Easily deploy Hyper-V hosts on vSphere 5

If you haven’t seen Ricky El-Qasem’s recent blog post on how to deploy a nested Hyper-V host on ESXi 5 on the Veeam blog; you should check it out. It’s a good one if you want to dabble with Hyper-V yet don’t want to allocated dedicated hardware.

There are a number of steps to deploy a nested host on vSphere, such as Hyper-V. I’ve done one little trick and made a virtual machine that you can restore from a Veeam Backup & Replication backup. This backup contains one VM (nothing installed on it) that you can restore and it is ready for use as a Hyper-V host as a vSphere guest. You can download this as a Veeam backup file here.

A couple of notes:

  • The host configuration step needs to occur. Namely the “# echo ‘vhv.allow = "TRUE" ‘ >> /etc/vmware/config” entry in the blog.
  • The host will still need to enable promiscuous mode.
  • This requires ESXi 5 (specifically for hardware version 8).

But restoring the Veeam Backup file is easy. This backup was like the quickest ever as I cloned my existing Hyper-V nested hosts, removed the .VMDKs and replaced with new .VMDKs and backed it up. Below shows the job iteration:

Restore this backup (it requires Veeam Backup & Replication version 6), and it has one VM in the backup. Simply click the “Import backup” button in Veeam, and point it to the file I have for download above. The file is a ZIP of a backup file (VBK) and the job metadata file. Then restore like this:


You’ll have to select a new location for the restore for VME-HVCSV003. This VM will work for both Windows Server 2008 with the Hyper-V Role and for the Hyper-V only installation (MUI / Free Hyper-V).

There are two networks provisioned to this VM, one called “VM Network” and the other called “Quorum”.

If you aren’t going to leverage Failover Cluster Manager (formerly known as MSCS) and deploy a Clustered Shared Volume (CSV) for the VMs; then you can remove the 2nd network interface.

Happy virtualization, enjoy!


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