What is IPAM?
IP Address Management (IPAM) provides organizations with an efficient and automated way to manage large numbers of IP addresses. Today’s networks are exploding with connected devices, many of which are mobile, and require IP addresses on a non-permanent basis.
Each device must be assigned a unique IP address within an appropriate subnet, and any error can result to outage of critical assets.
In the past, management of IP addresses was done manually and tracked using spreadsheets. This was time consuming, error prone, and simply not scalable. Today it is understood that any network with over 250 devices or users which assigns IP addresses dynamically - any mid-to-large enterprise network - must use an automated IPAM system.
What is a DDI Solution?
IPAM is closely related to, and often packaged with, two other critical network technologies.
Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP)
A DHCP server automatically assigns IP addresses to assets in a network, ensuring IP addresses are unique and assigning an appropriate subnet mask. DHCP servers are built into many network devices and routers. They are also commonly offered together with IPAM systems.
Domain Name System (DNS)
The fundamental addressing mechanism of the Internet, also used heavily within corporate networks, to assign human-readable web addresses and translate them back to machine-readable IP addresses. Large corporate networks operate a network of Authoritative Name Servers and Recursive DNS Servers, to ensure web browsers and devices within the network are able to locate and communicate with each other.
DNS, DHCP and IPAM
Modern IPAM systems are commonly offered together with DHCP and DNS. This is known as a DDI solution (DDI stands for DNS, DHCP and IPAM), which has all three technologies built in and pre-integrated. DDI solutions provide a one-stop-shop for managing network addresses, saving administrators the considerable burden of setting up and configuring DHCP and DNS infrastructure.
DDI is most commonly purchased as a network appliance, which can be deployed in several locations across the corporate network and take over all network addressing functions. There are also software based solutions.
Basic DDI capabilities include:
- Automated IP and DNS management
- IPv4 and IPv6 support
- Broad compatibility with network devices, protocols and software components
- Scalability, high availability, disaster recovery
- Central admin interface for IP and DNS infrastructure across the enterprise
- Monitoring, alerting, and compliance auditing
An Application-Centric Solution for DNS, DHCP and IP Address Management
Infrastructure teams can no longer function as the gatekeepers of change in highly dynamic environments. They need to be enablers of change, giving autonomous application teams the freedom to code, test and deploy when and where they need to, without risk to other IT services.Download the White Paper
Challenges of IPAM Solutions in Modern Deployment Scenarios
Multi cloud is growing in popularity as a way to prevent vendor lock-in, improve performance and flexibility, and reduce costs on the public cloud. When using IPAM in a multi cloud environment, several problems may arise
Due to IPAM’s architecture, it must be deployed within one cloud. Failure of that cloud takes down IPAM and by extension, makes all multi cloud applications unavailable.
IPAM must be deployed in inside the multi cloud, rather than sitting “in front of” multi cloud applications. This means users connecting to an application are very often rerouted to another cloud, causing latency issues.
IPAM does not have information about performance or other characteristics of each cloud, so it cannot route users to the most appropriate cloud