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2 Posts authored by: bwhitaker

Are IP requests for virtual machines overwhelming your current IP address management practices?  You are not alone. In a June 2016 survey of IP Address Manager customers[1], 46% of respondents stated that virtual machines were creating challenges for managing IP addresses for their company.

 

Independent author Brien Posey explores this topic in the whitepaper “Overcoming IP Address Management Challenges in VMware Environments.” A challenge with virtual environments is that their dynamic nature can quickly lead to depleted address pools if IP addresses are not quickly de-provisioned. Utilizing DHCP services is a less than ideal solution, as IPs can be tied up by lease expiration dates. Using manual processes for provisioning IP addresses is another option, but this can be slow, error-prone, and limit the dynamic scaling of virtual environments. DNS records obviously must also be updated in tandem.

 

A solution to overcoming these IP address management challenges is fully automating the process of provisioning IP addresses and updating DNS records. VMware developed vRealize® Automation (vRA) to automate tasks in virtual environments. However, as Brien discusses, vRA was not designed to be a comprehensive IP address management solution, thus the need for third-party solutions to fill this gap. SolarWinds® IP Address Manager (IPAM) helps overcome this limitation by providing a plug-in for VMware® vRealize Orchestrator (vRO). The plug-in provides actions and workflows critical for managing IP addresses and DNS records. These actions and workflows integrate with vRA and enable the creation of blueprints to automate the provisioning and de-provisioning of VMs.

 

To learn more about this topic, please read Brien Posey’s whitepaper, and attend the live webcast coming up February 21, where our very own IPAM Product Manager Connie Dowdle will take you through a demonstration of the plug-in and the latest and greatest that SolarWinds IPAM 4.6 has to offer.

 


IP Address Manager customer survey, June 2016, survey result


 

We’ve been listening to our SolarWinds® IP Address Manager (IPAM) customers who have ventured down the path of cloud automation, and we would like to share with you a new solution from SovLabs. It’s geared toward solving end-to-end IP address management for vRealize Automation (vRA).

 

The issue

vRA is widely used to provide self-service automation for infrastructure provisioning. One of the gaps in self-service is finding the next available IP address to assign to a new virtual machine. This requires a workflow that involves changing tools and manually looking for an address, which can be time-consuming and error-prone.

 

How does SovLabs help?

The SovLabs® vRA Integration Pack for SolarWinds consists of IPAM and DNS integration modules for VMware® vRealize® Automation based on the new SolarWinds IPAM API. The modules bring a simplistic approach to integrating SolarWinds IPAM with vRA. Combining IPAM with the SovLabs vRA Integration Pack enables a fully automated method of obtaining and releasing IP addresses as well as DNS record creation and removal as the cloud environment dynamically scales.   IP subnets can now easily be shared between vRA deployments alongside existing tools/devices with little fear of IP address conflicts.

 

SovLabs IPAM and DNS modules eliminate the pain of building and managing custom workflows by simplifying the integration between SolarWinds IPAM and vRealize Automation using a software-driven approach.  The modules share a built-in template engine that allows for dynamic data to be injected into endpoint definitions and configurations. Need to customize the comments field for IPAM records using vRA metadata?  Here’s an example of how to dynamically generate the comments using vRA properties via the SovLabs Template Engine configured on the SovLabs SolarWinds IPAM endpoint:

 

This comment template:

Reserved by {{ownerName}} on {{creationDate}} via vRA {{plugins.vCAC}} using blueprint {{blueprintName}} (NIC# {{SovLabsIPAMProfile.nic}})

 

Is rendered and inserted as a comment during VM provisioning/IP assignment:

Reserved by fred@sovlabs.com on 2016-10-07T14:23:38.360 via vRA 7.3.0 using blueprint Win2012R2 Prd (NIC# 0)

 

Getting started

To get started, create a SolarWinds endpoint, then create/link to an IPAM profile and DNS configuration, and finally associate to the blueprint – all directly in vRA.

 

 

 

For more information on the SovLabs vRA Integration Pack for SolarWinds and to request a free trial, visit the SovLabs website or email info@sovlabs.com.

 

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