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Nested Virtualization in Azure with StarWind Virtual SAN. Part 1: Introduction

  • September 12, 2017
  • 4 min read
A solutions engineer and Product Manager at StarWind. He is an expert in virtualization and storage systems, specializing in their design, deployment, and optimization.

At Microsoft Build 2017, the Nested Virtualization support in Azure has been announced. Now you can enable nested virtualization using the Dv3 and Ev3 VM sizes – not a wide variety, but Microsoft is going to expand the support for more VM sizes in the upcoming months.

Azure Nested Virtualization diagramm

Therefore, not only Hyper-V containers with Docker but also Hyper-V VMs can be created inside the Azure VM. So now, nested virtualization, in addition to providing flexibility in development, testing, etc., also allows setting up a Hyper-V cluster between on-premise and Azure. For that purpose, by configuring StarWind Failover Cluster to handle shared storage replications across locations, businesses get maximum availability and extra redundancy for their mission-critical applications and services.


Nested VMs are available in the following geographic locations:

  • US
    • West 2
    • East
  • Europe
    • West
  • Asia Pacific
    • Southeast

Configuring Nested Virtualization

To deploy the nested virtualization in Azure, proceed with the following steps:

  1. Create the Dv3 or Ev3 series VM

Microsoft Azure Virtual Machines dashboard

  1. Install the Hyper-V role

Add features that are required for Hyper-v

Add roles and features installation progress

After the VM reboot, the Hyper-V role installation is finished.

Select Hyper-V server role

  1. Configure Hyper-V Switch

Virtual Switch Manager for Azure VM

  1. Create a Hyper-V VM

Remote Desktop Connection

The basic Hyper-V configuration is set. You can deploy as many L3 nested VMs as you want with regards to chosen Dv3/Ev3 VM specifications.

Alternatively, you can use the PowerShell script written by Charles Ding, a Microsoft Engineer, to setup the nested VM.

Keep following our blog, and in the following articles, we will discuss the StarWind Hybrid Cluster configuration to emphasize tips and tricks in nested Hyper-V implementation on top of StarWind shared storage.

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