A network profile contains IP information such as gateway, subnet, and address range. vRealize Automation uses vSphere DHCP or a specified IPAM provider to assign IP addresses to the machines it provisions.

You can create a network profile to define a type of available network, including external network profiles and templates for on-demand network address translation (NAT) and routed network profiles that will build NSX logical switches and appropriate routing settings for a new network path. Network profiles are required when adding network components to a blueprint.

Network profiles are used to configure network settings when machines are provisioned. Network profiles also specify the configuration of NSX Edge devices that are created when you provision machines. You identify a network profile when you create reservations and blueprints. In a reservation, you can assign a network profile to a network path and specify any one of those paths for a machine component in a blueprint.

A blueprint creator specifies an appropriate network profile when defining network components in the blueprint. You can use an existing network profile and an on-demand NAT or routed network profile as you define network adapters and load balancers for the provisioning machine.

Network profiles also support third party IP Address Management (IPAM) providers such as Infoblox. When you configure a network profile for IPAM, your provisioned machines can obtain their IP address data, and related information such as DNS and gateway, from the configured IPAM solution. You can use an external IPAM package for a third party provider, such as Infoblox, to define an IPAM endpoint for use with an external network profile.

You can specify the ranges of IP addresses that network profiles can use. Each IP address in the specified ranges that are allocated to a machine is reclaimed for reassignment when the machine is destroyed.

You can create a network profile to define a range of static IP addresses that can be assigned to machines. Network profiles can be assigned to specific network paths on a reservation. For some machine component types, such as vSphere, you can assign a network profile when you create or edit blueprints.

When provisioning virtual machines by cloning or by using kickstart/autoYaST provisioning, the requesting machine owner can assign static IP addresses from a predetermined range.

If you specify a network profile in a reservation and a blueprint, the blueprint value takes precedence. For example, if you specify a network profile in the blueprint by using the VirtualMAchine.NetworkN.ProfileName custom property and in a reservation that is used by the blueprint, the network profile specified in the blueprint takes precedence. However, if the custom property is not used in the blueprint, and you select a network profile for a machine NIC, vRealize Automation uses the reservation network path for the machine NIC for which the network profile is specified.

Table 1. Available Network Types for a vRealize Automation Network Profile

Network Type

Description

External

Existing networks configured on the vSphere server. They are the external part of the NAT and routed networks types. An external network profile can define a range of static IP addresses available on the external network.

You can also use IP ranges obtained from the supplied VMware internal IPAM provider or an external IPAM provider solution that you have imported and registered in vRealize Orchestrator, such as Infoblox IPAM.

An external network profile with a static IP range is a prerequisite for NAT and routed networks.

NAT

Created during provisioning. They are networks that use one set of IP addresses for external communication and another set for internal communications. With one-to-one NAT networks, every virtual machine is assigned an external IP address from the external network profile and an internal IP address from the NAT network profile. With one-to-many NAT networks, all machines share a single IP address from the external network profile for external communication.

A NAT network profile defines local and external networks that use a translation table for mutual communication.

Routed

Created during provisioning. They represent a routable IP space divided across subnets that are linked together using Distributed Logical Router (DLR). Every new routed network has the next available subnet assigned to it and is associated with other routed networks that use the same network profile. The virtual machines that are provisioned with routed networks that have the same routed network profile can communicate with each other and the external network.

A routed network profile defines a routable space and available subnets.

For more information about Distributed Logical Router, see NSX Administration Guide.