The Men & Mice Blog

Dipping into Azure DNS with Men & Mice DDI solutions

Posted by Men & Mice on 3/8/16 3:13 PM

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It’s snowing. Still. One could be excused for dreaming of azure blue skies scattered across azure blue oceans. Instead, the Men & Mice team is making do with a whole other Azure - Microsoft’s nifty cloud platform.

Though Microsoft’s Azure doesn’t come with cocktails on the beach, it definitely brings another dimension to the world of IT. And who are we to say no to that?

Not everyone is ready to ‘go’ cloud. Some organizations that host specifically sensitive data, such as in healthcare, for instance, are somewhat more reluctant to take the leap. Many others dive in wholeheartedly, making large parts of their operations, or even their entire enterprise, -aaS compatible by adopting platform as a service (PaaS), software as a service (SaaS) or transforming their servers, storage and networking into infrastructure as a service (IaaS). 

The saying goes that there’s more than one way to skin a cat, and there’s certainly more than one way to go cloud. The most basic division is private and public, basically meaning you want to keep yourself to yourself in a private cloud (on-premise, hosted or both) or you don’t mind sharing infrastructure in a public cloud. And for those who don’t want to limit themselves to one or the other and prefer to use a mix of on-premise, virtual private and public options, there’s the hybrid cloud, straddling the best of both worlds. 

Under all the private, public, virtual and on-premise versions of all the -aaS, there is a vast variety of applications, services, software and hardware offered by a large number of vendors. If you were to put your computing snorkel on and break the surface of this world of the cloud, there’s sure to be an array of IT wonders to be tried, tested and discovered – if you are that way inclined.

Even so, not everyone is blown away by the cloud – its beginnings can best be described as rather tentative – and not everyone is ready to jump on board. Yet there’s no denying that both business operations and IT business solutions are drifting towards the cloud at great speed. IDC, the market research company, projects growth in public and private cloud storage to go from 29% of the total market in 2014 to 60% by 2019. Carla Arend, IDC’s Program Director for European Storage and Cloud Research, was recently quoted as saying that “85% of new enterprise applications are developed for the cloud, while legacy applications are gradually migrating to cloud-hosted virtual machines and/or containers.”

We at Men & Mice are not here to tell our customers whether they should go cloud, or, if they do, which degree or combination of cloud-hosting they should choose. We do, however, feel our customers should have the freedom to explore cloud computing safe in the knowledge that the Men & Mice Suite will serve as their dedicated DDI sidekick during their cloud adventures.

To simplify our customers’ freedom of choice, the latest version of the Men & Mice Suite, Version 7.1 (released in January 2016), includes full support for Microsoft Azure DNS. This next step in cloud dexterity comes on top of support for AWS Amazon Route 53, which was already added to the Suite in 2014. Follow this link for instructions on how to configure an Azure DNS connector through the Men & Mice Suite. More information on Azure DNS can be obtained here.

So there you have it. Snow or no snow, cloud or no cloud, blue skies or no skies, at least we can safely say that the Men & Mice Suite is seeing in the virtual realties of 2016 completely Azure-sure.

Cheers to that!

  Request more info on  Men & Mice and Azure

 

Topics: DDI, CLOUD

Men & Mice DDI Beehive at Cisco Live!

Posted by Men & Mice on 2/24/16 5:20 PM

The Men & Mice booth at Cisco Live! in Berlin last week caused quite a stir. Striking visual graphics, great company, fabulous give-aways (trip to Iceland, anyone?) and a steady stream of visitors eager to make use of our live demo environment, turned the booth into a proverbial beehive of activity for the three days of the show. 

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 The lucky winners of the three trips to Iceland are;

Mohamed Abdallah from Connect – PS,  Alexandra Perovic from SAGA D.O.O and Mike van der Vijver from Mind Meetings.

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 Mr. Petur Petursson from Men & Mice handing over the ticket for a trip to Iceland to Mr. Abdallah

Congratulations on your win! Unusual, unexpected, unsurpassed: Iceland defeats expectations every time. Be sure to stop by during your visit!

Carsten Strotman’s talk on the new KEA DHCP server at the WoS Theater stage was a great success. For those who want to have a taste of the KEA DHCP server, Carsten will host an online webinar " KEA DHCP - the new open source DHCP server from ISC" on March 22nd, you can sign up here.

A great THANK YOU to everyone who stopped by to make the Men & Mice booth truly alive at Cisco Live! We thoroughly enjoyed all the great company.

If you didn’t get a chance to stop and chat in Berlin, we’ll be at the CloudExpo in New York  from June 7th to 9th.  If you’d like to meet us before then, just send us a line at info@menandmice.com and we’ll be sure to come your way in a virtual jiffy!

The Men & Mice Team

Drawing inspiration from our geographic location midway between the USA and Europe, the Men & Mice Team possesses a unique perspective on the challenges of DNS, DHCP and IP address management faced by medium to large global enterprises today. Our dedication to pioneering simple solutions to complex problems is best observed in our flagship DDI product, the Men & Mice Suite.

Topics: Men & Mice, DHCP

Men & Mice Suite Version 7.1 Released

Posted by Men & Mice on 1/14/16 3:30 PM

Men & Mice, one of the world’s leading providers of DNS, DHCP and IP address management (DDI) software solutions, announces the release of Version 7.1 of the Men & Mice Suite.

The Men & Mice Suite is a software-based IP Address Management (IPAM) solution, used by many large and growing global enterprises, to establish secure and efficient control of their networks.

As an overlay solution with a particularly robust SOAP API, the Suite is deployed on top of existing DNS and DHCP servers, thereby granting seamless control over hybrid environments that include Linux, Unix, Microsoft and Cisco IOS servers - all without the need to replace your current IP infrastructure, and providing tight MS/AD integration where required.

