vRealize Automation – vCAC 6.1 – External Network Profiles

External Network profiles in vCAC enable you to create a range of IP addresses that can used to statically assign IP address to provisioned workloads in your environment.  There are two part to an External Network Profile.  There is the Network Profile Information in which you specify the network specific information such as netmask, gateway, DNS Server, Suffixes, and WINs Servers.  Then there is the IP ranges these can be one contiguous range of IP address or multiple ranges within the subnet that are broken up.

The Network profile is then assigned to a network within a Reservation and any machine provisioned to that reservation an attached to a network will get it’s IP information form the assigned Network profile.  There are a number of ways to utilize External Network Profiles within vCAC , below are some examples:

One Profile to Many Reservations

In this use case we would create one External Network Profile and assign it to all Reservations that will use the associated network.  In this scenario you may have an External Network Profile that is assigned to a class C development network and all IP address available in that range are assigned to the network profile.  Let’s say you have five business groups and each group has a reservation that allows them to each provision on the the class C development network.  In each reservation you would map the associated External Reservation Policy to the appropriate network in each of the five reservations.

In this example all five business groups would pull from the same pool of IP addresses when they provision a machine on the associated network.

One Profile to One Reservation

In this use case we would create a separate Network Profile for each Business group and assign to the appropriate business group reservations.  Each group would get there own range of IP addresses on the network that is allocated to them.  We would essentially create five Network Profiles, one for each Business Group and in the Network Profile we would assign the relevant information for that group.  If affords us some extra flexibility because of one of the groups needed to use a separate isolated group of DNS servers we could specify that in only their profile.  We then would create an IP range that is specific to the group we are creating the Network profile for.  So maybe Business Group one get the first 50 IP’s of the range, group two gets the next 50 and so on.

Then you would assign the appropriate Network Profile to all the groups reservations that utilize the related network.  This allows you to segment the ranges for a number of reasons.  It could be applying specific security policies to the range of IP’s for specific groups, or simply to have better traceability of who owns the IP’s, or a variety of other uses.

Creating an External Network Profile

1.  First Navigate to Infrastructure –> Reservations –> Network Profiles, then hover over New Network Profile and select External.

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2.  Next Fill out the appropriate information for the network you will be utilizing the profile for and select the IP Ranges tab.
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3.   Select New Network Range and when the dialog open give the range a name, enter the starting & Ending IP for the Range and click OK.

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4.   You will now the all the IP address for the range listed.  Click OK to save the new range.

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5.   Next go edit a Reservation in which you would like to assign the range, go to the Network Tab, check the box to enable the network and assign the Network Profile form the drop down.  Click OK when finished to save your changes.

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External Network reservations also have other uses.  One other use it to be assigned to a Routed Network Profile for use in configuring the deployed routers external IP address assignment.  This will be discussed more in the Routed Network Profile post and others related to NSX.

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