The case for IPAM…
IP address management is difficult! But every IT department has a responsibility to manage it and for good reason. Risks of duplicate IP addresses leading to service outages and time spent identifying available IP addresses for provisioning new devices are just some concerns. If you are still using spreadsheets or pinging addresses until you find a free IP address, you need to strongly consider adopting an IPAM system. In this blog, we will discuss what an IPAM system is and the use cases behind why you need it.
So, what is IPAM?
IPAM stands for Internet Protocol Address Management (or simply IP Address Management) and it is a tool for performing IP scanning, IP address tracking, and managing the allocation of IP addresses. Using an IPAM system, administrators can effectively manage their organization’s IP address space. An IPAM system can also be integrated with DNS and DHCP creating what is known as a DDI (integration of DNS, DHCP, and IPAM). An IPAM system alone can certainly benefit your organization, but total integration of IPAM with DNS and DHCP takes network management to the next level!
Benefits of an IPAM system
There are many benefits of deploying an IPAM system – here are three:
- Centralized Inventory – An inventory of what? An IPAM system provides a centralized inventory of networks and subnets, assigned and unassigned IP addresses, IP address status, hostnames associated with IP addresses, available IP address space, size of subnets, etc. Talk about visibility!
- Ease of Administration – Who does not like easy? The automation of IP address assignment either through GUI (self-service portal) or scripting is now possible. Delegation of IP address management to multiple teams/departments. Built-in reporting. Yeah, that makes things easier!
- Reliability, Reliability, Reliability – Did I say it is more reliable? Well, it is! Helping to ensure you avoid duplicate IP address assignments and prevent overlapping subnets that can lead to service outages does make things a bit more reliable, right? Right!
Choosing an IPAM system
This decision will vary from organization to organization based on requirements. Such requirements include but are not necessarily limited to – size of organization, size of network, number of devices on network, integration with DNS and DHCP. One piece of advice – evaluate! There are many IPAM systems available, and a thorough evaluation should be performed to determine which will meet the organization’s needs.