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VMware Workstation 3.2

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Components of the Virtual Network

Components of the Virtual Network

Virtual Switch -

Like a physical switch, a virtual switch lets you connect other networking components together. Virtual switches are available if you have installed VMware Workstation with any networking options (bridged, NAT or host-only). They are created as needed by the VMware Workstation software, up to a total of 10 switches. You can connect one or more virtual machines to a switch.

A few of the switches have special names. One is named Bridged (also called VMnet0). It is used in the standard bridged networking configuration. Another is named Host-only (also called VMnet1). It is used in the standard host-only configuration. A third is named NAT (also called VMnet8). It is used in the standard network address translation configuration. The others are simply named VMnet2, VMnet3, VMnet4, and so on.

You connect a virtual machine to a switch by selecting the name of the switch you want in the Configuration Editor, using the panel that configures the virtual network adapter you want to connect to the switch.

Bridge -

The bridge lets you connect your virtual machine to the LAN used by your host computer. It connects the virtual network adapter in your virtual machine to the physical Ethernet adapter in your host computer.

The bridge is installed during VMware Workstation installation (on a Linux host, you must choose to make bridged networking available to your virtual machines). It is set up automatically when you create a new virtual machine using bridged networking.

Additional virtual bridges can be set up for use in custom configurations that require connections to more than one LAN through more than one physical Ethernet adapter on the host computer.

Host-only adapter -

The host-only adapter is a virtual Ethernet adapter that appears to your host operating system as VMware Virtual Ethernet Adapter on a Windows host and as the Host-Only Interface on a Linux host. It allows you to communicate between your host computer and the virtual machines on that host computer. It is not connected to any external network unless you set up special software on the host computer - a proxy server, for example - to connect the host-only adapter to the physical network adapter.

The software that creates the host-only adapter is installed when you install VMware Workstation (on a Linux host, you must choose to make host-only networking available to your virtual machines). A host-only adapter is then created automatically when you boot the host computer.

Additional host-only adapters can be set up for use in custom configurations that need them.

NAT device -

The NAT (network address translation) device allows you to connect your virtual machines to an external network in situations where you have only one IP network address, and that address is used by the host computer. You can, for example, use NAT to connect your virtual machines to the Internet through a dial-up connection on the host computer or through the host computer's Ethernet adapter, wireless Ethernet adapter or Token Ring card.

The NAT device is set up automatically if you choose NAT as the networking option when you set up a virtual machine.

DHCP server -

The DHCP (dynamic host configuration protocol) server provides IP network addresses to virtual machines in host-only and NAT configurations.

Network adapter -

One virtual network adapter is set up for your virtual machine when you create it with the New Virtual Machine Wizard (on a Windows host) or Configuration Wizard (on a Linux host) using any type of networking. It appears to the guest operating system as an AMD PCNET PCI adapter.

You can create and configure up to three virtual network adapters in each virtual machine using the Configuration Editor.

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