Monday, May 5, 2014

Use vCAC Static IP Without vCenter Customization Spec

You are probably aware that vCAC has a nice little IP Address Management (IPAM)  capability built in (referred to as "Static IP" in the documentation) that allows you to create IP pools and settings with Network Profiles that can be associated to Network Paths in your reservations.  If so, you're also aware that using this out of the box for VMware virtual machines requires you to use VM templates and vCenter Customization Specifications*.

However, deploying a Windows VM with a customization spec adds time and if all you really want is the IP address assignment it can be annoying to have to use a customization spec.  In fact, the reason I'm posting this information is because I had a request from a customer to speed up the provisioning time while still using the Static IP feature.  The use case was they simply needed to spin up a Windows server for quick QA and then destroy it.  Now, there are some other ways to accomplish this (snapshot/revert comes to mind) but it did get me to thinking of ways to avoid running vCenter customizations on Windows clones to speed up deployment.

One way to accomplish this is with vCenter Orchestrator (vCO).  This post assumes some knowledge of and experience with vCO, but you may be able to put this together without that background.  

In general, a VM deployed with Static IP will have the following machine properties set with the values from the Network Profile:

... and optionally ...

There are other properties for networking, but for our use case we will leverage these specific property values via the vCAC Extensibility Workflows.  These are included with the embedded vCO instance and you will want to go ahead and set that up if you haven't already.  See this presentation for an overview and setup walk-through.

In addition, I will use the Guest Script Manager Package for vCO to run the configurations directly on the new VM's guest OS - note that this requires VMtools to be installed on the guest.

*Static IP is also supported for AutoYAST/kickstart using the guest agent.  


  1. Very nice, John! Thanks for sharing!

  2. HI, I thought I'd ask you this since you seem to have a good understanding of vcac/vco. When I build VM's with vCAC, and yes I'm using the customization spec in vcenter, it will apply the IPAM provided IP to Win 2008 R2 vm's but NOT Win 2012 R2 vm's. Have you had any experience with this? I'm using the same CS for both blueprints and each blueprint is using the same network profile.


    1. I believe that is a known issue with Win8/2012 and customization - see VMware KB 2037366

  3. Hi, thanks for sharing a very helpful article. I will like to check with you, how do i go about setting the vCAC static IP in the event that a new adapter is added during the "reconfigure" action request? Btw, can i have a download copy of the "vCAC set Static IP on VM with Powershell" workflow? :)

  4. Hi, thanks for sharing a very helpful article. i will like to check with you, how do i go about setting the vCAC static IP in the event that a new adapter is added during the reconfigure action of that VM?