What Happened to the “NAT” VMSwitch?

Author: Jason Messer

Beginning in Windows Server Technical Preview 3, our users noticed a new Hyper-V Virtual Switch Type – “NAT” – which was introduced to simplify the process of connecting Windows containers to the host using a private network. This allowed network traffic sent to the host to be redirected to individual containers running on the host through network and port address translation (NAT and PAT) rules. Additional users began to use this new VM Switch type not only for containers but also for ordinary VMs to connect them to a NAT network. While this may have simplified the process of creating a NAT network and connecting containers or VMs to a vSwitch, it resulted in confusion and a layering violation in the network stack.

Beginning in Windows Server Technical Preview 5 and with recent Windows Insider Builds, the “NAT” VM Switch Type has been removed to resolve this layering violation.

In the OSI (Open Systems Interconnect) model, both physical network switches and virtual switches operate at Layer-2 of the network stack without any knowledge of IP addresses or ports. These switches simply forward packets based on the Ethernet headers (i.e. MAC addresses) in the Layer-2 frame. NAT and PAT operate at Layers-3 and 4 respectively of the network stack.

Layer Function Example
Application (7) Network process HTTP, SMTP, DNS
Presentation (6) Data representation and encryption JPG, GIF, SSL, ASCII
Session (5) Interhost communication NetBIOS
Transport (4) End-to-End Connections TCP, UDP (Ports)
Network (3) Path determination and routing based on IP addresses Routers
Data Link (2) Forward frames based on MAC addresses 802.3 Ethernet, Switches
Physical (1) Send data through physical signaling Network cables, NIC cards

 

Creating a “NAT” VM Switch type actually combined several operations into one which can still be done today (detailed instructions can be found here):

  • Create an “internal” VM Switch
  • Create a Private IP network for NAT
  • Assign the default gateway IP address of the private network to the internal VM switch Management Host vNIC

In Technical Preview 5 we have also introduced the Host Network Service (HNS) for containers which is a servicing layer used by both Docker and PowerShell management surfaces to creates the required network “plumbing” for new container networks. A user who wants to create a NAT container network through docker, will simply execute the following:

c:> docker network create -d nat MyNatNetwork

and HNS will take care of the details such as creating the internal vSwitch and NAT.

Looking forward, we are considering how we can create a single arbitrator for all host networking (regardless of containers or VMs) so that these workflows and networking primitives will be consistent.

~ Jason

Windows Store Weekly: your must-read for new titles to check out

Here’s a roundup of what’s new in the Windows Store this week, including great sales on TV shows and music, plus a new movie!

Movies & TV

End of Season TV Sale – up to 29% off

End of Season TV Sale in the Windows Store

The TV season may be coming to an end, but there’s an upside – you can catch up on the latest seasons of all your favorite shows and save money doing it with our End of Season TV Sale! Are you behind on The Blacklist? Psyched to rewatch every hilarious episode of The Big Bang Theory? Binge watch these shows and more to your heart’s content, now through May 23, in the Movies & TV section of the Windows Store.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies – Buy for $14.99

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies on the Windows Store

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains. Fortunately, Elizabeth Bennett and her sisters are well-trained in the art of fighting the undead. Watch Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, now available in the Movies & TV section of the Windows Store with exclusive bonus features.

Games

Indie Game Spotlight

Indie Game

The Indie Game Spotlight shines monthly on a curated collection of dozens of creations from independent developers. This month, titles include Need a Hero, RED-CON Strike Commander, Ski Safari 2, Out There and League of Stickman, to name just a few. Find these games and much more in the Windows Store.

Disney Crossy Road – Free 

Disney Crossy Road

In celebration of the release of the live-action Jungle Book film, we added a whole new world! Try not to catch fire as you explore The Jungle and collect wild ‘n crazy figurines like Mowgli, Baloo, and King Louie. We added 25 new figurines but 14 of these are SECRET ones. See if you can unlock them all! Get it from the Windows Store today.

Music

I Love The 90s Sale – Buy for $6.99

90s music sale in the Windows Store

Relive the decade with these discounted albums by some of your favorite artists including Vanilla Ice, Salt-N-Pepa, and more – all $6.99 each. Find them in the Windows Store today.

Have a great weekend!

Customer relationships key to service provider opportunity in the cloud

REDMOND, Wash. — May 11, 2016 — Organizations now rely more on digital IT infrastructure than physical, a tipping point that suggests the cloud has become the go-to model for most customers. In addition, 95 percent of customers intend to renew their contract with their primary cloud and hosting provider, indicating a high degree of loyalty despite the inherent flexibility of the cloud model. These and other findings are according to The Digital Revolution, Powered by Cloud, a Microsoft Corp.-commissioned study conducted by 451 Research LLC, released Wednesday, that illustrates the opportunity for cloud service providers and highlights the important role that developing deep and lasting customer relationships will play in capturing it.

As organizations prepare for major business and technology changes, they will depend more on digital platforms to deliver products and services. According to the findings from the study, 57 percent of organizational infrastructure will be digital, compared with physical in two years, up from 51 percent today.

