Running a nested vCenter Appliance inside of ESXi on VMware Fusion 5.0


I’m really trying to move my everyday computing from the PC to the 13″ Macbook Pro w/Retina that I purchased a couple of months ago.  One of the things I still need even on my laptop is a decent VMware lab.  As I noted in an earlier post you can’t run the full Windows based vCenter and the ESXi hosts needed for a decent lab.  So, I figured why not run a nested vCenter Appliance inside of one of the virtual vSphere host?

This video walks you through the process I took to configure the lab.

Published by Keith Townsend

Now I'm @CTOAdvisor

6 thoughts on “Running a nested vCenter Appliance inside of ESXi on VMware Fusion 5.0

  1. Thanks Keith for your informative posts. I am considering buying a Macbook pro and built a Virtualization lab. I have two solution in mind but need some expert advise on which one should i go with.
    I’ll be running 5-6 virtual machines concurrently. (2 ESXi hosts + DC + vCenter + Netapp storage Simulator).

    what configuration should i go with:
    1. Macbook pro Retina 15 with 16 GB RAM and 512 GB SSD. All virtual machines booting from same SSD.
    2. Macbook pro 15 non retina with 16 GB RAM and two SSD’s (one regular SSD + one SSD in Optical Drive Bay). This way i’ll divide the virtual machines to boot from two different SSD’s.

    Will the Second configuration help with the load? or the Retina Macbook is good to take up running all virtual machines?

    1. Thanks for the comment Nitish. I’ve found that with the MB Pro w Rita and 16GB of RAM the machine runs out of memory. If you run a vCenter appliance you are fine with 16GB but the vCenter + DC becomes too much.

      As a rule of thumb the 2nd configuration will perform better. But I have no complaints with my single SSD configuration.

      I believe I’ve read that people have been able to upgrade their non-Retina to 32GB of RAM. If I could offer a third option it what be the Non-Retina with 1 SSD (Two if you can afford it) and 32GB of RAM. You could practically run any lab you’d like.

  2. This was an excellent how to article. I used the host to host network setup since I found the natted was more difficult to implement. There seemed to be issues with my ISP…don’t know why but it just didn’t seem to work.

    This added an extra layer of virtualization since i started with all my VMs outside of the ESX environment…I did’nt want to use the VCenter Appliance. I’m a Windows guy by trade.

    I certainly wished I had seen this video earlier. I would have simply used the VCenter Appliance instead of having to import all of my VMs as templates into my ESXi environment.

    Regardless, thanks for the added reinforcement for my VCP studies.

  3. That’s a great virtualization post!
    Yes I’m planning to buy a MBP w Retina (with 16 GB RAM and one 512 GB SSD ) in a few days but my choice depends on the possibility to run 5/6 VM on a nested vCenter Appliance inside of ESXi on VMware Fusion 5.0.
    What do you think about my choice?
    It’s possible to run 5/6 VM with this kind of HW configuration?
    Thanks for your help!

    1. You should be pretty happy. The 16GB of RAM is the important part. I constantly run out of memory on my 8GB 13″ MBPr

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: