My lab-based Hyper-V network need

Recently, Brien Posey published part one of an article series for VirtualizationAdmin.com outlining how Hyper-V handles network configurations. Very recently, I had a need to go a tiny bit out of the box for my own lab-based Hyper-V network at home. I’m working on creating a video-based Windows 7 administration course and needed to be able to demonstrate Internet Connection Sharing (ICS). ICS is a feature built into a number of recent versions of Windows that allows a typical desktop system to act as a router to the Internet, either supplementing or replacing an existing router. Often used in smaller offices, ICS requires that the host computer have two network adapters. Further, in order to provide the most accurate demonstration of how the technology works, I wanted to make sure that I was able to completely isolate my test machines behind the machine I intended to use for ICS so that they didn’t have their own connections to the Internet. By doing so, I could then enable ICS on the machine with two network adapters and wow my audience with a working Internet connection even from the machines that didn’t have a direct connection. Pretty spiffy.

And, with Hyper-V (or VMware, for that matter), it’s a piece of cake to create this kind of demonstration and follows just a few very simple steps:

  • Create a second virtual network in the Hyper-V management console
    • This network doesn’t need to have any outside access
  • Add a second virtual network adapter to the machine on which ICS will be enabled
  • Attach the new network adapter to the virtual network created in step 1
  • On the machines that will sit behind the ICS machine on the network, attach the network adapter to the network created in step 1
  • Configure network settings on each of the virtual machines as necessary
    • In my case, this meant setting each of the non-ICS machines to use DHCP

The diagram below provides you with a quick look at the very simple network in question.

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