Nested Virtualization

Nested virtualization refers to virtualization that runs inside an already virtualized environment. In other words, it’s the ability to run a hypervisor inside of a virtual machine (VM), which itself runs on a hypervisor.

With nested virtualization, you’re effectively nesting a hypervisor within a hypervisor. The hypervisor running the main virtual machine is considered a level 0, or LO hypervisor, and the initial hypervisor running inside the virtual machine is referred to as a level 1 or L1 hypervisor. Further nested virtualization would result in a level 2 (L2) hypervisor inside the nested VM, then a level 3 (L3) hypervisor within that nested VM, and so forth.

Which Hypervisors Support Nested Virtualization and Use Cases for Nested Virtualization

Not all hypervisors and operating systems support nested virtualization. Hypervisors that do support nested virtualization include KVM and VMware ESXi hypervisors (called Nested ESXi). Nested ESXi also supports Hyper-V, Xen and KVM guest hypervisors as of ESXi version 6.0.

Microsoft introduced support for nested virtualization with Hyper-V in Windows Server 2016.

Nested Virtualization
Nested virtualization can be used for development and testing purposes, virtualization training, providing guest virtualization to end users, deployment testing of “virtual clouds,” testing configurations and other cases where running multiple hypervisors on the same host server might be needed.

Forrest Stroud
Forrest is an experienced, entrepreneurial and well-rounded professional with 15+ years covering technology, business software, website design, programming and more.

Top Articles

List of Windows Operating System Versions & History [In Order]

The Windows operating system (Windows OS) refers to a family of operating systems developed by Microsoft Corporation. We look at the history of Windows...

How to Create a Website Shortcut on Your Desktop

Website Shortcut on Your Desktop reviewed by Web Webster   This Webopedia guide will show you how to create a website shortcut on your desktop using...

What are the Five Generations of Computers? (1st to 5th)

Reviewed by Web Webster Learn about each of the 5 generations of computers and major technology developments that have led to the computing devices that...

Hotmail [Outlook] Email Accounts

Launched in 1996, Hotmail was one of the first public webmail services that could be accessed from any web browser. At its peak in...

Indicators of Compromise

When a system administrator finds anomalous or malicious behavior within network...

Disk Drive

A disk drive is a device that allows a computer to read from...

Firewall as a Service...

For the cloud-first organization, Firewall as a Service (FWaaS) brings all...