The much anticipated release of vSphere 6.5 has officially GA'ed and you can find all the release notes and downloads over here. Just like prior releases, I have created a new Nested ESXi Virtual Appliance to aide in quickly setting up a vSphere 6.5 environment for both educational as well as lab purposes. If you have not used this Virtual Appliance before, I strongly recommend you thoroughly review this blog post here for the background before proceeding further.

Disclaimer: Nested ESXi and Nested Virtualization is not officially supported by VMware, please use this at your own risk (the usual).

The new ESXi 6.5 Virtual Appliance includes the following configuration:

  • ESXi 6.5 OS [New]
  • GuestType: ESXi 6.5[New]
  • vHW 11 [New]
  • 2 vCPU
  • 6GB vMEM
  • 2 x VMXNET vNIC
  • 1 x PVSCSI Adapter [New]
  • 1 x 2GB HDD (ESXi Installation)
  • 1 x 4GB SSD (for use w/VSAN, empty by default)
  • 1 x 8GB SSD (for use w/VSAN, empty by default)
  • VHV added (more info here)
  • dvFilter Mac Learn VMX params added (more info here)
  • disk.enableUUID VMX param added
  • VSAN traffic tagged on vmk0
  • Disabled VSAN device monitoring for home labs (more info here)
  • VMFS6 will be used if user selects to create VMFS volume [New]
  • Enabled sparse swap (more info here[New]

To be able to import and use this new ESXi VA, you will need to be running at least vSphere 6.0 Update 2 in your environment as I take advantage of some of the new Nested ESXi enhancements in vSphere 6.5. If you need to run ESXi 6.5 on earlier versions of vSphere, then you can take my existing 5.5 or 6.0 VAs and manually upgrade to 6.5.

Now that you made it this far, here is download: Nested_ESXi6.5_Appliance_Template_v1.ova

Lastly, I have also spent some time building some new automation scripts which takes advantage of my Nested ESXi VAs and deploys a fully functional vSphere lab environment without even breaking a sweat. Below is a little sneak peak at what you can expect 😀 Watch the blog for more details!

vsphere-6-5-vghetto-lab-deployment-1

6 thoughts on “ESXi 6.5 Virtual Appliance is now available

  1. Awesome, thanks for blazing the trail. If we want to make our own nested hypervisor VMs, is there any documentation or guidance on what VM configurations or advanced settings need to be adjusted for use in vSphere 6.0 and 6.5? I’m putting together some nested clusters to compare differences, for a pitch to upgrade.

  2. Great news , Finally ESXi 6.5 Virtual Appliance is available to download. I am very exited to work on this ESXi 6.5 Virtual Appliance. Can you please tell me one thing , Is there any change in ESXi 6.5 Virtual Appliance installation and configuration ?

  3. Hi William,
    Any idea creating VMFS5/6 failed on the 4GB or 8GB device?

    0b0597f)LVM: 12525: LVMProbeDevice failed with status “Device does not contain a logical volume”.
    viceIO: 2962: Cmd(0x439500993d80) 0x16, CmdSN 0xa51b from world 0 to dev “naa.6000c2910e5baeebfff76aa088cbaa85” failed H:0x0 D:0x2 P:0x0 Valid sense data: 0x5 0x24 0x0.
    0b0597f)LVM: 10306: LVMProbeDevice failed on (3658013760, naa.6000c2910e5baeebfff76aa088cbaa85:1): Device does not contain a logical volume
    0b0597f)FSS: 2295: Failed to create FS on dev [naa.6000c2910e5baeebfff76aa088cbaa85:1] fs [123] type [vmfs3] fbSize 1048576 => Not supported
    410731a)World: 12230: VC opID HB-SpecSync-host-10@0-5e9abb77-d5-247e maps to vmkernel opID 2410731a
    410731a)Config: 706: “VMOverheadGrowthLimit” = 0, Old Value: 4294967295, (Status: 0x0)
    2301dcf)World: 12230: VC opID HB-SpecSync-host-10@0-5e9abb77-d5-2489 maps to vmkernel opID 42301dcf
    2301dcf)Config: 706: “HostLocalSwapDirEnabled” = 0, Old Value: 0, (Status: 0x0)
    ef3e3b4)World: 12230: VC opID AddVmfsDatastoreFlow-add-768-ngc-74-bd-24ab maps to vmkernel opID 5ef3e3b4
    ef3e3b4)LVM: 12525: LVMProbeDevice failed with status “Device does not contain a logical volume”.
    viceIO: 2962: Cmd(0x4395009e8100) 0x16, CmdSN 0xa668 from world 0 to dev “naa.6000c2910e5baeebfff76aa088cbaa85” failed H:0x0 D:0x2 P:0x0 Valid sense data: 0x5 0x24 0x0.
    ef3e3b4)LVM: 10306: LVMProbeDevice failed on (3658013760, naa.6000c2910e5baeebfff76aa088cbaa85:1): Device does not contain a logical volume
    ef3e3b4)FSS: 2295: Failed to create FS on dev [naa.6000c2910e5baeebfff76aa088cbaa85:1] fs [Datastore] type [vmfs3] fbSize 1048576 => Not supported
    viceIO: 2948: Cmd(0x4395009e8100) 0x1a, CmdSN 0xa66e from world 0 to dev “naa.6000c2978e1edd0770c667133be8280d” failed H:0x0 D:0x2 P:0x0 Valid sense data: 0x5 0x24 0x0.
    viceIO: 2948: Cmd(0x4395009e8100) 0x1a, CmdSN 0xa672 from world 0 to dev “naa.6000c2910e5baeebfff76aa088cbaa85” failed H:0x0 D:0x2 P:0x0 Valid sense data: 0x5 0x24 0x0

    • Same error for me. The only way i could make a datastore was to connect a drive to the emulated IDE-controller. Also tried the LSI SAS-controller but no go.

  4. Great work William. Any tips on how to get this masterpiece to run single node VSAN? I tried to hack the .vmx to change the 8GB SSD to a HDD, but I just ended up hacking it to pieces :O

Thanks for the comment!