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I am setting up a demo system on a leased dedicated server. System consists of :

  • ESXI host with 1 NIC assigned (so 1 Static IP)
  • 64 bit Ubuntu guest as server

I installed and configured the system and the current network topology has :

  • physical adapter
  • A management network where I see the public IP assigned that is given to me by dedicated server provider
  • Virtual Machine Port Group where my guest is running
  • Finally a vSwitch between physical adapter and networks mentioned above

I can access to ESXI host, from the vSphere client I can access my Ubuntu guest as well. Guest has access to web (verified by pinging).

My question : What kind of basic setup would allow external users to access services running on the Ubuntu guest ?

Before asking this question I browsed a bit and scanned through VMWare documentations. I have seen:

port forwarding via router however I do not have control over the router.

using pfSense well this one is looking like a solution but a bit more complicated then I expected.

Are there any simpler ways to accomplish my goal ?

Note : I am a software developer with a bit familiarity of computer networks, virtualization and linux. Therefore I would really appreciate simple solutions (if possible), explanations/directions on the topic.

share|improve this question
Are you referring to the graphical(GUI) guest login? Or some other services like http? – John Siu Jan 23 '13 at 16:26
Indeed I am referring to http and other stuff. I will deploy a web applicaton. Besides, at the moment I can access guest only via vSphere client. Guest's ip 192.168.x.x. Therefore there is no way of accessing to it directly (externally). – Ozgun Alan Jan 23 '13 at 19:14
(1) Is that 192.168.x.x IP a LAN ip reachable inside your network? (2) Are those services accessible within your network? If (1) & (2) are true, we only have to configure the router for port forwarding, or pfsense, if that is the only one we have control. – John Siu Jan 23 '13 at 19:42
As I stated router is not under my control. And yes, both 1&2 are true. However, I've found the pfsense option complicated and asked my question to double check if there are no other solutions. Rationale behind my question : is pfsense the only option. If yes, why ? If no, what are other options. Less complicated solutions are appreciated. – Ozgun Alan Jan 23 '13 at 19:50
That pfsense link may not be your answer. (3) Is the host 1 static IP referred in the question an external IP? – John Siu Jan 23 '13 at 19:56
up vote 0 down vote accepted


It is doable, but the bad news is vSwitches till today still don't support NAT. So some kind of setup like pfSense VM as a routing front end is needed.

pfSense Alternative

On the other hand, pfSense is not the only choice, you can use a plain linux(eg, Ubuntu server) VM with iptables to do the job.

Additional IP - Simplest Way

Another choice is get additional IP and setup VM to use bridge mode, which is the easiest. But may (very likely) come with additional cost.

share|improve this answer
I'm currently negotiating for the additional IP. It seems like a solution. Once it is set I will be back and share the result – Ozgun Alan Jan 24 '13 at 17:37

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