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I'm soon getting access to a powerful root-server (quad-core, 16gb ram, 1gbit connection) where gameservers (like minecraft,counterstrike etc.) for different customers should be setup. My plan is to use programs such as vmWare vSphere to create some virtual machines for each customer. Inside such a virtual machine I'll setup the gameserver and maybe some kind of ftp server when its needed. Now that I'm kinda new to virtualisation of servers I want to test this local on my Desktop Computer. Is it possible to create a virtual machine of debian using vmWare Player on my Windows desktop computer and then install vmware vSphere in this VM to create multiple VM's inside that VM ? Or do I really need to install Debian on my desktop computer. (I want to use the time during installations etc. to work a bit at my windows installation)

Some tips on virtualising debian servers are also appreciated :)

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You need to spend some time with the VMWare products site and learn the difference between each one, and the VMWare-supported use cases (a hypervisor like ESXi inside a VM running on desktop virtualization like VMWare Player may work, but it is not a supported configuration). –  voretaq7 Nov 23 '12 at 16:56
    
@voretaq7 I just want to test things out, later this will all be installed on a own root server –  xyza Nov 23 '12 at 17:29
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3 Answers

If you are looking to just test your gaming setup (Debian and related software), you could just run multiple virtual machines on your Windows box using VMware player.

If you are looking to virtualize everything, including VMware VSphere/ ESX, then you can run ESX inside of a virtual machine on VMware Workstation. It is possible, but I don't know if VMware Player supports this.

See this thread here: How to run VMWare ESX or ESXi in a virtual machine?

If you are going to try to virtualize ESX, keep in mind its virtual machines may be limited to using a 32 bit OS. I'm not sure if this is still a limitation with the latest VMware Workstation, but it was a limitation in prior versions.

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Thanks for the information, I'll try to do this right now. –  xyza Nov 23 '12 at 17:30
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Most of the virtualization features can be tested on your desktop, but really hard to simulate is the particular network architecture and network security implementation of your hosting provider. Pay special attention to understand the specifics, and simulate them as far as possible.

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VMware vSphere itself has its own OS, which is ESXi. it is installed on a baremetal server, you dont need to install any OS, like debian or other OS.

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vSphere is actually a collection of components. Some (ESX/ESXi) are installed on bare metal. Others (the vSphere client, vCenter) are installed on a workstation, with an operating system (Windows)... –  voretaq7 Nov 23 '12 at 16:57
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