As a company expands, the number of computers and devices on the network continue to pile. This rapid growth of network users can cause problems for the administrator trying to manage the IP address of all devices, hence the need for a solution. Although it can be feasible for small businesses to manage the IP addresses using a spreadsheet manually, this method doesn’t provide a comprehensive solution.
An Internet Protocol Address Management (IPAM) software is a tool that enables end-to-end planning, deploying, monitoring, and managing IP address infrastructure used in a network. The software automates and simplifies most of the tasks of managing IP addresses, and it puts it all in a rich and easy-to-use interface. Here’s what you need to know about IPAM software.
Responsibility of an IPAM tool
The role of an IP address management software is to discover and provide visibility of IP address infrastructure servers and domain name system servers on your network. It then provides a way to help you manage the IP address space. With it, network managers can easily tell the availability or the status of an IP address in a network.
The tool works out the IP address spaces that exist and ensures the spaces are utilized better across subnets. The software can tell the subnets being used, their size, and who is using them. It also ascertains the default router each network device is using, the hostname of every IP address, and the exact type of device associated with each IP address.
Although the primary functions are similar, some IPAM tools have features that differ. The components of each software depend on what it was specifically built to address. The basic features and properties of an IPAM tool include a dashboard to help you interact with the software, a hierarchical representation of the network, end-to-end IP details, administrative controls, active directory integration, alert system to notify the user of any action, and custom application monitoring.
Why IPAM is necessary for your organization
If you are wondering whether an IPAM solution is truly necessary, here’s why you may need it. First, it is essential for network health. With this software, you can quickly figure out which device is using a particular IP address, and when it was assigned. This will help you to prevent IP address conflict, resolve outages, and track any infrastructure abuse. It can also identify unusual network patterns and protect your infrastructure from being breached.
Using an IPAM tool can be necessary for regulatory and legal compliance, as it can accurately tell the source of any compliance issue that emerges. It is also beneficial whenever you want to enforce internal policies. For example, the tool can be used by the network access control (NAC) system to deny intruders access if the computers they are using don’t have security a pre-set security threshold.
IPAM software is instrumental in planning the capacity of a network. Without proper monitoring of address spaces, you could potentially run out of IP addresses. This can prevent you from adding more users and stall your business. Transitioning from IPv4 to IPv6 can be made easier by an IPAM software as it can track resources with ease.
IPv6 addresses use a 128-bit address scheme, which is complex to track, unlike a 32-bit IPv4 address that an administrator can remember. Also, all data collected by the tool, including details on devices, networks, histories, and services can be converted into valuable information that can be used for planning.
There is no doubt that IP address monitoring can benefit your organization in many ways. When selecting an IPAM software, ensure it aligns with your company’s needs, it’s easy to use, it’s cost-efficient and easy to integrate into your existing network infrastructure.