Hyper-V Virtual Switches…..a.k.a Hyper-V Virtual Networks

The Hyper-V Virtual Networks naming is a bit of a confusing topic.  I prefer to consider them Virtual Switches because that is show they act as a switch not a network.

When you create a virtual network what you are doing is in fact create a virtual Layer 2 Managed Switch.  There are presently three types of Virtual Switches (Virtual Networks); External, Internal and Private.  There is three major difference with hyper-V’s Virtual Switch and other vendors Physical Layer 2 switches; 1) No CLI or Web Management, 2) no SNMP for monitoring, and 3) each port can only have be either untagged or tagged to only a single vLAN except in the case of the physical NIC (pNIC).  One main benefit you will not see from the Physical Switches is all ports are 10G capable, now that’s the cheapest 10G switch you will see for a long time.

External Switch – This type of switch is used to provide Child Partitions with access to an external network this is achieved by removing a physical NIC (pNIC) from the Parent Partition and place that into the switch as a uplink port, this port on the Virtual Switch can we in one of two modes Access or Trunk the next port is a replacement Synthetic NIC (sNIC) which

is assigned to the Parent Partition.  The setting on this sNIC is what determines if the pNIC is in access or trunk mode.  The uplink port pNIC will have a native vLAN and all tagged vALNs which you have assigned to the child partition sNIC or Legacy NICs (lNIC).

Internal Switch – This type of switch is used to provide Child Partitions with access to each other as well as the Parent Partition.  It operated identically to the External switch except that it does not bind to a pNIC as an uplink port.  The switch also is vLAN aware so that you can have one switch with multiple vLANs on it.  However the Parent sNIC can only be on 1 vLAN at a time.

Private Switch – This type of switch is used to provide Child Partitions with access only to each other.  There is no way to connect the Parent Partition to the Private Switch.  This switch is also vLAN aware.

If you have any questions please contact me.

I will be posting more on Virtual Switches and there configuration to Physical Switches soon.

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