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Seven steps to a Microsoft Hyper-V test network

Networking pros can use Microsoft Hyper-V networks for multi-tenant cloud environments, but first they'll have to learn the ropes in testing environments. Here are simple steps to building a Hyper-V test network.

Editor's note: In part one of this series on Microsoft Hyper-V networks, explore the building blocks of VM net...


Before you build a production Microsoft Hyper-V SDN or network virtualization environment, you will need to build a test environment to get a feel for the process.

Here's how to use Microsoft System Center 2012 R2 to configure a logical network with a VM network on top ripe for a testing environment.

Registering Hyper-V host servers

The first step in the process of building an SDN is to register your Hyper-V hosts or host clusters. To do so, open the Virtual Machine Manager console and choose the Fabric workspace and then click on the Servers container. Now, click on the Add Resources button, and choose the Hyper-V Hosts and Clusters command, as shown in Figure A. Follow the prompts to specify a set of administrative credentials and the names of the Hyper-V hosts or host clusters that you want to add.

Choose the Hyper-V Hosts and Clusters option from the Add Resources menu
Figure A. Choose the Hyper-V Hosts and Clusters option from the Add Resources menu.

When you add the Hyper-V hosts or host clusters to the console, a logical network will be defined by default. You can access this logical network by selecting the Networking container and clicking on Logical Networks.

Configuring the logical network

The next thing you need to do is configure the logical network. To do so, right click on the listing for the logical network and select the Properties command from the shortcut menu. When the logical network dialog box appears, change the name of the logical network (if necessary) and check the box for Allow New VM Networks Created on this Logical Network to Use Network Virtualization. Select Hyper-V Network Virtualization from the drop down list, as shown in Figure B.

You must allow VM networks to use the logical network
Figure B. You must allow VM networks to use the logical network.

Defining Hyper-V network sites

The next thing to do is define one or more sites. A site can represent a physical or logical location, as long as there is at least one IP subnet within the site. With that said, click on the dialog box Network Site tab and click Add. Change the name from Network Site to reflect the name of the site that you are defining. Then, select the All Hosts checkbox (or the checkbox for the appropriate host group) and click the Insert Row button. Enter your VLAN ID (or enter 0 if you are not using a VLAN), and then enter the IP subnet that you want to associate with the site, as shown in Figure C. You can add additional subnets by clicking Insert Row. Click OK to complete the process.

You must associate a subnet with the site
Figure C. You must associate a subnet with the site.

Associating an IP address pool

Next, associate an IP address pool with the logical network. To do so, make sure that the logical network is selected and then click on the Create IP Pool icon in the ribbon. This will launch the Create Static IP Address Pool Wizard.

Enter a name for the IP address pool that you are creating and click Next. On the following screen, make sure the appropriate network site is selected and click Next. Enter an IP address range, and enter any IP reservations, as shown in Figure D. Click Next until you reach the end of the wizard and click Finish.

Enter an IP address range for the subnet
Figure D. Enter an IP address range for the subnet.

Creating a virtual machine network

Once the logical network is defined, you need to create a VM network, which is sometimes called a tenant network. First, make sure that your logical network is selected and then click on the Create VM Network icon found on the ribbon. When prompted, enter a name for the VM network. The name should reflect the VM network's purpose. For example, it might reflect the tenant name. Click Next to continue.

Continue to click Next until you reach the VM Subnets screen and then click Add. Enter a name and a subnet, as shown in Figure E and then click Next. Click Next again, followed by Finish to complete the process.

Enter a name and subnet for the VM network
Figure E. Enter a name and subnet for the VM network.

Just as you defined an IP address pool for the logical network, you must also define an IP address pool for each virtual machine network that you create. To do so, select the VMs and Services workspace, select the VM Networks container, and then select the VM network that you just created and click the Create IP Pool button.

Enter a name for the IP address pool, verify that the correct VM subnet is selected, and click Next. Specify the IP address range to associate with the IP subnet and click Next until you reach the end of the wizard. Click Finish to complete the process.

Creating a port classification and a port profile

Next, you'll create a port classification and at least one port profile. A port classification is an identification mechanism for port profiles.

Go to the Fabric workspace and click on the Port Classifications container (found under Networking). Click the ribbon's Create button and then click on Port classification. When prompted, enter a name for the port classification that you want to create. Typically a port classification will correspond to a physical network adapter type. For example, you might create a 1 gigabit port classification or a port classification for adapters that provide Internet connectivity. Enter a name for the port classification and click OK.

Now you will need to create a port profile. Select the Port Profiles container (located under Networking) and click the ribbon's Create button, followed by Hyper-V Port Profile. When prompted, enter a name for the port profile. You must set the port profile type to "Uplink" before clicking Next.

Select the logical network that you want to bind to the logical port profile. If you are using Virtual Machine Manager 2012, be sure to select Enable Hyper-V Network Virtualization.

Creating a logical switch

The last thing you need to do is create a logical switch that will support the virtual machines on the virtual machine network. Select the Logical Switches container beneath Networking and then click on the Create button found in the ribbon and then the Create Logical Switch button. This causes Windows to launch the Create Logical Switch Wizard.

Bypass the wizard's welcome screen by clicking Next. You will now be prompted to enter a name for the logical switch. After doing so, click Next. Click Next on the Extensions page and you will be taken to the Uplink screen. Set the Uplink mode to Team and click Add. Choose your port profile from the list and click OK.

When you reach the Virtual Port screen, click Add and then choose the port classification you want to be used by the logical switch. You must also include a virtual network adapter port profile. Click OK, followed by Next to create the logical switch.


As you can see, there is quite a bit of work involved in building a software-defined network. Keep in mind that this article only addresses the most basic approach. System Center Virtual Machine Manager allows you to create far more advanced SDN architectures.

About the author:
Brien Posey is a seven time Microsoft MVP with two decades of IT experience. Before becoming a freelance technical writer, Brien worked as a CIO for a national chain of hospitals and healthcare facilities. He has also served as a network administrator for some of the nation's largest insurance companies and for the Department of Defense at Fort Knox.

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This was last published in August 2014

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