Curtis Johnstone

August 14, 2012

Microsoft Hyper-V Network Types

Here is a good summary of the different types of networks you can create in Microsoft Windows Hyper-V:

  1. An External network provides communication between a virtual machine and a physical network by creating an association to a physical network adapter on the physical host.
    • This is also known as a Virtual Switch.
    • Each external virtual network is bound to a physical NIC adapter, and there can only be one external virtual network per physical adapter.
    • Any virtual machine using an external virtual network can access your entire network – including the Internet if the underlying physical network has Internet access.
  2. An Internal Network provides communication between:
    • All the virtual machines hosted on the physical server, and,
    • Each virtual machine and the physical server (host)
  3. A Private Network provides communication between the virtual machines on the server.
You can create virtual networks on the server running Hyper-V to define various networking topologies for virtual machines and the virtualization server. There are three types of virtual networks you can create:
An external network, which provides communication between a virtual machine and a physical network by creating an association to a physical network adapter on the virtualization server.
An internal network, which provides communication between the virtualization server and virtual machines.
A private network, which provides communication between virtual machines only.
The following procedures provide the basic instructions for configuring virtual networks. For more information about designing and deploying virtual networks, see Configuring Virtual Networks.You can create virtual networks on the server running Hyper-V to define various networking topologies for virtual machines and the virtualization server. There are three types of virtual networks you can create:An external network, which provides communication between a virtual machine and a physical network by creating an association to a physical network adapter on the virtualization serverAn internal network, which provides communication between the virtualization server and virtual machines

You can view the existing virtual networks available on a Hyper-V server, or create new ones, in the Hyper-V management console.  Once you have selected a Hyper-V server (physical) in the console, select “Virtual Network Manager…” either in the Actions menu on the right-hand-side, or right-click on the Hyper-V server.

See Configuring Virtual Networks for more information: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc816585(v=ws.10).aspx

Here are a few additional Hyper-V networking tips:

How to Create a Hyper-V Virtual Network on a Physical Wireless Adapter

Now the bigger issue if you are running a Hyper-V Virtual Image on a machine with only a wireless connection (likely on a laptop), is that Hyper-V does not support creating a virtual network driver that is associated with a physical wireless adapter.

Thankfully there is a workaround that apparently is not fully supported) but works just fine. Here are two links that describe the process:

  1. Enabling Wireless Network for a Hyper-V Virtual Machine
  2. Hyper-V: How to Run Hyper-V on a Laptop (en-US)

In a nutshell you create an internal virtual adapter that is used by the VM, and then share the physical wireless adapter with it.

Hyper-V “External Virtual Network = “Virtual Switch”

You will see many references to creating a Virtual Switch in Hyper-V.  Know that in Hyper-V parlance this is the same as an External Virtual Network.

This sounds simple, but when you are trying to understand what is possible in the realm of Hyper-V networking it is easy to get confused and it help to understand they are both implemented the same in Hyper-V, but can provide functionality that mimics a physical switch and a virtual adapter that accesses a physical network.

Note: in Hyper-V you can only create one external virtual network (or virtual switch) bound to each physical NIC (adapter).

“Partitions”

You will the reference to ‘partitions’ when you first start learning about Hyper-V and networking.

A good and simple explanation of what this means is located in Figure A of this article: Configuring Virtual Networks With Hyper-V (http://www.petri.co.il/configuring-virtual-networks-with-hyper-v.htm).

Hyper-V Network Configurations In Labs

Here are some good references for different network configurations in Hyper-V for lab purposes:

  1. Building Test Labs with Hyper-V (Part 1): Base Configuration and Virtual Networks  (http://www.windowsnetworking.com/articles_tutorials/Building-Test-Labs-Hyper-V-Part1.html)
  2. Test Lab Guide: Base Configuration (http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=6815)
  3. Test Lab Guide: Fabrikam Base Configuration  (http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=16647)

Powered by WordPress