Itching to try out VMware Virtual Infrastructure? Install it in VMware Workstation on a desktop or laptop.

One of the great things about virtualization is that you can try out anything in a virtual container - even a virtualization environment. That's right, you can virtualize VMware Virtual Infrastructure (and vSphere) in VMware's desktop virtualization product - VMware Workstation.

Minimum Requirements

  • A Standard Laptop/Desktop with [4GB RAM or more]

  • Virtualization Support enabled Processors. [Intel VT or AMD-V]

  • 32bit/64bit Architecture for Virtual Center 2.5 and vSphere 4.0 respectively.

  • Trial version of Virtual Infrastructure Package [Available from VMware Site]

  • Trial version of ESX Server and VMware Workstation Software's [Available from VMware Site]

  • Openfiler ISO image for iSCSI setup.

Installation Steps:

Make sure Virtualization Support for the Processor is enabled in the BIOS.

Install the VMware Workstation Application (Version 5/6/7 required) on your Windows XP/Vista/7.

Create Virtual Machine using VMware Workstation 5 as the Options, it supports for ESX Server 3.5. Watch this video to know how to install ESX server on VMware Workstation.

Download the required images of ESX Server and Virtual Center from the following link

Click here

Install ESX Server inside VMware Workstation

The ESX Server is assigned an ip address from the 192.168.x.x range. Make sure all the machines are in the same range (ESX Server, Open Filer and your Laptop/Desktop).

Then, create another Virtual Machine to install Open Filer on. Open Filer is an open source iSCSI SAN software which enables you to implement a virtual SAN.

Download the OpenFiler(x86) image from the following link.

Click here

Please watch the following videos to configure OpenFiler for ESX Server.

Get all three pieces working together:

  • VC is installed on your Laptop/Desktop with an IP address such as

  • ESX server is installed inside VMware workstation with an IP address such as

  • Open Filer is installed in virtual machine which has an IP address such as

  • Try to ping these IPs from your machine while they are powered on.

  • Open VI Client from your desktop and connect to ESX Server using the IP assigned to it. Use root credentials to log in. In this case you are managing a single ESX Server.

  • If you want to connect to VC, type in the IP of your machine. Add the ESX Server to the VC.

  • Configure the storage using the Storage option in the Configuration Tab [illustrated in videos]

  • After configuring the storage, create a virtual machine on the ESX Server.

The following content was originally posted over at, but given the nature of the internet (sites can go offline at any time - permanently), I have re-posted it here so that it has a permanent place on my blog. I also heavily edited for grammar and English mistakes as well as formatting errors. I hope it works.

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