Managing Stations with Multiple MAC Addresses
May 18, 2023 | Data
Learn how to manage stations with multiple MAC addresses in LabStats.
LabStats identifies and tracks stations using the MAC Address. In most cases, a MAC Address is unique to the machine that uses it, and since it is a physical part of the motherboard, it cannot change under normal circumstances. This makes it the best identifying value for us to use.
However, some stations may have multiple MAC Addresses. This might include laptops, wireless-capable desktops, or computers with local VMs. These may result in duplicate stations in your LabStats data set.
To prevent duplicate stations, consider the Machine ID settings in LabStats
- Hostnames are Unique
- Serial Numbers are Unique
These settings work by adding their respective identifier as a secondary value to the machine identification process. LabStats will still look at the MAC Address first when a station checks in, but if it does not find a match, it will then look for a matching hostname or serial number. If it finds one, it will add the MAC Address to the station so that data goes where it should in the future.
You can’t use both settings, so you’ll have to determine which setting you wish to use. Hostnames do change on occasion, which can sometimes cause confusion with new check-ins, while serial numbers are pretty static. For this reason, we typically recommend choosing the “serial numbers are unique” setting if you want a more set-it-and-forget-it option.
If you already have duplicates, they’ll need to be merged into a single station with multiple MAC Addresses.
You can use the deduplication tool or the decommission and deletion methods to do this. Deduplication will merge stations into a single record with an unbroken history. It will match stations by hostname, so it just takes a few clicks.
Related: How to Resolve Duplicate Stations
If you have one of the Machine ID settings active, you could decommission or delete the stations and let them check back in naturally. The Machine ID setting you’ve chosen will merge them for you.
You can use the Ignored MAC Address list to block any MAC Addresses that you do not want checking in.
Related: Overview of Station Info in LabStats
Have a question?
Reach out to our support team or browse the knowledge base to learn more about managing stations with multiple MAC addresses at your institution.