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IP address management (IPAM) is the task of planning, tracking and managing the utilisation of IP address ranges in networks of a typically large size. ISPs and large-scale enterprises are faced with the complex challenges associated with managing their IP spaces optimally and securely on a daily basis.

Functions such as IP reservation controlling, advanced IP tracking and reporting on utilisation trends make IP address management tools an attractive investment for engineers and managers who cannot afford to waste hours and costly resources on performing management and associated administrative functions by means of manual processes.With the advent of IP version 6, IPAM tools are increasingly important to ensure the management of considerably larger address pools, different subnetting techniques and more complex IP structures to that of version 4 addresses. IP address management saddles you and your team with administrative overheads that are cumbersome, time-consuming and may also prove to be error-prone.

An IPAM tool removes traditional obstacles to effective IP management by removing much of the manual processes involved and gives network engineers valuable perspectives on IP consumption trends, IP-related and other network issues, and closes security loopholes that may otherwise have gone unnoticed. Centralised visibility of large-scale networks are essential to the effective management of such environments and IP address management tools aids NOCs (Network Operations Centres) in keeping network management as simple as such a complex and varied task can be.

Here are some benefits to using an IP address management tool:

  • Improved DHCP and DNS management.
  • Centralised administration of very large IP spaces.
  • Around-the-clock IP consumption monitoring and management.
  • Useful preventative monitoring and alerting.
  • Insight to IP utilisation that aids in better planning and expansion.
  • Customisable inventory view allowing for granular monitoring and reporting.
  • Faster detection of IP conflicts for quick resolution.
  • Access control IP utilisation according to requirements (operational or security).
  • Much simpler auditing process that removes administrative burden.
  • Effective device and user tracking.

IP address management tools make it simple

IT reporting typically involves sifting through countless logs that generate volumes of information over short spans of time. For IT managers, reporting that aids in bringing technical information across in a more palatable manner aids in bringing upper management onto the same page. IP address management tools give IT executives that ‘translation tool’ that bridges the communication divide and paints a clear picture of network metrics to the non-technical manager and employee.

ISP and enterprise networks are ‘borderless’ and typically span vast geographical areas that include thousands of devices, each requiring a valid and unique IP address for successful connectivity. The sheer scale of the administrative task involved in IP address management can easily overwhelm, and take out a valuable human resource dedicated to the task.

The investment in a comprehensive and robust management tool will result in better resource utilisation both in terms of human capital and IP addresses.

Image credit: Pixabay

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