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IP conflict resolution: Integrating your IPAM server with SCVMM

Integrating your IPAM server with System Center Virtual Machine Manager allows for end-to-end IP management, even with multiple virtual networks.

Although System Center 2012 R2 Virtual Machine Manager and Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V make it possible to define virtual networks, IP address management has always been a bit of a challenge.

Windows Server 2012 introduced the IP Address Management (IPAM) feature, but it was difficult to use as a centralized IP address management mechanism when multiple Hyper-V virtual networks were present. In an effort to make IP address management a little less painful for organizations with large collections of virtual networks, Microsoft has made end-to-end IP address management for cloud networks possible by using IPAM in conjunction with the Virtual Machine Manager (VMM).

Before you begin configuring the VMM, it is important to note that this tip makes two main assumptions. First, it assumes that both IPAM and VMM are correctly installed and working properly. Second, it assumes that you have already created a RunAs account to use with IPAM.

The trick to making IPAM work with your virtual networks is to make VMM aware of your IPAM server. To do so, you will have to define IPAM as a network service. Begin the process by opening the VMM console and clicking on the Fabric workspace. Next, expand the Networking container, right-click on the Network Service container, then select the Add Network Service command from the resulting shortcut menu. When you do, VMM will launch the Add Network Service Wizard.

The wizard's initial screen asks you to enter a name and a description of the service that you are adding. You can use the IPAM acronym as the name. It is best to populate the description field with text describing how IPAM will be used in your environment.

Click Next, and you will be taken to the Manufacturer and Model screen. Select the Microsoft option from the Manufacturer drop-down list, then choose the Microsoft Windows Server IP Address Management option from the Model list. Click Next to continue.

At this point, you will be prompted to specify a RunAs account, then click Next.

The next screen asks you to specify a connection string. The connection string identifies your IPAM server. The wizard will show you a few different ways you can specify a connection string, but it is important to realize that the examples assume that you are entering a connection string for a switch, gateway or similar mechanism. The IPAM server's connection string is simply the server's fully qualified domain name.

Click Next and you will be taken to the wizard's Provider screen. This screen gives you a chance to test your IPAM server to make sure that it is working correctly. Make sure that the drop-down list is set to Microsoft IP Address Management Provider, then click the Test button. Keep in mind that most of the testing application program interfaces (APIs) are geared to switches, so it is normal for most of the tests to display a result of Not Implemented. However, you should see a status of Passed for the Test Open Connection, Test Capability Discovery and Test System Info tests. Similarly, you should see a result of Implemented for the Connection API, Capacity Discovery API and Retrieve System Info API tests.

After verifying IPAM connectivity, click Next and you will be taken to the Host Group screen. Choose the host groups for which the IPAM server will be available as a network service, then click Next. You should now see a summary of the configuration options you have chosen. If everything looks correct, click Finish.

As you can see, it is relatively easy to make IPAM work with the System Center 2012 R2 VMM. If you run into problems making this procedure work, verify that your RunAs account credentials are correct and that the RunAs account's password is set to not expire. It is also a good idea to double-check your connection string.

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Have you run into problems integrating IP Address Management with VMM?