Solved Networking with VMware Workstations URGENT!

September 8, 2011 at 07:36:34
Specs: Windows XP, 2.7GHz/2GB
Ok, major headache but here goes...


As part of my Microsoft certification process I need to complete assignments using a server-client network (MCTS).

In my workplace we have many restrictions, software firewalls (p/w protected), hardware firewalls, proxy servers (grrrrrr...) and the need to use virtual machines for technical training, none of this can be wavered unfortunately :(

I currently have 3 "PHYSICAL" machines to work with (Dell Optiplex 380's), however, because I cannot format the physical HDD's, I must network these 3 "PHYSICAL" machines, but with using the virtual machine interfaces.


Dell Optiplex 380 - 1 Dell Optiplex 380 - 2 Dell Optiplex 380 - 3
--------------------------- --------------------------- ----------------------------
(Windows Server 2008 VM) (Windows 7 Ultimate VM) (Windows 7 Ultimate VM)

I have access to 3 Wall Points which are connected to the main company server/proxy etc.

But the only need for this would be for internet access, however, because of the proxy and restrictions, only company computers get access to it anyway. So.....

I have to hand a Belkin wireless G router, it is an alternative to a switch, there literally is no other hardware I can use apart from this router to connect the 3 machines and network the 3 VM's WITHIN these 3 machines.

I have:

3x Dell Optiplex 380 Computers
3x Virtual Machine clients - 1x per physical computer
3x Cat 5e straight-throughs
1x Belkin Wireless G Routers

I also have a Dell Vostro laptop which is my own personal computer, but would rather not have to use this as the server etc.

So to clarify, I basically need machine 1's virtual machine (server) to be able to "talk" to machine 2 and 3's VIRTUAL MACHINES, not just the hosts.

I hope I made some sense here, but seriously my head is going to blow. I cant even start my microsoft without these 3 machines functioning. I officially hate the idea of networking with virtual machines :(

(Needed for windows deployment, windows PE, PXE, AD, DHCP all that good stuff...)

See More: Networking with VMware Workstations URGENT!

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September 8, 2011 at 08:00:01
✔ Best Answer
Just set the machines up as a private network using any private address range (whatever the router is currently set to will be fine). Each physical machine plugs directly into the router (switch). Enable DHCP and DNS on the router (although if you are going to set up Windows server you will eventually use this to provide those services).

The important thing is that when you configure your virtual machines you set the network interface to "bridged" mode (in the VM settings). That way they will all appear as separate devices on your chosen network. If set to use DHCP, client machines on VMs will pick up their own IP address. So you might have:

physical machine 1 -
VM1 -
VM2 -

physical machine 2 -

Of course you can, if you want, set up IP addresses manually. Just make sure that each physical machine and each VM is given a unique address in your network range. Default gateway will be irrelevant, but set it to the router's address. And don't connect the router to anything but your three machines.

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September 8, 2011 at 08:02:27
Thanks for the quick reply,

I havent tried this yet, but its the clearest answer I have had yet on the internet so I'll give you best answer for that one :)

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September 8, 2011 at 08:40:21
You should have waited to try it first! Anyway, come back if you have problems with that setup. Unfortunately, I'm only around today and tomorrow and then off-line for 2 weeks, but I'm sure other can advise.

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