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A question was asked earlier today about networking configuration in VMware Workstation:

I have a vmware workstation VM 1 running on my desktop (physical host), on the host 2 I have an interface (eth0) which connects to a switch [3].

I would like to be able to speak from 1 to 3. How can I do this? Currently eth0 is in brdiged mode.

Since it's a desktop application, and not what you'd typically expect to see professionally when it comes to virtual networking, I would agree that this specific question is off topic.

However it brings up an interesting point. It has already been established that virtual networking is on-topic, but this question was considered off-topic, even though it was clearly about virtual networking. True, it was about a desktop application that doesn't represent the common deployed virtual networking best practices, but is that the deciding factor? Can we spend a little time more specifically defining where "the line" is with respect to virtual networking questions?

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  • Not directly related to your question, but relevant. That question had multiple flaws... the most egregious to me was that it was a very unclear question to begin with... there were virtually no details to help us help the OP. I was considering closing as "too broad" before it was closed as "off topic" – Mike Pennington Aug 18 '13 at 10:48
  • I definitely agree with you. That question really reminded me to ask this question, which has been on my mind for a while. The question I linked to is definitely an example of one that is off topic, for several reasons. Just trying to establish where we draw the line when it comes to virtual networking. – Mierdin Aug 18 '13 at 16:03
  • @Mierdin, Your question link is down..... – Pacerier May 22 '14 at 21:46
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In my mind you can generalize all "virtual" network questions and categorize them into two groups. This would be my thoughts on this topic.

First, you have the network emulators and lab software. Since these virtual networks are meant to recreate physical enterprise networks in software, I would consider them to be generally on topic.

Second, you have the virtual network associated with virtual hosts. This is much more of a grey area, but I feel there are a couple clear lines.

Virtual networking associated with products that are not intended for enterprise services, such as VMware Player or Workstation, I clearly find off topic.

Virtual networking intended only for enterprise deployments, such as VMware's dvSwitch, Cisco Nexus 1000V or Cisco UCS should definitely be welcome.

Anything in between could go either way. I also think this is again one of those topics where this site and SF do overlap, so any question on topic here could be posted at SF as well.

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  • I'd like to try to state a rule: Anything related to network traffic is on topic. How packets are treated which includes what type of interface is used. This allows questions such as What virtual NICs hide the guest's MAC address and show the host machine?. A question which touches concepts of virtualization and may be referenced by giving an example. Mostly it won't even be necessary to name a particular product, but sometimes it might be inevitable because only one product yet has that particular feature and then a setting needs to be named. – user2964971 Oct 18 '14 at 11:05

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