Determining if ICE is running in a Virtual Machine from the reported MAC address

While ICE will run perfectly well in a VM (Virtual Machine), with one rather important caveat.

Most VM hosting software, when they detect that the VM has been moved or copied, they will change the MAC address associated with the virtual adapters in that VM.  This is to prevent a MAC address collision (a bad thing) if two copies of the same VM are run simultaneously.

However with ICE and IDM, MAC address is a fundamental part of how ICE authenticates to IDM, so when the MAC changes, reporting stops, and when we investigate, we see that the MAC has changed, necessitating removal of the license and reactivation. But typically it is possible to set a MAC address to be persistent in the hosting software, this will keep the VM MAC even during moves/copies, with the end result that ICE/IDM licensing will not be broken.  How to accomplish this is typically well documented for the specific hosting application and typically a web search will turn up a result.

Usually the best way to determine if the customer will be running ICE in a VM is to ask, or put the question into the site survey, and if the indication is they will, make them aware of the above limitation.

But, if you're looking at a stale site, and the customer has been slow getting back to you, you can feed the MAC address into a MAC/OUI lookup tool.

While not endorsing the site, the following examples were retrieve from Arul's Utilities (aruljohn.com/mac.pl).

Typically the first three elements of the MAC will identify the Vendor:

mac1.png 10.42 KB


Of these 00:50:56 seems to show up most prevalently on sites in IDM.
Another notable VM hosting solution provider is Microsoft:

mac2.png 39.94 KB


These are just the two most common, but others exist, for example VIrtualBox which is currently owned by Oracle:

mac3.png 29.93 KB


If you are looking at a MAC address for a site that conforms to a VM solution providers MAC range, it's a very very good possibility that ICE is running in a VM.

Another indication, if a MAC address doesn't come back with an associated vendor, like FF:FF:FF. VM hosting applications default to the MAC range that the vendor has selected for them, but typically they will accept any valid MAC address.  This may be an indication that a VM is in use, in this case it's probably better not to assume however and follow up directly with the customer.

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