11:32 26 March 2021
IPAM is a term that refers to the planning, tracking, and managing of IP addresses.
When a business utilizes IPAM solutions, it helps with the simplification and automation of related tasks, including writing DNS records, as well as configuring DHCP settings.
The following are 7 key things to know about IP address management.
Whether you’re using a personal network or you’re managing one that’s enterprise-sized, it relies on IP addresses to communicate. When your device is connected to a network, it’s depending on the IP address.
With cloud computing and IoT coming to the forefront, there has been a substantial increase in the demand for IP address space.
It’s challenging to manage hundreds or even thousands of connected devices, and especially with DHCP leasing, which means you have to always keep track of what IP address is assigned to which device.
Before there were so many IP-connected devices, an IPAM network would usually grow according to the number of users who were connected. Now, networks have to scale as much as five times for every employee based on the number of IP devices used.
That, in turn, creates challenges as far as endpoint security.
Some organizations use spreadsheets as a means of IP management, which is not advisable under any circumstances.
When you use spreadsheets as an IPAM alternative, it’s time-consuming and prone to error. That can mean then that those errors affect network configurations.
It’s also more challenging to manage IP addresses with non-traditional devices being connected.
With a true IPAM solution, your administrators can keep records up-to-date with IP assignments and have centralized visibility of available addresses.
The records can include both free and assigned space, size and users of subnets, and IP address statuses. IPAM also integrates the hostname associated with all IP addresses and the hardware.
If your organization doesn’t yet have an IPAM solution, you may be wondering if it’s really necessary.
The answer is yes.
First, you need an IPAM solution for capacity planning. If you can’t track address space, then you could run out of IP addresses, which could impact continuity and the ability to grow your business. The more IPs you have, the more pressing it is that you have an IPAM solution.
You also need a modernized and streamlined way to organize IP address space because you have a limited number of resources available. Without a way to manage them, you could end up with problems for your users stemming from factors like IP conflicts.
With IPAM, you can collect data that’s associated with your networks and devices and use it for decision-making.
While the upsides of an IPAM solution are featured above, what are the potential risks of not having one?
First, you’re going to lose out on the benefits of report generation and alerting. You may also face a number of performance issues. Your ability to manage busy operations will decline.
So how do you know what a good IPAM solution will be for your organization?
There are key features to be on the lookout for.
First, look for easy administration. That will give you more visibility over your IP resources and allow you to adequately delegate address space.
You should look for an IPAM solution prioritizing reliability and fast troubleshooting, and you want a solution that reduces complexity.
Easy integration is another consideration. It needs to integrate with your current network systems to avoid downtime and errors.
Finally, the issue of security has been touched on briefly above, but with it being such an essential priority for all businesses, it’s worth mentioning on its own when talking about IPAM.
An IPAM system helps you identify possible breaches faster and more easily. You can receive information about the devices potentially affected, and IPAM systems are also important for compliance.
For example, you can enforce your internal policies more effectively with IPAM systems in place.
If you’re in an industry with regulations requiring the maintenance of logs, then an IPAM system can help generate these system logs.