VMotion from physical ESX 4 to virtual ESX 4

In yesterday’s post I showed how VMware ESX 4 can be run as a guest OS inside a virtual machine on ESX 4. As a follow-up, here is an interesting feat that can be performed with such a configuration: migrate a running VM with VMotion from the physical ESX host to the virtual ESX host.

Both the physical and virtual ESX systems are connected to a shared iSCSI LUN.

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13 Responses to VMotion from physical ESX 4 to virtual ESX 4

  1. Bobbi Perrin says:

    Hi Eric,

    Is there supposed to be a screenshot for this blog post?

  2. Eric Gray says:

    There is a YouTube video embedded. Do you not see it? If not, what browser are you using, etc?

  3. Bobbi Perrin says:

    Thanks Eric, I see it now, don’t know what the problem was. I am still running IE 7.

    Looks great!

    BTW any comment on the AMD / Microsoft Live Migration announcement the other day? 🙂

    Great information!


  4. Kevin Chan says:

    Is there any trick to set on the nested VM? I am able to power on the nested VM with the “monitor_control.restrict_backdoor / TRUE” trick but when I open the console of the powered on VM, I just get blank screen.

    I am running ESX 4 VM on top of ESX 4.

  5. Eric Gray says:

    Kevin, that should be sufficient. Hard to say what is going on… are there sufficient resources on your machine?

  6. Kevin Chan says:


    Thanks for your reply. I think I have identified the problem. It is the AMD Athlon X2 7750 CPU that I am using. I have tried it on the Intel E6750 then everything works perfect.

    On the AMD, the VM was started but it is not actually running. It would run at high CPU but nothing happened. No BIOS screen, totally nothing but just a blank screen.


  7. Eric Gray says:

    Excellent, thanks for following up.

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  10. Nicolas says:


    VMs could not start in virtual ESX : no bios, 100% cpu,
    I just bought a dual opteron for a lab, does somebody think of a possible hack ?


  11. tymad95 says:

    How many nics are configured on each esx host? Can this be done with a single nic on each esx host?

  12. Samuel says:

    Hi Eric,

    Thanks for sharing this useful information.

    But I can’t vmotion between vESXs. Here you only showed pESX to vESX. How about vESX to vESX?



  13. Michal says:


    I have a problem. I installed 2 esx 5 under workstation 8 and made all important thinks to enable HA and vMOTION. vMOTION is running properly, but I have a problem with HA. There is wasrning message, that my hw is not supported for HA. I have a Xeon 3440 CPU and it supported on the vmware site for ha. VT is enabled in bios. Do you have an idea, why I is not working?


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