Networking and IP Management

This topic provides a general overview of Commander networking.

Network configuration and automated deployment

When manually provisioning a VM (by manually deploying a service request, deploying a template, or cloning), the Commander administrator has full control over network configuration for the deployed VM.

When you've set up automated deployment, how you configure networking for deployed VMs depends on how knowledgeable your users are and how much control you want to allow them. For example, if you're running a Dev/Test shop, you'd likely want to allow your users to choose the network zone and add adapters as required when requesting a service. You might also want to allow Dev/Test users to reconfigure networking settings for existing VMs. To satisfy these requirements, you would:

Automated deployment then assigns a network configured in the deployment destination that matches the network zone chosen on the request form.

If you're a service provider, on the other hand, your users likely don't know whether the VM they're requesting should be deployed into the DMZ or the Production zone, or whether they need extra network adapters. Instead, you may want to allow requesters to indicate their service requirements by selecting from a drop-down list (such as None, Backup or Monitoring), and then set up post-deployment configuration to handle these requirements. To set up a solution for this scenario, you would:

  • Add a list-type custom attribute to the request form, allowing users to specify what type of services they require.
  • Set up an approval workflow to enable automated deployment for approved requests.
  • Create a deployment destination for each of your user groups, with basic networking configuration.
  • Set up a component-level completion workflow with a conditional step to configure networking based on information specified on the request form.

Automated deployment then configures the new VM with the same NICs as the source template; the completion workflow adds a NIC and connects it to the appropriate network.

Viewing network details

You can view network details for both private and public cloud accounts.

VM Network Assignment

You can view the network assignment for individual VMs by adding the Network property to a VM table or to the Details pane in the VM Summary tab. The Network property displays:

  • For vCenter, the network name
  • For AWS, the VPC name if the VM is in a VPC; otherwise, the value is blank
  • For Microsoft Azure, the subnet name

This property isn't displayed for SCVMM VMs.

You can also search for VM network assignment by going to Tools > Search and filtering by Network (in the Resources - Network category).

Order of precedence for network selection

The order of precedence for network selection for new VMs is as follows:

  • Network deployment parameters specified by a request approver, or in a workflow step
  • Network matching the network zone specified on the request form
  • Network configured in the deployment destination wizard. When multiple networks are configured in the deployment destination, the first (alphabetically) is used.
  • Network of source NIC

Configuring network resources in Commander

Commander provides several ways to configure networking.

Allowing users to specify networking information in service requests

Depending on how you configure the request form, when you add the Network form element, users requesting a VM can:

  • Change the network automatically selected by Commander based on the deployment destination settings, by selecting a network zone.
  • Add network adapters to a requested VM component.

The network zones selectable on the form must match those configured for networks added to the deployment destinations available to the requesting user. If the user selects a network zone that isn't available on the target destination, automated deployment will fail.

To add the Network element to the new service request form, you must add the network element as a resource to a component that you will add to the service request:

Note that you need to tag your networks with zones. For more information, see Assigning Network Zones.

Assigning networks to automated deployment destinations

When you configure destinations for automated deployment placement, you configure network assignment for new VMs. You can add multiple networks to a destination.

If multiple networks of the same network zone are valid for a user, the first network is selected (alphabetically, case insensitive) for automated deployment.

For more information, see Configuring Automated Deployment for Approved Service Requests.

Assigning networks after provisioning using completion workflows

You can also configure network assignment in a VM completion workflow. You can configure network assignment in the guest OS and at the hypervisor level. For more information, see Configuring OS Networking through Workflow Steps and at the Configure Virtual Networking.

Assigning networks during the request approval process

Use the $NETWORK<x>=<network>$ deployment parameter to configure the network during the request approval process. Note that this parameter assigns the actual network, not the network zone. Request approvers can enter this parameter when approving a request; this parameter can also be used in scripts. For more information, see Specifying Deployment Parameters for Services.

Assigning networks during manual deployment

Administrators can configure networking during manual provisioning. For more information, see Manually provisioning services.

Reconfiguring network resources

Commander users can reconfigure network resources for deployed VMs. Service Portal users can reconfigure memory, CPU and storage resource, but not networking. For information, see Manually Reconfiguring VM Resources.

Note for CentOS

Some versions of CentOS are not compatible with network customization when the base image includes a network interface. You can resolve this issue by removing the network interface from the base image. For more information, contact support@snowsoftware.com.