Running Hyper-V inside of a Hyper-V VM: Nested Virtualization on Windows Server 2016

Running Hyper-V inside of a Hyper-V VM: Nested Virtualization on Windows Server 2016

With the release of Windows Server 2016 many new features will be available, none more exciting than ‘Nested Virtualization.’

1. What is Nested Virtualization?

Hyper-V Nested Virtualization is essentially running Hyper-V inside of a Hyper-V VM.  Think of it as a second layer of virtualization.

Nested Virtualization

2. Why should I use Nested Virtualization?

While Nested Virtualization may seem like a very niche solution, it has a multitude of use cases and scenarios that can benefit from its offerings. Here are a few:

Test Environments – Hardware is expensive; we all know that simple truth.  Leveraging Nested Virtualization in a current environment offers the segregation desired for a true testing environment while foregoing the upfront cost of dedicated hardware.

Training – Hands on training for Hyper-V is truly priceless.  Utilizing Nested Virtualization can allow for an admin to walk through the base configuration of a Hyper-V cluster while mitigating any potential risks to the current production cluster.

Demos / Proof of Concepts – Again, it’s difficult to dedicate hardware for a demo or PoC when you’re running on a limited budget or short on time.  Nested Virtualization allows you to configure an isolated environment without acquiring dedicated physical resources and delete it quickly when completed.

3. How do I enable Nested Virtualization?

Use the following link to access a video explaining how to enable this feature.

It’s easy to see how useful a technology like Nested Virtualization can be.  Keep this feature in mind the next time you need to create an environment on a limited budget or timeframe.

Windows Server 2016 Blog Series

Innovative Integration is creating a whole series about Windows Server 2016 leading up to the September launch. To read other articles from this series, click here.

About Ryan Franzman

A perseverant and confident engineer that has experience working with current technology as well as many legacy systems. Skilled in MS Windows system administration with extensive Citrix knowledge. Excellent background in project administration, change control, documentation, and budgeting. Experienced in implementing and maintaining virtual environments.

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