We are currently living in an IP dependent world where IPAM (IP Address Management) has become an inevitable part of network management. Within the span of two short decades, IP has become the lingua franca of virtually all interconnected technology. Network growth and complexity is skyrocketing. Before the explosion of IP-connected devices, IPAM network typically grew with the number of connected users. However, now networks must scale three to five times for each employee based on the number of IP devices we use to do our work. This means the challenge of managing and securing endpoints has also become much arduous.Without a doubt, the synergy that comes from greater connectivity also creates greater challenges if you’re an IT or security manager.
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IP Address Management (IPAM) refers to a method of IP scanning, IP address tracking and managing the information associated with a network's Internet Protocol address space and IPAM system. With IPAM software and IP tools, administrators can ensure that the inventory of assignable IP addresses remains current and sufficient with advanced IP tools and IPAM services. IPAM simplifies and automates the administration of many tasks involved in IP space management, including writing DNS records and configuring DHCP settings. Additional functionality, such as controlling reservations in DHCP as well as other data aggregation and reporting capability, is also common with network IPAM.
It is not recommended to use spreadsheets to perform IP management duties, no matter the size of the address pool. This method is not only time-consuming to maintain, but increasingly prone to human error, which can result in erroneous configurations in your network. With the proliferation of non-traditional connected devices such as IoT and BYOD, free IPAM is required more than ever. Non adopters risk losing control of their allocation and introduce bottlenecks which could have catastrophic effects on their network and wider business. An IPAM solution lets administrators keep up-to-date records of IP assignments and available addresses. Records might include:
There are five main reasons why IPAM server is necessary for an organization:
IPAM in networking is the management of DNS and DHCP servers along with the network IP address space. IPAM automatically discovers IPAM network's IP infrastructure, IP address assignments, IP subnets, and can perform IP address resolutions with DNS servers in the IPAM network.
If you're unable to track your address space accurately, then you could probably run out of IP addresses. This would forestall you from simply adding new subscribers and would limit your ability to grow your business. The more IP's you have, the more management of IP is required, and the better will be the growth of your organisation.
IPAM has become important since the introduction of the newIPv6. An IPv6 uses a 128-bit address, whereas IPv4 follows a 32-bit address scheme. The added complexity of IPv6 means that while an administrator may have once been able to remember an IPv4 address, an IPAM tool is necessary to track all the IPv6 resources. Also, an IPAM solution allows you to catalogue your IPv4 network resources, as well as IPv6 address space.
A system for organizing IP address space is important because there are only a finite number of IP resources available and these cost money. If you have no IPAM network system to track and manage your IP addresses, issues like IP conflicts will cause serious problems for users. IPAM solutions makes managing the available resources a piece of cake job.
IP address management solution has the ability to collect data associated with devices, networks, services and then convert them into a clear picture. IPAM allows users to associate information for all objects in a database so administrators can search, sort and export based on any data.
Network administrators are interested in the IP address space and the resource assigned to each IP address. With IPAM, an administrator can get the meta-information related to a resource such as hostname, device type, physical location, etc from his own location with leisure. Alerts are sent at necessary times and reports with needed information can also be generated easily.
With a myriad of IPAM solutions available on the market, network admins need to carefully choose IPAM software that enables effective IP address space monitoring and management. However, identifying the right tools for your IT infrastructure can be confusing given that most tools offering similar IPAM capabilities. So, what makes an IPAM solution stand out from the rest?
Solutions that continually improve and scale with efficiency to adapt to the changing networking landscape help modern IT infrastructures stay ahead of address space issues. Some of the capabilities that make advanced IPAM possible include:
IPAM software should be able to manage IPv4 and IPv6 addresses in tandem without any additional requirements. It should support various subnetting techniques, such as /32 subnets, and should also allow subnet grouping and group utilization tracking.
Modern networks that are distributed across remote sites and data centers rely on route aggregation to improve network communication efficiency. Supernet monitoring thus becomes a critical IPAM aspect. IPAM software should be able to discover, track, and monitor IP supernets and their associated subnets.
IP address conflicts can cause havoc in your network when left unmonitored. Deploying an IPAM solution that not only detects an IP conflict but also aids in inspecting details such as the MACs causing the conflict, their DNS status, and location is the need of the hour. These solutions enable you to quickly discover, diagnose, and fix an IP conflict before it can cascade into a costly network issue.
Multiple IT operators who provision IPs in their network require access to IP addresses to carry out their day-to-day tasks. They gain access by raising an IP request to the IT admins through channels such as emails or chats, or through other modes of communication. This can lead to disparity between the different IP requests raised and can be difficult to keep track of, which makes it important for organizations to deploy IPAM software that offers built-in IP request creation, tracking, and management.
Another problem that arises with multiple IT operators and admins managing your IP address space is their exposure to unauthorized data and controls. Implementing an IPAM solution with role-based access controls ensures that your IT team has enough information and control to carry out their tasks and not be exposed to any unauthorized data. This enables you to secure your IP address space from unauthorized access.
The risks associated with inefficiently managed IP networks include network downtime, lost revenues, dissatisfied customers, and network security and access problems. Improper IP address management causes massive server outage, mass confusion, productivity loss and delays in deployment. A proper IPAM solution must be capable of doing the following:
Your IP Management tool should support,
1.Ease of use :
The first factor you would like to consider is the ease of use. If the system is easy to use then task performance is probably going to become faster and a lot more efficient.
2.Ease of integration:
The second things you would like to consider is the ease of integration with your current network systems (eg: NMS, DNS, and DHCP). If the systems don't seem to be properly synchronized, errors are likely to happen.
Lastly, the cost is also a noteworthy consideration. You will be able to choose high end dedicated appliances or free open source systems. It is also important to note that the more you pay the less training and maintenance you've to do.
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IP addresses form the basis of network communication. IP address management enables network administrators to stay informed about their IP address space utilization and availability metrics. Monitoring the IPs in real time with advanced IP address scanning and tracking solutions helps network admins to:
IP address management software scans various network components including routers, using different network scanning protocols. The scan results returned contain insights into the network's IP address space which in turn enables effective IP address space management action such as:
With the cost of windows IPAM so low and the stakes so high for technology dependent organisations can a business really afford not to be using it? So, keeping all of these advantages of OpUtils in mind, why not try the free demo or download a free edition and take advantage of all that the ManageEngine OpUtils has to offer?