vSphere networking features provide communication between virtual machines on the same host, between virtual machines on different hosts, and between other virtual and physical machines. When you configure networking for a virtual machine, you select or change an adapter type, a network connection, and whether to connect the network when the virtual machine powers on.
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Network Adapter Basics When you configure a virtual machine, you can add network adapters (NICs) and specify the adapter type.
Network Adapters and Legacy Virtual Machines Legacy virtual machines are virtual machines that are supported by the product in use, but are not current for that product. The default network adapter types for all legacy virtual machines depend on the adapters available and compatible to the guest operating system and the version of virtual hardware on which the virtual machine was created.
Change the Virtual Machine Network Adapter Configuration You can change the virtual machine network configuration, including its power-on behavior and resource allocation.
Add a Network Adapter to a Virtual Machine You can add a network adapter (NIC) to a virtual machine to connect to a network, to enhance communications, or to replace an older adapter. When you add a NIC to a virtual machine, you select the adapter type, network connection, whether the device should connect when the virtual machine is turned on, and the bandwidth allocation.
Parallel and Serial Port Configuration Parallel and serial ports are interfaces for connecting peripherals to the virtual machine. The virtual serial port can connect to a physical serial port or to a file on the host computer. You can also use it to establish a direct connection between two virtual machines or a connection between a virtual machine and an application on the host computer. You can add parallel and serial ports and change the parallel and serial port configuration. Hardware version 11 and later versions allow you to configure virtual machines in such a way that serial and parallel ports are absent from the virtual chipset altogether.