ESXi on VirtualBox on Windows


Mar 23, 2011
Hi All,

I plan on building a home desktop to dual purpose as a development esxi server sometime this year.

To cut down on physical space requirements and to simplify a lot of other overhead relating to having a 2nd PC solely to be a VM server, I plan to run ESXi on a VM on Windows, likely on an 8-16c Ryzen or Threadripper if need be.

I'm not after raw performance. I just need something to develop on. Will be having a few VMs - each to mimic my production setup at work wherein I have a few (3-4) machines 'talking' to each other (databases are relatively smallish, 80GB-300GB max). The VMs with databases will probably have their own SSD/HDD.

My question is - how bad will performance be assuming I allocate enough cores and memory to the virtualbox VM and to the ESXi guests?

Is there a reason to not make the individual VMs in virtual box instead of having the ESXI overhead?
That being said performance shouldn't be substantially hindered provided enough resources and separate storage you mentioned you already planning.
Mainly my reason for thinking that is for ease of porting over the VMs. We're also consolidating some of our machines onto some ESXi servers. I just thought it would be easier to restore the VMs that way, and use that opportunity to just have all the other bare metal machines resetup as VMs on the ESXi while I'm at it.

Thanks for the info!
You might consider VMware Workstation then, it should allow you to upload/import into ESXI hosts as it uses the same vmdk format.
Thanks! I'll consider it or maybe the company can buy it for me for VMWare's 200+$ asking price haha
If you're using this at home for a "home lab" you could look at VMUG advantage comes with a bunch of licenses but its a yearly cost of about 160 (with a discount code).
It gets you discounts on training and VMware tests if you're looking to get VCP certified as well.
I had trouble importing a vmware workstation VM (v14) into esxi running in.... vmware workstation. I couldn't make it run after many experiments and I gave up. Another vm ran Ok. The problematic vm was I think a windows one. It just said something along the lines of unknown format or something
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