Nested Virtualization with HyperV on EC2 instance


Hi @all,

I'm quite new in AWS, but I was so optimistic to start a HyperV POC on AWS. :-)
My first tries to activate HyperV within a Windows Server 2016 instance failed.
But then I found those Community AMIs with activated AWS HyperV .
(Windows_Server-2016-English-Full-HyperV-2018.12.12 - ami-00de4165221fbfe62)

As instance type I've chosen t2.large which should be enough for a quick POC.
When I connected to this instance, I saw that HyperV Role is installed (HyperV feature is activated).
But in the error protocol of HyperV role there are 2 errors:

  1. Hypervisor launch failed; Either VMX not present or enabled in BIOS.
  2. The virtualization infrastructure driver (VID) is not running.

Of course you can't manipulate the BIOS settings (enable VMX) of your instance, can you?
So what are those HyperV AMIs good for, when the virtualization settings are not activated in the BIOS?
Is it only possible to run "Nested Virtualization" on one of those expensive Bare Metal instance type? I heard some rumors about that.

Thanks for your help.

posta 5 anni fa19995 visualizzazioni
3 Risposte

Good day

Please note that only bare metal[1,2] EC2 instances provide direct access to cpu of the underlying server and its' features like Intel VT-x required to run your own hypervisor. The other types of instances does not expose the hardware requirements to install and run another virtualization layer on top of an EC2 instance which itself is a virtual machine.

Please let me know should you have any other questions or need assistance.

[1]Introducing Five New Amazon EC2 Bare Metal Instances:

con risposta 4 anni fa
  • Hello, Good to clearly know, after some research, that nested virtualisation could be only used with metal EC2 instances. Today, is there a way to use Docker in Windows EC2 instances, other than metal ? Thank you, Mihai ADAM


dertl: Did you ever figure something out for this?

I'm using one of the latest AWS Windows Server 2019 Hyper-V AMIs and am encountering the same error in the event log.

"Hypervisor launch failed; Either VMX not present or not enabled in BIOS."

In my case my end goal is really to run Linux Docker containers on Windows Server 2019 in an AWS EC2. (although in reality I really only care about building them)


con risposta 5 anni fa

Hi @dertl,

Currently, you can only run nested virtualisation on a *.metal instance type. There's some documentation available here:

I have successfully managed to get a Windows Server 2019 Hyperv image up and running on an m5d.metal instance type, and launched a Windows Server 2016 guest OS on that.

con risposta 4 anni fa

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