golddiggie
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Need to clone physical system's MAC addresses to continue using software

We have an old (RHEL 3.x) physical server that we're looking to convert to a VM in the next few weeks (once our new environment comes online). The issue is, the software that runs on the physical server has it's license tied to one of (it had two) it's NIC MAC addresses. I was hoping that I could edit the vmx file of a VM and get it to accept the same values. No luck there (it's too far outside the range that ESX assigns). We've been told that we cannot just edit the license file (or what is used to tie the license to the NIC) and would have to pay additional money to get a new license file in order to use the server as a VM. This is not viable since the server is around more for legacy support than anything else.

Does anyone know of another way, or what additional lines in the vmx file need to be edited in order to get the different MAC address value to be accepted? I'm talking about the following lines:

ethernet0.present = "TRUE"

ethernet0.networkName = "Isolation"

ethernet0.addressType = "vpx"

ethernet0.generatedAddress = "..."

This IS for software that was purchased (about five years ago) but we've since dropped the support agreement. To have to get a support agreement for just one item is robbery. If we could get a single instance of support for this, we would, but it appears that we would have to purchase either several months (6) or a year of support JUST to get this one item change.

If we cannot get this to work, then the server will continue to be a physical box, until it dies. At that point, the server will be completely gone, especially if it's the motherboard (or either NIC on the motherboard) that fails. Judging by how everything else ages around here, it's on borrowed time...

Network Administrator

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16 Replies
DSTAVERT
Immortal
Immortal

Try changing the MAC within the OS. Works.

-- David -- VMware Communities Moderator
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DSTAVERT
Immortal
Immortal

Works in most OSs. Don't know any that don't.

-- David -- VMware Communities Moderator
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a_p_
Leadership
Leadership

There is a vmx setting which allows to use a custom MAC address, however this doesn't work for ESX, just for Workstation, Player...

Depending on the load and size, it could probably be a workaround to virtualize and run the server as a VMware workstation VM?!

The settings are:

ethernet0.checkMACAddress = "FALSE"

ethernet0.addressType = "static"

ethernet0.address = "00:11:22:33:44:55"

André

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golddiggie
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AP, not an option to use it under Workstation. MUST sit on the new ESX cluster since this is a server.

I'll try testing under an OS to see if coding it there works. This IS RHEL 3.x that we're talking about here. Not even sure if I can locate ISO files to install it in my test lab to try it out tonight... I have been trying with VM's that contain no OS (basically just the virtual hardware) since that would allow me to test without spending the extra time installing the OS and such. I do have some time before this becomes a high importance item. I just don't want to have the original server fail and not have some kind of fall-back position ready to rock on...

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DSTAVERT
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Immortal

Changing the MAC address inside the OS absolutely works.

-- David -- VMware Communities Moderator
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golddiggie
Champion
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I have the MAC addresses that will need to be applied, so I'll test it later on, once I've built a fresh Linux VM with two NIC's in it... Even if those don't actually connect to anything, and are just there for the sake of the license. I can use a third, actual, NIC for the traffic...

I'll post up the testing results once I have them...

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golddiggie
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BTW, Bubba, you need to take a few "chill-pills"... Posting that much in a single thread, saying the same F'ing thing over and over just gives you a bad rep...

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afidel
Contributor
Contributor

Another possible solution is to use VMDirectPath to present the NIC to the guest, it disables vmotion and the license wouldn't work in an HA event, but it will allow you to virtualize it. This is one of my top pet peeves with VMWare and it would be so easy to fix, not sure why they refuse to allow their top paying customers to have a feature that you get with workstation.

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golddiggie
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VMDirectPath is not even close to being viable... For one thing, the current server NIC are on the MOTHERBOARD!! How the F do you propose pulling those into our new ESX cluster?? The current server (physical) is also (as I've already stated) about FIVE YEARS OLD now...

You get the white cone hat for even suggesting direct path for the old NIC into the new cluster...

While I do appreciate enthusiasm in posting... READ the posts fully before you post up replies.

I will be testing the above suggestion of changing the MAC address for a NIC within the OS (will test with CentOS 5.x, since that's what I have on hand for Linux right now)...

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golddiggie
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As I suspected, just changing the MAC address within a Linux VM doesn't provide the desired result... The NIC still pulls the old MAC address until you reboot, at which time the NIC won't activate with the different MAC address encoded. You hit the probe button under the configuration and it returns the VM's original MAC address. Then it will activate...

Looks like I'm still searching for a solid answer to this issue...

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afidel
Contributor
Contributor

Don't be an ass, nowhere in your post did you state that the NIC was onboard, had it been an addon card it would have been a technical if not ideal solution. Btw portability is why smart admins tied their license to an addon card instead of the onboard NIC's, not saying you were responsible for the tying, just saying 😃

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NTurnbull
Expert
Expert

Hi, not sure if this is going to help, nor if this is what you've already tried. But isn't there an entry in the ifcfg-eth (depending on how many ncis 0-n) MACADDR=, where setting which over-rides the physical mac? From memory not to be used with the HWADDR setting?



Thanks,

Neil

Thanks, Neil
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rogard
Expert
Expert

Do it in the VM from RH/Centos based OSs go here:

and add

MACADDR=<Mac Address> However " This directive should not be

used in conjunction with HWADDR"

More here:[http://www.centos.org/docs/5/html/5.1/Deployment_Guide/s2-networkscripts-interfaces-eth0.html]

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Kahonu84
Hot Shot
Hot Shot

Aloha -

Maybe Bubba would be kind enough to slip you a chill pill or two. With your attitude, you're going to alienate everyone attempting to help you - as you already have done with me.

Have an incredibly special weekend,

Bill

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Borja_Mari
Virtuoso
Virtuoso

Hi,

this workaround should work.

Anyway check in your linux RH if the old MAC is statically assigned to the network interface. If it is, you must remove this association.

You can check this to know where to look.

Hope this helps Smiley Happy



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Pablo

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golddiggie
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Looks like you missed "either NIC on the motherboard"...

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