vWorkspace MAC address management is a new feature in vWorkspace 7.5 that was created to resolve a common problem when large amount of virtual machines are created, destroyed and recreated: Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) address depletion. DHCP is a critical technology for deploying large amounts of virtual workstations.DHCP is responsible for automatically assigning IP addresses as well as other important networking information.
However, the requirements of VDI systems and the way DHCP operates can many times be conflicting. DHCP operates at the Ethernet layer. When a workstation comes online, it broadcasts its Ethernet address, commonly known as a MAC (Media Access Control) address. A DHCP server listens for that address, associates that address with a number from its pool of IP addresses. The DHCP server then sends back a message to the workstation that it should use a specific IP address.
When dealing with physical machines, DHCP works flawlessly. Physical machines typically have physical network cards. The MAC address is hard-coded to the physical network card and never changes. The physical machine may use this assigned address for days, weeks or potentially even longer. Virtual machines present an interesting challenge,especially when considering very dynamic environments. In some cases, a large number of virtual machines will be redeployed on a regular basis, and in others, the virtual machines are deleted then recreated each time a user closes their session, like in a vWorkspace Desktop Cloud.
Each time a new virtual workstation is created, the DHCP server issues a new and unique MAC address. The result is the DHCP runs out of IP addresses in its pool and can not hand out additional IP addresses for any devices on the network (Ethernet segment). vWorkspace 7.5 addresses this issue with the new MAC Address Management feature.
With the MAC Address Management feature, vWorkspace provides a tool to help ensure you do not run out of DHCP issued IP addresses. In addition to reusing MAC addresses, the machine name is retained. This results in the reprovisioned virtual machine not consuming another and unnecessary license. Also, since the virtual machine will have the same hostname, DNS issues commonly associated with dynamic management is also resolved.