VirtualBox Network Configuration for Microsoft CRM 2011

I tend to live inside VirtualBox VM’s whenever I’m working on CRM presales or projects.  For the most part I work inside a single box solution where I have 1 VM running as Domain Controller, SQL Server and CRM Server.  I also tend to have the CRM Outlook Client installed, hooked up to a Hotmail account.  My host machine has 8GB RAM and 4 cores, I allocate the VM 4.3GB and 2 cores.  This generally works well. 

Every now again though I want to add a second VM to this environment, either to isolate a CRM Server component like the Asynchronous Service or to add a Windows client machine to the environment.  

Now things get tricky as we have to start understanding VirtualBox networking.   Well that doesn’t appeal to me, so instead here’s a cheat sheet you can follow to network your 2 VMs together and retain internet connectivity. 

Thanks to my Avanade colleague Safiulla MohamedAli for helping me out with this…


On your CRM server you need to have 2 network adaptors defined.   Adaptor 1 should be defined as per below:

image

(this gives us internet connectivity by piggy backing off of the host machine)

And Adaptor 2 should look like this:

image

(this adaptor connects the VM to an internal network called “intnet”)

If you already have 2 adaptors defined you can edit these whilst the VM is running via the Devices menu option.  Otherwise you will need to shutdown your VM and then set from the Oracle VM VirtualBox Manager:

image

Inside the VM we need to do a couple of things. 

  1. Open the Network and Sharing Centre
  2. Click change adaptor settings
  3. Right-click on the second adaptor and select Properties
  4. Set the IP addresses as per below:

image

What we are doing here is assigning the CRM Server a fixed IP address and telling it to use the locally installed DNS server.

Ok, good, we’re done with the CRM Server. 

Switch over to your second machine.  In my case, my second machine is a Windows XP SP3 VM (assigned 1GB RAM and 1 core).

Here again we need to have 2 adaptors.  The first should look like this:

image

(this gives us internet connectivity by piggy backing off of the host machine)

And the second adaptor should look like this:

image

(here we are connecting this VM to our “intnet” internal network, where the CRM Server is also connected).

Again, we need to go and tweak the adaptors…

  1. Open the Network and Sharing Centre
  2. Click change adaptor settings
  3. Right-click on the second adaptor and select Properties
  4. Set the IP addresses as per below:

image

What we are doing here is giving this machine a fixed IP address and then telling it to refer to the CRM Server for it’s default gateway and DNS server.

And we’re done.  We should now have both VMs sitting on the same network and both enabled for internet access.

There may well be other ways to do this and this might not be the best way.  But it works for me!  Hope this helps someone.

Smile

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