Friday, September 20, 2013

VMware Network Connection Failures

First a moment of praise, awe and thanks to VMware, a software program owned by EMC.

It allows you to take your Intel based PC or Apple computer and provides you an empty Virtualised copy of a computer into which you can install your Windows, Mac or even the venerable OS/2 operating system.

You can create disk space efficient  (thinly provisioned)  installations of a New Operating System to test a particular application, or even just create a Virtual Machines to safely and isolatedly run my different Linux test operating Systems like Ubuntu 13.10  before they hit production. 

I had stuck with my licensed copy of VMware 8 on my primary server but clearly had not quite checked everything on my upgrade.  So today when I fired up my Windows 2008 Server, inside my migrated Windows 2012 Server.

No Network!

Now I recall that one of the roadblocks to Windows 2012 server was a re-installation of the Intel Pro Set Drivers.  With it came the removal of the VMware Bridge Protocol interface

This is a layer which is inserted into the Real machine's Operating System  (Windows 2012 in this case) which talks to the VMware Hypervisor

A good way to proceed is then to attach a physical adapter to a particular network .  Here I show you how VMnet4 is attached to the Intel 82576 Planar Port 1 of my Server motherboard.

Note:In fact in my other more secure installation the host  (i.e. physical server) does not even use that Ethernet card and need have no native IP address on it.   It's used purely by the machines inside VMware.

The last step is to attach this network to the profile of your Virtual machine   (this one running Windows 2008 Server, in a 32GB disk image, with 2 processors and a miserly 2GB memory)

Now when the Guest boots I choose to set a hard IP address, gateway on my virtualised NIC card  to get out to the real world, which is done  via the Bridge Protocol driver on the Card I have 'attached'

So, all is well again my guests can connect to the Internet. And when I have internet connectivity in this 21st Century world, I smile :-)

Troubleshooting VM Networks