VMware Tools For Nested vSphere ESXi Instances

toolsThose of you running nested VMware vSphere ESXi instances will want to take a look at implementing ‘VMware Tools for nested ESXi’, which is an offering from VMware’s Fling team.  If you’re not familiar with the concept of ‘nesting’ all it is referring to is a VM(s) running on a virtualized hypervisor instance, eg: ESXi.  A virtualized instance of the hypervisor running on top of another hypervisor, in this instance ESXi, is also considered as being ‘nested’.

So Why Run VMware Tools On Nested vSphere ESXi?

Although not essential, running VMware Tools on your nested ESXi VM instances does provide you with the following useful benefits:

– Shutdown or restart the nested ESXi VM cleanly.  This can be via the vSphere Windows based client (aka C# client), the vSphere Web client or via the vSphere APIs.  So no requirement to log onto the nested ESXi console or via SSH to perform a shutdown/restart – this is a real time saver.

– Support for the Guest Operations API (introduced with vSphere 5.0 and previously known as VIX API).  This API allows you to perform guest level operations within the VM through the use of VMware Tools which is running on the VM.

– View details such as IP address and hostname of the nested ESXi instance through the vSphere Client.

– The automation of nested ESXi OS level operations via script upon the change of its power state.

VMware Tools NestedESXi

How Do You Install Nested ESXi VMware Tools?

The nested ESXi VMware Tools get installed via a VIB (VMware Installation Bundle). For instruction on how to install the VMware Tools I recommend you take a look at William Lam’s informative post here where he outlines how to install the VIB.

What Versions of vSphere ESXi Will This Work With?

This VMware Tools VIB will work with vSphere 5.0, vSphere 5.1 and vSphere 5.5

Any Gotchas?

You can’t install or upgrade the nested ESXi VMware Tools via the usual menu driven method within the vSphere Client.

So if you’re running nested ESXi instances within your vSphere environment, most likely a lab environment, then definitely take a look at this highly useful VMware Fling offering.

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