit nested virtual machines, you must meet the following hardware requirement:
- CPU supporting Intel VT-x or AMD-V
- CPU supporting Intel EPT or AMD RVI
In ESXi 5.0, you may have been able to run 64-bit nested virtual machines without EPT/RVI support but performance was extremely poor. With ESXi 5.1, VHV now requires EPT/RVI.
Note: During the installation of ESXi, you may see the following message "No Hardware Virtualization Support", you can just ignore it.
If you are using sites such as Intel's ark.intel.com to check your CPU requirements, be aware that it is COMMON even for the hardware vendors to publish incorrect information about their websites. However, there is a quick way you can validate on your ESXi host whether you have full VHV support.
In vSphere 5.1, there is a new capability property called nestedHVSupported which specifies whether your physical ESXi 5.1 host has full VHV support. This property will only be true IF your CPU has both Intel-VT+EPT or AMD-V+RVI. A quick and easy way to validate this is using the vSphere MOB to retrieve the value.
To check nestedHVSupported property, please enter the following into a web browser (substitute the IP Address/hostname of your ESXi host):
For proper networking connectivity, also ensure that either your standard vSwitch or Distributed Virtual Switch has both promiscuous mode and forged transmit enabled either globally on the portgroup or distributed portgroup your nested ESXi hosts are connected to.
- How to Enable Nested ESXi & Other Hypervisors in vSphere 5.1
- How to Enable Nested ESXi & Other Hypervisors in vCloud Director 5.1