By Doug Lowe

Before you start creating virtual machines in Hyper-V through Windows, you should create a virtual switch so that your virtual machines can communicate with each other and with the outside world. To do that, you use the Virtual Switch Manager. Here are the steps:

  1. In Hyper-V Manager, click Virtual Switch Manager.

    This brings up the Virtual Switch Manager window, as shown here.

    The Virtual Switch Manager window.
    The Virtual Switch Manager window.
  2. Select the type of virtual switch you want to create.

    Hyper-V lets you create three types of switches:

    • External: A virtual switch that binds to a physical network adapter, which allows virtual machines to communicate with each other, as well as with other computers on your physical network. This is usually the type of switch you should create.

    • Internal: A virtual switch that does not bind with a physical network adapter. This type of switch lets the virtual machines on this computer communicate with each other and with the host computer, but not with other computers on your physical network.

    • Private: A virtual switch that lets virtual machines communicate with each other but not with the host computer or with any computers on your physical network.

  3. Click Create Virtual Switch.

    The settings for the new virtual switch appear, as shown here.

    Creating a new virtual switch.
    Creating a new virtual switch.
  4. Type a name for the new virtual switch in the Name field.

    Use any name you want.

  5. Select the physical network adapter you want to bind the virtual switch to.

    If your computer has more than one network adapter, select the one you want to use. Binding the virtual switch to a physical network adapter allows the virtual machines to communicate not only with each other but also with other computers connected via the adapter you select.

  6. If your network has multiple VLANs, click the Enable Virtual LAN Identification check box and enter the VLAN ID for the VLAN you want this switch to connect to.

    If your network does not have multiple VLANs, you can skip this step.

  7. Click OK.

    The virtual switch is created. Your Hyper-V environment now has a virtual network in place, so you can start creating virtual machines.