other than the Workstation, VMware ESXi does not has the functionality to “NATting” virtual machines network traffic into a public network.
My approach to implement NAT is a virtual machine with a slimmed-down (Debian) Linux.
These virtual machine has two network interfaces. The first interface is connected to a vSwitch called “Public LAN” with access to the public LAN, the second interface is connected to a vSwitch which has no physical adapter attached to and is called “NAT Network”. On the NAT interface a DHCP server is assigning IP Addresses.
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Last week a customer had the problem that a virtual machine uses a NAT Network connection but the NIC Adapter in the virtual machine is in disconnected state.
Windows IP Configuration
Ethernet adapter LAN-Connection:
Media State . . . . . . . . . . . : Media disconnected
Connection-specific DNS Suffix . : localdomain
In previous version of VMware Player the NAT and the “Host only” network settings could be change by vmnetcfg.exe.
Since VMware Player 5 this tools is no longer a part of the installation, but vmnetui.dll is available. You can start the virtual network editor using the Windows rundll32.exe.
Open a command line and change to the VMWare Player installation directory. This command bring the virtual network editor back:
rundll32.exe vmnetui.dll VMNetUI_ShowStandalone