We live in an IP-centric world. The explosion of IP addresses is being driven by increases in connected devices, apps, and mobility. The outcome is unmanageable network complexity, which is being magnified by IPv6 coexistence and multi-cloud. Network managers are consequently asking themselves: “how can I control my IP network if I can’t control IP resource allocation, access & routing?” Their top priority for the management of their networks has now become clear: simplification, driven by automation. This is achieved by implementing modern IP address management best practices.
Modern IPAM Best Practices: Automation, Enhanced Control, and Efficiency
Two major factors contribute to the simplicity of modern network management: visibility and automation. Being a cornerstone of IP networks, a modern IPAM solution can help with both these factors, so it’s always advisable to integrate IPAM into any network and cloud automation project.
IP and DNS are the foundations of network infrastructures. They ensure hostname visibility and host connection while providing an IP routing structure for application access routing. If they are not functioning correctly, connectivity between all components of the network cannot be guaranteed, meaning some of your apps may be unreachable.
IPAM, being at the core of DDI (DNS-DHCP-IPAM), is the base for efficient management of networks. It controls deployment, design, and capacity planning. With an advanced IPAM solution, you’ll get a holistic view of IP resources across your entire hybrid infrastructure, giving you your first line of security and control over your network. And when you throw in automation, massive time savings follow. An automated DDI solution integrated to the orchestration process significantly reduces the number of manual tasks required to be performed by network administrators. The end result is accelerated roll-out of new services and apps, particularly in cloud environments. You can achieve all of this, while at the same time ensuring corporate policies are enforced, and configuration errors eliminated.
IPAM Use Cases
An example of how incorporating automated DDI into the orchestration process helps roll out services easier and faster would be a retailer creating new stores in it’s IT infrastructure – a task easily handled thanks to IPAM. This would be accomplished through the implementation of specific templates. Having a centralized management platform makes life easier for administrators and also helps maintain consistency of the distributed networks thanks to high-performance data synchronization capabilities, allowing the management of a multitude of remote DNS/DHCP appliances all around the world.
The IoT space offers another example of the important impact of IPAM in networking. Imagine an unregistered device being able to connect to the network, perhaps from an unknown location. This could severely affect performance, or worse still, imply an important security risk. Effective control of IP addresses prevents this happening from two angles: first, by having visibility of all devices which connect to the network, and second by enforcement of company policies over IP management.
IPAM Best Practices
In order to make your network as flexible, secure, reliable and responsive as possible, simple IP Address Management best practices should be followed. Here are five of the top IPAM best practices we recommend:
- Maintain centralized, unified and automated IP Address Management services for holistic visibility, overall consistency control, and lightning-fast services
- Determine an IP plan structure and naming strategy based on business needs for operational efficiency and scalability
- Define corporate standards and enforce assignment policies to streamline and simplify deployment processes
- Optimize IP space fragmentation for network scalability, agility and routing performance
- Start planning IPv6 transition now
Over time, IP addressing environments have become very complex to manage, while at the same time becoming absolutely mission-critical. IPAM – indeed DDI – is the key for networks to be able to ensure accessibility, security and performance. Organizations today are only as agile as their IP infrastructure foundation, so the top three key suggestions for efficient management of your network are obvious: simplify, simplify and simplify. If you’d like to learn more, download our IPAM best practices white paper or reach out to us about implementing an IPAM strategy for your enterprise or organization.
To discover the full list of ten recommendations with more complete details, download the white paperIP Address Management Best Practices