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I am running a dedicated server (located at Hetzner, Germany) that runs VirtualBox in order to virtualize several services accross multiple virtual guests. Those guests are supposed

  1. to communicate with each other (for instance, a virtual web server has to access a virtual database server);
  2. to be reachable from the dedicated server (for instance, SSH access); and
  3. to access the Internet via the dedicated server (for instance, to download security updates)

Currently, this is achieved by having host-only adapter vboxnet0 on the dedicated server and two virtual interfaces on each guest. There, virtual adapter eth0 is attached to vboxnet0 (to achieve (1) and (2)), virtual adapter eth1 is attached to VirtualBox' NAT (to achieve (3)).

Via eth0, the guests have access to a DHCP and a DNS server, both running on the dedicated server (there, bound to vboxnet0). This allows me to assign custom IP addresses and names. Via eth1, VirtualBox pushes a proper route that enables each guest to access the Internet (via eth0 on the dedicated server).

This setup with two virtual adapters frequently leads to problems and at leasts complicates many things. For instance, on the dedicated server there is OpenVPN which allows to access the virtual machines via the Internet; futhermore, there is Shorwall that controls the incoming and outgoing network traffic between the Internet, the dedicated server, and the individual virtual machines. Not to mention automatic installation of servers via PXE... Therefore, I would prefer to have only one single virtual adapter on each guest which would be used for both incoming and outgoing connections. As far as I understand, one would basically use a bridged interface for that very purpose.

Now the question arises: Which interface on the dedicated server would the bridge use? eth0 on the host server is not an option, as this is prohibited by the provider. A virtual interface eth0:0 would not make any sense, as a bridge always uses a physical interface (eth0 in this case).

Would it be possible to create a bridged interface in each virtual machine that would "dangle in the air"? Thus, without a complement on the dedicated server? How would I have to set up the routing on the host server?

Please note that the host / dedicated server has only one network adapter (eth0) which is connected to the provider's network.



share|improve this question
You're using Hetzner? – Michael Hampton Nov 30 '12 at 16:20
Is eth1 on the host server a normal LAN interface (routable)? If so, why wouldn't you just use that one as bridged instead of NAT? Why would the provider care what you do on your server's interfaces (eth0 comment you made)? – TheCleaner Nov 30 '12 at 16:20
Yes, the server is located at Hetzern, Germany. The host computer has only one interface (eth0); therefore, I cannot use nonexistent eth1 on the dedicated server. – Martin Nov 30 '12 at 16:48

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