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Basic networking in Hyper-V

While it is possible to create some complex networking environments in Hyper-V, the basic concepts are relatively straight forward. This post walks some simple scenarios and how the main components operate in terms of the flow of data.

Let’s start by setting a level playing field and a “best practice”.

  • When adding the Hyper-V role in a full installation of Windows Server 2008, you have the option to create one or more external virtual network switches. (This option is not available in server core installations of Windows Server 2008). I’m going to assume that no external virtual network switches were created during installation, and the Hyper-V role is enabled.
  • Our recommendation, in a simple deployment, is to have at least two physical NICs in a physical machine– one (or more) dedicated to the physical machine, and one (or more) for virtual machines. The reason will become obvious as you work through this post.

To constrain the starting point, I’m assuming (for simplicity, not by recommendation) the physical machine contains a single physical NIC.

If you open Network Connections (Start/Control Panel/Network and Sharing Center, or Start ncpa.cpl), you would see something like below – a single connection.

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