Switching virtual networks the easy way

For my laptop I am using server 2008 as OS. The main reason is Hyper V, for every different project I can fire up one or more appropriate virtual servers. For the details on setting up such an environment see this post. On the advantages of using Server 2008 R2 see this post. Traveling around the laptop meets a lot of different networks, from the Office domain of which it is a member to some kind of wireless in the wild open. Sometimes I want my virtual servers to see and be seen by the outer world, sometimes I don’t.

You can do a lot of network configuration in Hyper-V, in this post I described a rather baroque configuration where all kinds of network connectivity can be switched on and off. Which worked well but is far more complicated than needed. By now I have found out that switching networks in Hyper –V can be as simple as this:

  • Create a virtual network for every adapter on the laptop.

Virtual network manager

My laptop has an internal (fixed IP address) adapter and an external USB adapter (depending on DHCP). The Hyper-V virtual network manager does not allow you (yet ?) to pick Wireless or dial-up adapters for a virtual network.

  • Assign each virtual machine just one network adapter.
  • Select the active adapter as needed.


Virtual machine manager



The good thing is that this can be done while the virtual machine is running. Changing the network is instantaneous. Just like pulling the cable and inserting another one. So much simpler than all the previous multi network fiddling.

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