I have two physical network adapters installed in my Hyper-V host. I want one to be dedicated to the host, and the other to provide external network services to the VMs. Would the appropriate configuration be as such:

  • Leave the first physical network adapter alone, assigning it the host IP, but not using it to create any Virtual Netorks
  • For the second physical adapter, I would create an External Network, along with a Microsoft Virtual Switch, and use that to provide network services to the VMs. Each virtual NIC for the VM would be associated with that External Network. A static IP would be assigned to this adapter, and each VM would be assigned a static IP as well.

The above seems reasonable to me, but I'm not sure if it's correct. Does anyone have any thoughts?



  • there is no correct way. However, having the VMs on a separate adapter allows unrestricted access to a network.
    – Keltari
    Aug 23, 2013 at 3:05

2 Answers 2


That sounds like the best way to configure a system with two adapters. But if I'm understanding what you typed, you don't need to configure a static IP to the second adapter if you don't want. Don't be surprised when you look at the properties of the second NIC and IPv4/IPv6 are not bound to it, it should only have the 'Microsoft Virtual Network Switch Protocol' bound to it.

  • The second adapter would not be virtual if he mentions two physical adapters, only when the virtual switch is created would the virtual one appear. With two physical adapters and two virtual switches, there would be four adapters in total.
    – john
    Jul 23, 2013 at 21:19

The way I understand it, you would be missing out on available transfer speeds doing it this way. Each virtual switch is mapped to a physical NIC:

External virtual networks. Use this type when you want to provide virtual machines with access to a physical network to communicate with externally located servers and clients. This type of virtual network also allows virtual machines on the same virtualization server to communicate with each other. This type of network may also be available for use by the management operating system, depending on how you configure the networking. (The management operating system runs the Hyper-V role.) For more information, see “A closer look at external virtual networks” later in this topic.

[Microsoft TechNet: technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc816585(v=ws.10).aspx]

With this in mind, you could set up two virtual switches, each mapped to a physical NIC, or you could team (trunk, combine) the NICs and have one virtual network. Either way,with only two physical NICs you would probably be losing out if you dedicated one to management of the Host.

  • Such teaming would need to be supported by your switch.
    – john
    Jul 23, 2013 at 21:12

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