Network traffic to and from virtual machines improved

Since the 1A-server runs on the extremely stable and secure Linux operating system and some customers are bound to (industry-specific) Windows applications, we offer the ability to run virtual Windows application servers, so no additional hardware is required. Recently we have improved the network traffic to and from virtual machines.

Network traffic can take place in a number of ways. The most important one is point-to-point (unicast). Another method is to send traffic to the whole network (broadcast). Most software makes use of unicast, but not all. Examples of the most important types of broadcast traffic are the network environment (the so-called browse list) and automatically obtaining an IP address (DHCP). Virtual machines on the 1A-server previously had no access to broadcasted network traffic, because they are attached to a virtual connection on the 1A-server and not directly to the network.

Because the 1A-server in many cases is master of the network, everything functioned just fine in this situation. Nevertheless, we ran across more and more software which would not function properly in this way. Therefore, we have now implemented a solution for that: the broadcast relay. This is a conduit with which the 1A-server passes all incoming broadcasts directly to the VM’s, and vice versa. This has the following benefits:

  • VMs on a second 1A-server in the network can now automatically obtain an IP address when the main 1A-server is not the DHCP server in the network;
  • VMs now properly share their list of shared folders with the rest of the network (and vice versa);
  • Software on VMs which use broadcast traffic now function properly.

Richard de Vroede

A perfectionistic Jack-of-all-trades who dedicates all of his passion to his work.