In addition to extremely high renewal rates, over 80 percent of customers have an annual or longer term contract with their primary cloud and hosting provider, with 43 percent having a contract of two or more years. Thirty-eight percent of customers indicate they will increase spending with their primary cloud and hosting service provider upon contract renewal, further emphasizing the importance of solidifying customer relationships.

“These findings underscore the opportunity for service providers to drive organic business growth by nurturing long-term customer relationships,” said Aziz Benmalek, vice president, Hosting and Cloud Service Provider Business, Microsoft. “By adapting and servicing customers through their entire cloud life cycle and keeping turnover low, cloud service providers will avoid costs associated with churn and new customer acquisition, while benefiting from increased stability and more projectable revenue streams.”

In addition, the study reiterated that the opportunity for service providers extends beyond infrastructure hosting, as 71 percent of customers’ cloud and hosting budgets are now allocated to managed services, application hosting and security services. This aligns with the trend of customers increasingly investing in the cloud to help achieve proactive business goals, with growing revenue, improving the quality of offerings and reducing costs cited as top priorities.

“Cloud adoption is a key driver in the digital transformation for organizations of all sizes, and service providers can benefit from adopting a more complete approach to the customer life cycle to help them throughout this process,” said Michelle Bailey, senior vice president, Digital Infrastructure and Data Strategy, 451 Research. “Trustworthiness, product quality and technical expertise are key differentiators that can enable cloud providers to retain customers and grow their business.”

“Our strategy is to combine the world’s leading expertise and Fanatical Support powered and delivered by Rackspace with industry-leading technologies from companies like Microsoft,” said Odus Wittenburg, senior vice president, Rackspace. “We absolutely see the value of creating long-term relationships with our customers who are transforming their IT by migrating critical workloads to cloud models.”

Cloud service providers can tap into infrastructure solutions such as Windows Server, Microsoft System Center, Microsoft SQL Server and Microsoft Azure, as well as applications such as CRM Online, Skype for Business, SharePoint, Office and Office 365 to provide lifetime value. And with the Microsoft Cloud Platform, Microsoft offers customers a comprehensive, consistent cloud solution to bridge customers’ on-premises investments with cloud-based deployments. Microsoft has one of the largest cloud service provider ecosystems in the industry and is committed to helping partners transform and grow their business.

The Digital Revolution, Powered by Cloud was designed and conducted in conjunction with 451 Research and surveyed more than 1,700 IT decision-makers across small, midsize and large organizations around the globe regarding their cloud and hosting buying intentions. The study gauged customer opinion and behavior on issues such as budget allocation, cloud adoption and business priorities. Countries covered in the study span mature and emerging markets, including Australia, Brazil, Germany, India, Japan, Netherlands, Singapore, Turkey, the U.K. and the U.S.

Full research study results can be found at http://download.microsoft.com/download/9/4/1/941D4C3D-5093-4468-BE11-FB18E4FBD199/Cloud and Hosting Trends -The Digital Revolution, Powered by Cloud.pdf.

Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) is the leading platform and productivity company for the mobile-first, cloud-first world, and its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.

Note to editors: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at http://news.microsoft.com. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://news.microsoft.com/microsoft-public-relations-contacts.

Microsoft and ELECOM’s new partnership means more innovative business solutions for customers

REDMOND, Wash., and OSAKA-SHI, Japan — May 11, 2016 — On Wednesday, ELECOM CO. LTD. and Microsoft Technology Licensing LLC announced that they will be partnering on a range of business solutions for customers including network attached storage (NAS) and tablets.

“We’re pleased to announce a new patent collaboration with ELECOM that will ultimately deliver more innovative technologies to customers,” said Nick Psyhogeos, president of Microsoft Technology Licensing. “This partnership is an example of how the mutually respectful and beneficial exchange of technology can empower businesses and consumers to achieve more.”

“Our agreement with Microsoft will allow us to connect customers to devices with better usability,” said Koji Kajiura, managing director, Products Development, ELECOM. “Collaborative licensing partnerships like this one improve the user experience for our customers by offering them more innovative and value-added products.”

ELECOM is a global manufacturer of peripheral and accessory products for personal computers, smartphones, tablet PCs and other digital devices for the home and small businesses.

Microsoft’s commitment to innovation

Microsoft is committed to the exchange of technology, collaboration and licensing as a way to deliver even more innovative products to customers. This partnership is another example of the important role intellectual property (IP) plays in ensuring a healthy and vibrant technology ecosystem. Since Microsoft launched its IP licensing program in December 2003, it has entered into more than 1,200 licensing agreements. More information about Microsoft’s licensing programs is available at http://www.microsoft.com/iplicensing.

About ELECOM CO. LTD.

Established in 1986, ELECOM has been leading the digital equipment accessories markets in Japan for years. With subsidiaries in Korea, China, Hong Kong, India and Singapore, ELECOM also has a worldwide network of business partners, enabling the availability of ELECOM products globally.

About Microsoft Technology Licensing

Microsoft Technology Licensing LLC was formed in 2014 to acquire, manage and license Microsoft’s patent portfolio.

About Microsoft

Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) is the leading platform and productivity company for the mobile-first, cloud-first world, and its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.

Note to editors: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at http://news.microsoft.com. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://news.microsoft.com/microsoft-public-relations-contacts.