Virtual networking components overview

The virtual networking components in VMware Workstation Player are virtual switches, virtual network adapters, the virtual DHCP server, and the NAT device. Let’s cover each of them in more detail.

Virtual switches
Virtual switches (also called virtual networks) connect networking components together, just like their physical counterparts. They are named VMnet0, VMnet1, VMnet2, VMnet3, etc. The following virtual switches are mapped to the specific networks by default:

  • VMnet0 – Bridged
  • VMnet1 – Host-only
  • VMnet8 – NAT

You can create up to 20 virtual switches on a Windows host system and up to 255 virtual switches on a Linux host system. It is possible to connect an unlimited number of virtual network devices to a virtual switch on a Windows host system, but only up to 32 virtual network devices to a virtual switch on a Linux host system.

Virtual network adapters
A virtual network adapter is created when you create a VM. It appears in the guest operating system as either the AMD PCNET PCI or Intel Pro/1000 MT Server adapter. You can have up to 10 virtual network adapters for a single virtual machine. I will describe the process of adding a new virtual network adapter later in the chapter.

Virtual DHCP server
A virtual DHCP server assigns IP addresses and other network parameters to virtual machines in the host-only and NAT networking configurations.

NAT device
A NAT device passes network data between virtual machines and the external network, identifies incoming data packets intended for each VM, and sends them to the appropriate destination.

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