Best Practices

IP Address Management (IPAM)

IP Address Management tools are designed to provide a deep level of visibility in the IP space while automating common IP space management tasks such as discovery and inventory.

What is IP Address Management?

Managing IP addresses is one of the most complex and critical tasks of network administration. IP address management (IPAM) includes the assignment and documentation of IP addresses using IPv4 or IPv6 prefixes, dynamic addresses using DHCP, and name-to-address lookups using DNS services. On TCP/IP networks, every network node is identified by a unique IP address.

Manually documenting IP address assignment using spreadsheets is a lengthy process that is often prone to errors. Mistakenly assigning an IP address already in use to another device prevents that device from functioning. Incorrect IP address assignment on subnet and VLANs devices prevents needed communication between network segments.

The complexity of today’s IT environment has increased with the addition of newer devices including laptops, IP phones, and virtual machines. Knowing which IP addresses are in use at any one time is vital to efficient network management. Accurate IP address assignment boosts network reliability and performance, prevents problems in network communication, and helps detect unauthorized network access or external attacks. IP Address Management (IPAM) software that assists in allocating and planning for IP addresses helps simplify the task involved in managing your network IP space.

Best Practices for IPAM

Captured below are the key areas a good IPAM solution should effectively cover. Focusing on these areas when evaluating IPAM products will ensure you select an enterprise-ready IPAM solution that suits your needs both today and tomorrow.

Automated Scanning

Up-to-date visibility requires error-free, automated discovery & inventory of all or part of the IP space on a customized interval that best
suits the granular needs of each subnet.

Proactive Alerting

The IP space and its supportive subnets are dynamic. Rollouts and expansions, can cause a subnet scope to fill unexpectedly. It’s essential the administrator be alerted to IP space events such as DHCP scope exhaustion.

Reporting

Out-of-the-box reports should include  Managed IP Addresses, Available IP Addresses, Duplicate IP Addresses,  and DHCP Leases.

IPv6 Support

IPv6 adds a new layer of complexity to the IP space. Support for IPv6 allows you to know which devices are dual stack capable and where IPv6 is
deployed on your network.

Historical Tracking

Correlating IP addresses with MAC addresses and hostnames enables an administrator to understand how certain properties have changed retrospectively.

IPAM with WhatsUp Gold

WhatsUp IP Address Manager delivers IT management solutions for streamlining IP address management by automatically discovering and classifying your devices. Automating IP address assignment saves you time and reduces the errors associated with manual documentation. WhatsUp IP Address Manager’s automated scanning delivers real-time identification of dynamic and static IP address assignments. This up-to-date visibility reduces conflicts due to IP address duplicates across subnets. The WhatsUp IP Address manager subnet calculator helps you organize your IP space into subnets.

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