This blog contains important information about KMS IP addresses changes that may impact Windows Virtual machine activations for Azure China Cloud customers who configured custom routes or firewall rules to allow KMS IP addresses.
Who will be affected?
On September 19, 2022, we announced a new KMS DNS, azkms.core.chinacloudapi.cn and two new KMS IP addresses, 220.127.116.11and 18.104.22.168, in Azure China Cloud via Azure Update - Generally available: New KMS DNS in Azure China Cloud. We expect that most Azure Windows Virtual Machine customers in Azure China Cloud will not be impacted. However, Azure China Cloud customers who have followed trouble-shooting guides, like the ones listed below, to configure custom routes or firewall rules that allow Windows VMs to reach KMS DNS and IP addresses in the past, must take actions to include the new DNS azkms.core.chinacloudapi.cn and the new KMS IP addresses, 22.214.171.124and 126.96.36.199. Otherwise, after December 15th, 2022, your Windows Virtual Machines will report warnings of failing to reach Windows Licensing Servers for activation.
As explained in Generally available: New KMS DNS in Azure China Cloud, after December 15th, 2022, most Windows Virtual Machines in Azure China Cloud will rely on new azkms.core.chinacloudapi.cn for Windows Activation. azkms.core.chinacloudapi.cn will point to two new IP addresses 188.8.131.52and 184.108.40.206.
When failing to connect to KMS server for activation, Azure Windows Virtual Machines report warnings like the following -
“We can't activate Windows on this device as we can't connect to your organization's activation server. Make sure you're connected to your organization's network and try again. If you continue having problems with activation, contact your organization's support person. Error code: 0xC004F074.”
As explained in Key Management Services (KMS) activation planning, “KMS activations are valid for 180 days, a period known as the activation validity interval. KMS clients must renew their activation by connecting to the KMS host at least once every 180 days to stay activated. By default, KMS client computers attempt to renew their activation every seven days. After a client's activation is renewed, the activation validity interval begins again”. Within the 180-day KMS activate validity interval, customers can still access the full functionality of the Windows virtual machine. Customers should fix activation issues during the 180-day KMS activation validity interval.
If the connections are successful, no more action is needed.
If the connection(s) fails, you need to go to the “Action required” section.
After December 15th, 2022, 2022, most Azure Windows Virtual Machines will rely on two new KMS IP addresses 220.127.116.11 and 18.104.22.168 for Windows Activation, when new DNS azkms.core.chinacloudapi.cn is rolled out in Azure China Cloud.
After March 1st, 2023, all Azure Windows Virtual Machines will rely on two new KMS IP addresses 22.214.171.124 and 126.96.36.199 for Windows Activation, when kms.core.chinacloudapi.cn points to 188.8.131.52 and 184.108.40.206 in Azure China Cloud.