This article details how to set a primary IP address on windows Server 2012 (as well as Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7). The primary IP address is the IP address windows uses as the source address for outbound traffic.
Often our customers need to ensure that outgoing communications from a server that has more than a single public IPv4 address assigned to the publicly accessible network card to come from a certain IP address. For example sometimes they need to communicate with web services or indeed with external databases and the far end of the connection needs to put allow a certain IP through their firewall. This is especially important if they can only specify a single IP address.
Back in the days of Windows 2000 & 2003 setting the primary IP (the IP used by the server for outgoing communications) was as simple as ensuring that it was the first one assigned to the interface in the control panel networking applet but since Windows 2008 R2 this has changed.
In a nutshell this often means that Windows selects the lowest IP address for the source IP. For more information on IPv4 source address selection see this Knowledge base article: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/969029
In many cases you don’t need to worry about which IPv4 address Windows is selecting as source but if you do there is unfortunately no GUI based checkbox next to the IP to say “Use this as Source” or “Don’t use this as source”. To force Windows to use a specific IP address you will need to manually remove all the IP addresses on the server, then add each one again with…
netsh int ipv4 add address
For example to ensure that 22.214.171.124/24 is selected as the source use…
<netsh int ipv4 add address "WAN" 126.96.36.199 255.255.255.0> <netsh int ipv4 add address "WAN" 188.8.131.52 255.255.255.0 skipassource=true> <netsh int ipv4 add address "WAN" 184.108.40.206 255.255.255.0 skipassource=true> <netsh int ipv4 add address "WAN" 220.127.116.11 255.255.255.0 skipassource=true>
You should now have 18.104.22.168/24 set as the primary IP address for your server.
Important note: If you are using the public IP address to communicate with your server then be careful not to remove the IP address you are using. If possible use a DRAC or other remote access connection. With any Secura Hosting Ltd dedicated or cloud server there are always other ways to access a server rather than using RDP via the public network.
For Windows 2008 R2 (and Windows 7) Microsoft released a hotfix which may need applying… You will need to apply the hotfix, remove the additional IP addresses and add them back as detailed above.
John is Operations Director at Secura and a Windows Server expert. Before all things IIS related, he was also a champion powerlifter.
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