IP address management or IPAM has advanced greatly in the last two decades. IPAM was once just a set of simple configuration tasks, but now even modest networks require sophisticated network management delivered through robust IP address management software. With that, best practices for IPAM have changed greatly and become more demanding.
Centralized Databases for Address Space
One of the great challenges network administrators face is allocating for the storage space that will be required by both public and private IPv4 and IPv6 addresses. The old approach of oversizing each subnet usually isn’t feasible, so the modern solution is a centralized database that can be used to track addresses through ip address management software. The greatest benefit here freeing up space when available and only allocating the precise amount of space required at any given time.
Recording Allocations and Assignments
Other crucial best practices that are facilitated by IP address management software is the rigorous recording of IP subnet allocations as well as IP address assignments. IPAM software allows an administrator to institute a control process for allocations and assignments. A control process reduces the risk of duplicate or extraneous allocations and assignments.
Minimizing Routing Overhead
Routing overhead is a problem that can waste system resources if not kept in check. IP address management software can help administrators minimize that overhead. This is made possible by tracking allocations to ensure that they’re consistent with the network topology model as well as security and IP management policies. Exceptions can be identified and dealt with, and when necessary, those exceptions can be accounted for in a structured manner that minimizes resource usage.
Consistency Through Standards
IP address management software can also help network administrators achieve consistent subnet addressing. Administrators can implement allocation policies or standards. When possible, the system can configure allocations according to these parameters using templates, and when an allocation is outside established parameters, the allocation can be blocked, administration can be notified or some other action can be taken. A consistent approach like this makes IP management much easier because all addresses will be located in their relevant block regardless of department or other characteristics.
Associating Additional Information with IP Addresses
Knowing what device occupies an address of a particular subnet is essential, but there are often many other attributes that must be tracked as well. Traditionally, these attributes were tracked in another database, which then required cross-referencing. That introduces a number of inefficiencies. With modern IPAM software, an administrator can track devices that have multiple interface cards and thus multiple IP addresses and have all of that information associated with a single device. Other trackable data includes device type, contact information, switch port, resource records and so forth.