VMware Tools for Nested ESXi released

Running nested ESXi hosts is great for development, education, test and training purposes and i have used it for many years in e.g. vSphere, VMware Workstation, VMware Fusion and vCloud Director (vCD).
One thing that has been a pain while running nested ESXi hosts over the years has been the shut down process. This was quite a challenge when talking about e.g. vCloud Director lab environments running nested ESXi hosts. You could off course log on the the ESXi host and via e.g. Direct Console User Interface (DCUI) shut down the ESXi host.

Today, the VMware Labs team released VMware Tools for ESXi and can be downloaded here.

Remember this software comes without any support so use it at your own risk!

This blog post will focus on the power operation feature brought to the nested ESXi host running the VMware Tools for nested ESXi but there are other use cases as well. See e.g this post on VirtuallyGhetto for other use cases.
However, this is how i installed and verified the VMware Tools functionality for one of my nested ESXi hosts running in a vSphere 5.5 environment.

  1. Log on to the DCUI and enable SSH via the Troubleshooting Options menu.
    Screen Shot 2013-11-11 at 21.25.53
  2. Download the VIB via the Instructions section of the ESXi VMware Tools for Nested ESXi page. I used the MacBook shell command curl:
    curl -O http://download3.vmware.com/software/vmw-tools/esxi_tools_for_guests/esx-tools-for-esxi-9.7.0-0.0.00000.i386.vib
    Screen Shot 2013-11-11 at 21.32.43
  3. Upload the VIB to the ESXi host /tmp directory.
    Screen Shot 2013-11-11 at 21.34.47
  4. Install the VIB using the following command:
    esxcli software vib install -v /tmp/esx-tools-for-esxi-9.7.0-0.0.00000.i386.vib -f
    Screen Shot 2013-11-11 at 21.47.08

When i connect, using the vSphere Web Client, to the vCenter Server running my nested ESXi host i can see that the VMware Tools is running.
Screen Shot 2013-11-11 at 23.07.43

Since VMware Tools is running i can either perform a Shut Down Guest OS operation or a Restart Guest OS operation.
Screen Shot 2013-11-11 at 22.59.23
Screen Shot 2013-11-11 at 23.09.46

Screen Shot 2013-11-11 at 22.59.14Screen Shot 2013-11-11 at 22.59.52

The ESXi host DCUI vmkernel log screen, using ALT+F12, will also confirm the ESXi host is being shut down properly.
Screen Shot 2013-11-11 at 22.26.57

This can be compared to when i connected, using the vSphere Web Client, to the vCenter Server running my nested ESXi host before i had installed VMware Tools.
Screen Shot 2013-11-11 at 23.10.34

In this case i can only perform a Power Off operation when right-clicking my nested ESXi host in the vSphere Web Client.
Screen Shot 2013-11-11 at 22.37.23 Screen Shot 2013-11-11 at 22.37.43

Thanks VMware for making this software available. I think it’s really cool and will definitely use it from now on in my lab.