Hyper-V Virtual Switches

Virtual switches, in Hyper-V, are used to segment and isolate, as needed, network traffic between Hyper-V guests, the Hyper-V host and the external network. There are three types of virtual switches available:  Private, Internal and External.

Private virtual switches allow network communication to occur only between Hyper-V guests (virtual machines) using the same Private virtual switch. You can create an unlimited number of Private virtual switches.

Internal virtual switches allow network communication to occur between Hyper-V guests using the same Internal virtual switch and the Hyper-V host. You can create an unlimited number of Internal virtual switches.

An External virtual switch is bound to a single physical network adapter in the Hyper-V host. It allows network communication between Hyper-V guests, the Hyper-V host and to the external network through which the physical network adapter is bound. Only one External virtual switch can be bound to a physical network adapter. In order to support multiple External virtual switches, a physical network adapter must be installed on the Hyper-V host for each External virtual switch.

To enable multiple Hyper-V guests to communicate on a single External virtual switch while maintaining network isolation you can use VLAN IDs on the virtual network adapter. Assigning different groups of Hyper-V guests to separate VLAN IDs effectively isolates the groups from each other while allowing their network traffic to pass through a common External virtual switch.

Finally, you can improve network throughput for all virtual machines using an External virtual switch by combining up to 32 physical adapters using network teaming. Network teaming can also be used on virtual network adapters to improve the network throughput on individual virtual machines.     

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