Robert's Virtual

Building a Virtual Network - Part III

Information Gathering

In this final installment we actually build our virtual lab, bringing together what we've learned so far in labs I and II. Here's how we're going to do it:

  1. Design the lab - We're going to take a look at our physical network, document the virtual network and allocate resources.
  2. Installation - Based on our documentation, we configure our VM's and install the OS's.
  3. Final Configuration - Once the virtual machines are built, we still must configure them to communicate correctly on our virtual network.

Let's do this thing!

First thing we want to do is lay out what our physical network looks like before a single virtual machine is introduced. These are the actual machines and hardware you can touch. Below is what my home network looks like. Yours may be somewhat different. Adjust accordingly.
Robert's home network
My home network

The computer named FINLAND will play no role in our virtual lab, however its existence could prove problematic. Our firewall will use a bridged connection. Recall from Part II that VMWare, by default, auto-selects a NIC to bind with …We want it to always bind with our  host machine’s wireless NIC, as it is our connection to the cloud. More on this later. Below is what we will be working with physically.
Physical network
New configuration

We need to know the IP addresses of our DNS servers. In my case, they are assigned by my ISP and passed to my computers. From a command prompt run:

ipconfig /all
If scrolling in the command window and writing down this info isn’t your cup of tea, then run:
ipconfig /all >C:\ipconfig.txt
which will redirect the output to a text file on your hard drive (you won’t see anything on the screen), suitable for printing and troubleshooting. Be sure to run the command prompt as administrator in Vista if UAC is enabled.

Look for your DNS servers. Here is a snippet from my “C:\ipconfig.txt file”
dns servers

Thus far, we’ve gathered enough information to start designing our virtual lab. Here is what we have so far

  • Available IP addresses for our firewall WAN IP are (We only need one) – 99 / 24 and – 254 /24. This will be used on the firewall's bridged NIC.
  • We know that we have to configure our bridged network to bind to the wireless NIC.
  • Our Host-Only network (VMnet0) is also a virtual DHCP server. We need to disable that, as we are going to use our firewall as a DHCP server.
  • We still need some more info from our firewall (MAC addresses), but need to create the virtual machine first.

This is what our virtual lab will look like:
Virtual network design
Virtual network design

Let's give these VM's some additional details ... download the pdf of the network design.

Common IP Data
DHCP Scope: / 24
Default Gateway: (WAN)
Default Gateway: (LAN)
DNS Servers:
pfSense Firewall (Fischer):
Configure LAN with static IP: /24
Configure WAN with static IP: /24 and correct gateway and DNS
Configure DHCP Server
Ubuntu Desktop (Euwe):
Configure to obtain IP via DHCP
Install Samba
Install xsmbrowser
Ubuntu Server (Kasparov):
Configure with static IP: / 24 and correct gateway and DNS
Install LAMP
Install Webmin
Windows XP Pro (Tal):
Configure to obtain IP via DHCP
Join lopez.loc Domain
Windows 2003 Server (Lasker):
Configure with static IP: / 24 and correct gateway and DNS
Make Domain Controller for lopez.loc domain
Make File Server
Create 3 OU’s
Create 2 User Accounts

What we're trying to accomplish is this ...give you a baseline environment in which to start making use of your virtual lab

  • The pfSense firewall is our link to the outside and is our router as well and will issue IP addresses to the Ubuntu and XP workstations.
  • The Ubuntu Server will be our web server (LAMP).  Ubuntu server does not install a GUI desktop. We will administer the Ubuntu server using Webmin.
  • We install Samba and xsmbrowser on Ubuntu desktop to give the ability to access Windows shares.
  • We make the Server 2003 a domain controller and join the XP machine to it. This gives you an environment to play with Active Directory. Making it a file server gives you the ability to make use of Samba.
  • We will only get all this installed. We will not, for example, create group policies, access Windows shares from Linux, or create a web page on the Ubuntu Server.

In the next section we start setting all this up ...

1 2 3 4