Nested Virtualization


All of us know that virtualization is the process of creating virtual resources for performing different tasks instead of using the actual physical resources. Virtualization is getting more and more common day by day and it is used in almost every IT firm these days. However, have you ever thought about taking virtualization to the next level? That is virtualization within virtualization. Well, in the course of this article, we will discuss nested virtualization, the use cases of nested virtualization, advantages, and disadvantages of nested virtualization and finally, we will talk a little about StarWind HyperConverged Appliance (HCA).

What is Nested Virtualization?

Nested virtualization refers to the process of creating virtual machines inside another virtual machine i.e. virtualization within virtualization. Nested virtualization works by creating multiple virtual machines over a hypervisor, then installing another hypervisor on any of these virtual machines and then running multiple other virtual machines on the second hypervisor. This is just single level nesting but you can do multiple levels nested virtualization in the very same manner.

Use Cases of Nested Virtualization:

Following are the most common use cases of nested virtualization:

●       Creating Isolated Environments: You can create an isolated network of nested virtual machines without affecting the first level virtual machines that interact directly with the first level hypervisor.

●       Testing and Development: There are certain situations in which testing or developing a software or an application on the physical machines is not financially feasible. In such situations, we can use nested virtualization in order to test and develop our applications on different virtual machines and remove all the possible kind of flaws in them hence greatly increasing their performance and efficiency.

●       Creating a Private Cloud: Cloud provides storage and other IT resources to the users. In the same manner, we can create a private cloud through nested virtualization and lend the resources of a single computer system to multiple users.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Nested Virtualization:

The benefits of nested virtualization are given below:

➢      It is highly cost-effective because multiple virtual machines can be created just on a single computer system

➢      It offers a great level of flexibility because multiple operating systems can be virtualized on a single physical machine

➢      It utilizes the hardware resources efficiently because no additional hardware is required for testing and development purposes

The drawbacks of nested virtualization are as follows:

➢      Not all the hypervisors support nested virtualization

➢      All the hardware devices are not designed to support nested virtualization

➢      Moreover, not all the hypervisors offer backward compatibility i.e. some of the older applications might not run on your nested virtualized environment

StarWind HyperConverged Appliance (HCA):

StarWind has launched StarWind HyperConverged Appliance, which is a device that has integrated the networking, computation and storage components all together on one single node. It is designed for those organizations who wish to minimize application downtime but are limited on their IT team resources or budget.

Along with hyperconvergence, StarWind HyperConverged Appliance (HCA) also offers great benefits for the virtualized environments such as Virtual Tape Library (VTL), StarWind ISER, StarWind Virtual Storage Area Network (VSAN) etc. Moreover, StarWind HCA also provides us with StarWind Proactive Support, which can take a good care of your nested virtualized environment by monitoring it 24/7 and resolving all the possible issues before they become a major threat for your environment.


In this article, we talked a little about the growing use of virtualization technology in today's IT industry. Then we discussed the working of nested virtualization. After that, we explained some of the most common use cases of nested virtualization followed by the pros and cons of nested virtualization. Finally, we explained the basic features of StarWind HyperConverged Appliance and we also learned how it supports virtualization. Although, nested virtualization helps us a lot by minimizing our hardware related costs but special care should be taken while implementing it so that you might not mess up with your actual physical machine.

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