After successfully binding an older MacBook Pro running macOS Catalina to a physical Windows Server 2016 Active Directory (AD) environment, I was eager to expand my knowledge and try my hand at something more complex.

I’ve been using a MacBook Pro 16, boasting 32GB of RAM, a high-performance GPU, and an Intel i9 processor. I realized that this machine could handle a set of Windows Server 2016 virtual servers on VirtualBox, so I decided to give it a shot.

I began by installing VirtualBox, followed by three Windows Server 2016 guest servers. The process went smoothly, and the setup was completed relatively quickly.


However, I soon encountered a network connection issue. Despite being connected to the wireless network on my Mac host, the guest servers couldn’t communicate with the host or the gateway. To resolve this, I discovered that the host would need to connect to a wired network.


Note: The requirement for a wired network in VirtualBox rather than a wireless one for guest-to-guest and guest-to-external communication puzzled me. I intend to research this topic more thoroughly and will surely discuss it in a future post.

You might think the solution would be as simple as plugging in an Ethernet cable, but my MacBook Pro doesn’t have a traditional Ethernet port, only USB-C ports. So, things were a bit more complicated.

I found a workaround by using an adapter to achieve wired network connectivity. I started with a TP-Link adapter on Amazon that goes from Ethernet to USB, and then used an Anker USB hub to adapt from USB to USB-C.


Side note: Just to clarify, I am not endorsing any specific products. I’m merely listing the items that I used for reference.

Once the adapters were connected, I successfully configured the network settings, manually assigned the IP address and DNS, and got my three Windows servers named DC-1, DC-2, and DC-3 to communicate with each other, the host, and other nodes on the network. Fantastic!

Stay tuned for my next post, where I’ll discuss creating a new domain with this small group of Windows servers and connecting some clients. It’s an exciting journey, and I look forward to sharing it with you!

Please note I originally posted this on my Medium blog. I am currently in the process of moving all my writings and any documentation I’ve ever written to here.