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How to assign a fixed external ip to a vm?

I'm trying to get to grips with the differences between openstack and vMware which I am used to. I can't seem to get my head around the idea of the floating ip pool concept.

(bearing in mind I do not control my network, dns servers, etc.)

On vMware if I want to host a web server on a vm, I would create the vm, get the victual MAC address of the virtual nic (internet facing) and forward that to the network guys and they register it on their dns and dhcp server with the desired host name.

Is there an equivalent way of doing this under openstack? I don't really have a pool of ip's set aside and even then how is the vm's host name tied to whichever floating IP it picks up?

Sorry if that is unclear.