Hyper-V: Nested installation into VMware Hypervisors

Here we are with the first steps to install Hyper-V Hypervisor inside VMware Hypervisor. As already mentioned in the introduction article I will be using a laptop with VMware Workstation 12 to install Hyper-V 2012 R2 Core as a “VM Host”. This VM Host will then contain the Hyper-V Guests.

The steps to create a new VM in VMware Workstation are pretty simple so in our case let’s use the Microsoft Windows  > Hyper-V built-in template offered by the wizard

I will use the same configuration settings for 2 Hyper-V VM Hosts per pictures below. Feel free to add more based on your current physical resources available: RAM should be at least 4GB


Adjust the vCPUs as desired (but always less than the physical ones!). Assuming the pertinent options are enabled in the BIOS on the physical machine I also recommend the enable the settings as per screenshot below


Each of the Hyper-V will have 2 SCSI disks: One for the Hyper-V Core OS installation and the other one to store Hyper-V Guest VHDx files. If 40GB might look not enough choose a bigger size. In my testing I did create a VM based on Windows 2012 R2 using  dynamic disks (again same size 40GB!) and both from size and performance perspective they were absolutely fine (for a testing environment!) Ideally if it’s possible to use a separate “physical” storage this will further improve the speed of the Hyper-V VMs. In my case using a laptop with SSD drive to host VMware Guests (including Hyper-V ones) is working with pretty decent speeds


From a Network perspective I wanted to add multiple NICs. Why? Each one of these NICs will be configured either in TEAMING  or UPLINK mode and associated with Hyper-V Logical Networks (this will be covered later on in the System Center Virtual Machines Manager Install and Configuration series). This way I can simulate for example an Hyper-V Cluster connected to separate Logical Networks for Host Management, Live Migration and VM Guests communication. All of this will be covered later on in the dedicated series mentioned above


At this point we are ready to start with installation of the first Hyper-V node of the Cluster. In my environment I opted for a Windows Hyper-V 2012 R2 Core




Let’s go for a Custom installation


In this screenshot only one drive is visible. The reason it is because I did take the screenshot before adding the second drive! The same will apply with the available network cards to configure. I took a screenshot of the added NICs just by adding them after the initial first boot of the VM. What can I say. I’m not so patient these days.. 🙂





At this point we are ready to start configuring our “Hyper-V Host” with the initial settings as per steps below including:

  • Setting Hostname

  • Configure Windows Update Settings

  • Configure Remote Desktop Client

  • Configure Network Settings

  • Configure Firewall

  • Join to Domain

  • Connect from Hyper-V Manager


Configure Hostname

From the Configuration Wizard let’s go for option “2” and then select the desired Hostname. In my case this will be “HV-01” and will be joined to the domalab domain later on. I’ve decided to run all the configurations first and then add the Host to the domain and finally reboot the server to apply the changes



In my case I selected “No” and progressed with the installation


Configure Windows Update Settings

 This is a great feature but this is not something I would like to enable in in my testing environment for the simple reason I don’t want to grow/use the necessarily the size of the virtual disks for the Hyper-V Host (which is running as a VM guest in my VMware Workstation on my laptop and space on the SSD is not infinite!)


Configure Remote Desktop Client

Next is to enable and configure the RDP protocol to access the Hyper-V Host. Since I’m using a variety of different clients I’m happy to enable this for all of them as per steps below. So would be a number 7 followed by a number 2



Configure the Network

At this point we can configure the network by selecting option 8


In this screenshot it is only showing 1 Network Adapter (index# 11) for the simple reason I’ve added the other NICs after the first Boot and after taking this particular screenshot. Yeah I know I’m an impatient guy 🙂

Anyway the configuration is very easy after selecting the network card to configure as per screenshots below. The wizard also offers the option to set the DNS servers, useful when joining the Host to the Domain




At this point by invoking option 12 we can restart the server OR simply use a “shutdown -r -t 0” from the command prompt window in the background


The reboot of the Host won’t take long. So to make sure the VM Host is communicating with the rest of the world let’s try a simple PING command to the Network Gateway IP Address (In my case I’m using VMware Custom NAT configuration) and if successful try to ping google just to make sure VM can go on the internet should we download anything  apart from Windows Updates


Another test that should be done is to test the network connectivity from other VMs in the same subnet. In my case the other VM the one running the AD. We can notice the ping will fail due to the Firewall enabled on the VM Host. Rather than configuring the specific rules (best practice!) I’m happy to disable the Firewall completely for now. So from a command prompt it’s a very quick task to perform. Make sure you are in the netsh > advfirewall context by typing these commands individually and then issue a

 “set all profiles state off”

 and press  enter


Join the Host to the Domain

 To join the VM Host to the domain is pretty simple process. From the main menu go for option 1 and follow the wizard. Since the Hostname has been set at the beginning there is no need to change it again unless you change your mind of course!



Connect to Host with Hyper-V Manager

Now from any machine in the same Domain make sure the Hyper-V role and Management Tools feature is installed. From that machine you can connect to the newly created VM Host as per screenshots below



As a final note: If it happens to close the Wizard Blue Window by mistake it is possible to recall this one by issuing the command sconfig.

This concludes this part of the installation of the first VM Hyper-V Host. Ideally we want to repeat the same steps for a secondary VM Host so that we can then configure an Hyper-V cluster. This and a lot more will be covered in the next articles

Michele Domanico

Passionate about Virtualization, Storage, Data Availability and Software Defined Data Center technologies. The aim of Domalab.com is sharing with the Community the knowledge and experience gained with customers, industry leaders and like minded peers. Always open to constructive feedback and new challenges.

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