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Hyper-V and Wireless networking

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I have been getting a lot of questions about Hyper-V and wireless networking lately. Specifically, these questions have been from people saying “why does it work sometimes, and not work other times”. To give some background – wireless networking is quite tricky for virtualization. To explain what we actually do here – let me steal from a great post on the Building Windows 8 blog:

The problem

The virtual switch in Hyper-V is a “layer-2 switch,” which means that it switches (i.e. determines the route a certain Ethernet packet takes) using the MAC addresses that uniquely identify each (physical and virtual) network adapter card. The MAC address of the source and destination machines are sent in each Ethernet packet and a layer-2 switch uses this to determine where it should send the incoming packet. An external virtual switch is connected to the external world through the physical NIC. Ethernet packets from a VM destined for a machine in the external world are sent out through this physical NIC. This means that the physical NIC must be able to carry the traffic from all the VMs connected to this virtual switch, thus implying that the packets flowing through the physical NIC will contain multiple MAC addresses (one for each VM’s virtual NIC). This is supported on wired physical NICs (by putting the NIC in promiscuous mode), but not supported on wireless NICs since the wireless channel established by the WiFi NIC and its access point only allows Ethernet packets with the WiFi NIC’s MAC address and nothing else. In other words, Hyper-V couldn’t use WiFi NICs for an external switch if we continued to use the current virtual switch architecture.

To learn more and to read the entire article at its source, please refer to the following page, Hyper-V and Wireless networking- Virtual PC Guy’s WebLog

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