In this article i want to discuss about VMware Workstation Networking options. Because one must have idea about the types of networking options available to build and test an environment on VMware workstation. These are entirely differs from ESX server networking options. In the previous post i discussed about setting up a LAB to practice VMware ESX server using your own computer. But after posting it i realized to share something about the VMware workstation options.
Because to enable the communication between VM’s and as well as with the physical network we should know these options in detail. That would be helpful to expand our environment if we have multiple physical computers in our home.
In the VM wizard you will be asked about choosing the network type used for that virtual machine. If you choose wrong network option in the wizard, later on if you want to edit it you can do it in single click by editing the VM settings as shown in the above image.
OK, now when you are installing VMware workstation on your PC as part of installation process VMware installs two virtual network adapters on your physical machine.
Those are VMnet1 and VMnet8. These perform as a simple loopback adapter in Windows. As per VMware standards VMnet1 is used for NAT type of communication for VM and VMnet8 is used for host-only type of communication. In other words, if you choose Use network address translation(NAT) in VM wizard or in Edit Settings the communication which is initiated inside the virtual machine will be going through your physical adapter of the PC. In this case, if you have internet connectivity to the physical machine, using NAT the same will be available in VM also. And in this scenario the VM get’s ip address dynamically from the physical machine interface. It is same as Interconnection Sharing in Windows. That means you are able to access internet inside the virtual machine (Only when the physical machine is able to access).
If you select Use host-only networking option in VM wizard or Edit settings the communication is limited between the VM and your physical machine. That means, you can access all the services from the physical machine directly. You can try the ping for this example, if you able to ping physical machine ip, everything is possible. but this communication stops at physical nic not goes out side. In this scenario you need to assign the IP address manually inside the virtual machine and this should be in same range of ip address which is assigned to VMnet8.
Finally if you select Use bridged networking, every VM gets its own IP address on the physical network either dynamically or manually. In this scenario every VM uses the Physical Nic on the physical machine to communicate with the out side world. Every VM acts as a separate entity as in the physical network. So each VM can send the communication to the network that means out side of the physical host also. By default VMnet0 is used for this communication. You can change this using Virtual Network Editor from the VMware Workstation as shown in the below image.
Using this editor you can change the defaults to your own customizations. For example, in the image VMnet0 is assigned as Bridged option, if you want to change just select the appropriate adapter and you can change the option below to change its default.
Apart from all these we have another option Team(LAN Segments), i will discuss about the same in the next article.
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