For all of you who want to run VMware’s ESXi 5.x on an OpenStack cloud running vSphere as the hypervisor, I have a tiny little tip that might save you some researching: The difficulty I faced was “How do I enable nesting (vHV) for an OpenStack deployed instance?”. I was almost going to write a script to add

featMask.vm.hv.capable="Min:1"
vhv.enable="True"

and run it after the “nova boot” command, and then I found what I am going to show you now.

Remember that uploading an image into Glance you can specify key/value pairs called properties? Well, you are probably already aware of this:

root@controller:~# glance image-show 9eb827d3-7657-4bd5-a6fa-61de7d12f649
+-------------------------------+--------------------------------------+
| Property                      | Value                                |
+-------------------------------+--------------------------------------+
| Property 'vmware_adaptertype' | ide                                  |
| Property 'vmware_disktype'    | sparse                               |
| Property 'vmware_ostype'      | windows7Server64Guest                |
| checksum                      | ced321a1d2aadea42abfa8a7b944a0ef     |
| container_format              | bare                                 |
| created_at                    | 2014-01-15T22:35:14                  |
| deleted                       | False                                |
| disk_format                   | vmdk                                 |
| id                            | 9eb827d3-7657-4bd5-a6fa-61de7d12f649 |
| is_public                     | True                                 |
| min_disk                      | 0                                    |
| min_ram                       | 0                                    |
| name                          | Windows 2012 R2 Std                  |
| protected                     | False                                |
| size                          | 10493231104                          |
| status                        | active                               |
| updated_at                    | 2014-01-15T22:37:42                  |
+-------------------------------+--------------------------------------+
root@controller:~#

At this point, take a look at the vmware_ostype property, which is set to “windows7Server64Guest”. This value is passed to the vSphere API when deploying an image through ESXi’s API (VMwareESXDriver) or the vCenter API (VMwareVCDriver). Looking at the vSphere API/SDK API Reference you can find valid values and since vSphere 5.0 we find “vmkernel4guest” and “vmkernel5guest” in the list representing ESXi 4.x and 5.x respectively. According to my testing, this works with Nova’s VMwareESXDriver as well as VMwareVCDriver.

This is how you change the property in case you set it differently:

# glance image-update --property "vmware_ostype=vmkernel5Guest" IMAGE

And to complete the pictures, this is the code in Nova that implements this functionality:

  93 def get_vm_create_spec(client_factory, instance, name, data_store_name,
  94                        vif_infos, os_type="otherGuest"):
  95     """Builds the VM Create spec."""
  96     config_spec = client_factory.create('ns0:VirtualMachineConfigSpec')
  97     config_spec.name = name
  98     config_spec.guestId = os_type
  99     # The name is the unique identifier for the VM. This will either be the
 100     # instance UUID or the instance UUID with suffix '-rescue' for VM's that
 101     # are in rescue mode
 102     config_spec.instanceUuid = name
 103 
 104     # Allow nested ESX instances to host 64 bit VMs.
 105     if os_type == "vmkernel5Guest":
 106         config_spec.nestedHVEnabled = "True"

You can see that vHV is only enabled if the os_type is set to vmkernel5Guest. I would assume that like this you cannot nest Hyper-V or KVM but I haven’t validated.

Pretty good already. But what I am really looking for is running ESXi on top of KVM as I need nested ESXi combined with Neutron to create properly isolated tenant networks. The most current progress with this can probably be found in the VMware Community.