You’re probably thinking, why, on a Microsoft blog, is he banging on about running ESX? Well, if you didn’t know, System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 doesn’t just manage Virtual Server 2005 and Hyper-V – it also manages your VI3 (&3.5) infrastructure too, and will perform 90%+ of the day to day stuff that you’d normally do through Virtual Center, but through VMM.
Why would you do this, I hear you ask? Well, what you have to remember is that VMM is very nicely linked into some of the other System Center components, such as SC Operations Manager 2007, for monitoring and alerting, and SC Configuration Manager 2007 for centralised patching and deployment, and the key thing about these technologies? They are applicable for your physical, and your virtual environment, which is something different to what Virtual Center on it’s own. If you’re looking for a quick idea of the integration between some of the System Center technologies, check out this Dell Video, integrating SCVMM and SCOM 2007.
So, back to the title of the post – Running ESX 3.5 in a VM on VMware Workstation. It can be done. I’ve done it, and the guys at Xtravirt have updated their guide to cover the new and updated ESX / ESXi. This effectively allows you to build ‘VI in a box’, which I can then manage from SCVMM 2008! It’s a great testing environment for me, and, as hardware is scarce, doesn’t stop me learning!
As an FYI - Virtual Machine Manager 2008 is due for release in September. SC ConfigMgr and SC OpsMgr are already released, and have reached the SP1 milestone.
Source: Virtualboy Matt McSpirit blogged about how you could run ESX 3.5/ESXi on a VMware Workstation
Hey Matt! Any idea if this can be done on Hyper-V?
To be honest, I haven't tried - as good as Workstation is, I'm not sure it can 'emulate' the Intel VT / AMD-V into the VM so that Hyper-V can effectively install and run. ESX installs as it doesn't technically 'need' Intel-VT / AMD-V, whereas Hyper-V does.
You never know though - i'll have to dig out a spare machine and have a bash!