Convert Existing Dynamic VIP to Reserved IP Addresses in Azure

One of the great things that came with the plethora of new features and capabilities around Azure networking at Build 2015 and didn’t get a lot of attention is the fact that now you have much more flexibility in working with reserved IP addresses in your deployments. By default, VIP addresses of Azure cloud services are dynamic by nature, i.e. they may change when VMs get de-provisioned or the Azure fabric needs to move your VMs to another host, e.g. due to hardware failure.

What you can do now with the latest release of the Azure PowerShell Cmdlets is to convert existing dynamic VIP to reserved IP addresses. Doing so will take the current cloud service VIP from the data center’s general IP address pool and assign it specifically as a reserved IP to your Azure subscription. The IP will remain associated with the cloud service deployment, but can also be used for other deployments in your subscription, as we will see in this post.

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Assign Public IP Addresses to your Azure VMs

One of the great new Azure features announced at TechEd 2014 in Houston is the capability of assigning public IP addresses directly to VMs on an instance-level. As these IP addresses are public (that’s why they’re also called PIP) they allow you to access your VMs directly from outside the datacenter, without having to define any endpoints on the virtual IP address (VIP) of the corresponding cloud service.

This can be handy for example if you need to access your Azure VMs via RDP from your corporate environment and your firewall admin has blocked ports other than the ‘mainstream’ ones (80, 443, 3389, …). If you have deployed multiple VMs in a single cloud service, the Azure load balancer provides port forwarding to those VMs from random high ports to port 3389 internally. If your firewall blocks those high ports you’re stuck. PIPs to the rescue! This post will describe what it takes to create a PIP for a VM and how to avoid common pitfalls.

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