Supporting a wide range of DNS and DHCP servers (BIND, Microsoft DNS/DHCP, Unbound, Cisco DHCP and ISC DHCP) and increasingly reaching further into the cloud with support for Amazon Route 53 and, from Version 7.1, also Microsoft Azure DNS, the Men & Mice Suite offers superb solutions for network administrators involved in the daily battles of administration, planning, auditing and reporting in large networks.

Major Version 7.1. Highlights

Release Strategy and Naming Scheme

Version 7.1 introduces the Men & Mice long term support (LTS) release strategy, concurrent with the new Men & Mice Suite version naming scheme. Both the LTS release strategy and the new Suite version naming scheme aim at better aligning Men & Mice products with the diverse protocols and demands existing in our customers’ individual operating environments. For more information on the Men & Mice release strategy and naming scheme, please read the white paper here.

Azure DNS

Together, Amazon and Microsoft are the undisputed leaders in cloud services with their respective cloud computing platforms, Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Azure. In 2014, Men & Mice took the initiative with transforming DDI for the cloud by adding support for AWS Amazon Route 53. Now, from Version 7.1, Men & Mice is taking DDI cloud dexterity one step further by also adding support for Microsoft Azure DNS. Known for its versatility in heterogeneous operating environments, support for Azure DNS further strengthens the Men & Mice Suite’s ability to scale successfully with businesses as they grow outwards, and upwards, into the cloud.

Other highlights of Version 7.1 are:

  • Microsoft SQL Server 2014 is now supported as a database backend for Men & Mice Central.
  • Improved usability with the First Use Wizard. Users will now be able to paste in all license keys at once instead of having to paste them in one at a time.
  • The Linux installers for the Men & Mice Remote Controllers have been improved and features added, such as a silent mode which enables the user to automate the installation of the Men & Mice Remote controllers.
  • A new Scope Creation Wizard makes creating DHCP scopes even easier.
  • No need for untimely upgrading prompts. From Version 7.1, the Update Manager has been adapted to accommodate long term support (LTS) releases. Users can now select if they only want to be notified of LTS releases in the Update Manager.
  • DHCP lease history gathering has been improved, lightening the load on SQL servers.
  • Men & Mice Suite administrators can now disable one or multiple servers from within the Men & Mice Suite.

Detailed release notes on Version 7.1 can be obtained here.

 

Men & Mice Suite version 7.1 Free Trial  


 


About Men & Mice

Founded in 1990, Men & Mice is headquartered in Iceland.  Drawing inspiration from our strategic geographic location midway between the USA and Europe, we possess a unique perspective on the challenges of DNS, DHCP and IP address management faced by medium to large, and growing, global enterprises today.

The combination of our extensive experience and expertise and our excellent software products, provides our customers with versatile, yet highly reliable, DDI solutions.

In a competitive DDI market, we pride ourselves on our ability to adapt our solutions to suit our customers’ needs. We don’t expect our customers to adapt their needs to suit our solutions.

Men & Mice has operations in the US, Europe and Asia, as well as resellers in many countries.

Contact us at Sales or Call us at +1 408.516.9582 to speak to a sales representative.

Topics: Men & Mice Suite, IPAM, CLOUD

DDI dreaming with Candle Stealer

Posted by Men & Mice on 12/24/15 6:00 AM

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Last to arrive, Candle Stealer (Kertasníkir) follows children in order to steal their candles, which, in former times, were made of tallow and therefore edible.

It’s beyond me why Mother had so many children.  Some say there are 80 of us living in the mountains. I don’t know. I’ve long lost count. Besides, she only seems to trust the 13 of us to go down to the humans AND find our way back, so who cares about the others.

Why only 13, I’m sometimes asked. I really can’t say, although I suspect it has something to do with Mother’s obsession with DNS and the DNS root name servers number 13. Perhaps she was hoping they’d rename the servers after her boys. Calling them A, B, C, D, E up to M is really, well, uninspirational, she’s said. Then again, we existed long before DNS. Mother conveniently seems to forget this the moment she switches on her computer.

I’m really, really tired now. Need a break. I told Mother I’ve had enough of snow. Next year, I plan to find my way into some hot countries and dive into an Azure blue ocean. I demand her full support for my adventure. She didn’t answer. She had that far-off look on her face. I like to call it her IPAM expression, the one that makes her look as if she’s stored her consciousness in a Cloud and she’s busy figuring out how to connect all the dots. I think she’s dreaming of a new set of Windows. She may be a bit harsh on naughty children, but she’s very clever at deciphering clues and optimizing network utilization.

Too tired to chase children tonight. Hungry. Need candles but children nowadays only seem to have electrical bed lights and lava lamps. Last year, I ended up eating a scented candle in the washroom. Unpleasant after effects that had.

Maybe it’s time for me to think out of the box and adapt to the times. Up, up and away I go! Merry Christmas All!

Goodbye 2015!

Hello 2016!

Boy, are we going to have a good time together!

 

Topics: Men & Mice Suite, DDI

Men & Mice 2015 Holiday Greeting

Posted by Men & Mice on 12/23/15 10:27 AM

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As the Holiday Season is upon us, we find ourselves reflecting on the past year and on those who have helped us shape our business. We value our relationship with you and look forward to working with you in the years to come.

We wish you a Happy Holiday Season and a New Year filled with Peace and Prosperity.

The Men & Mice staff

Topics: Men & Mice

Updating reverse DNS records with Meat Hook

Posted by Men & Mice on 12/23/15 6:00 AM

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Second-last to arrive, Meat Hook (Ketkrókur) stealthily steals meat with a hook.

Sometimes I just don’t know whether I’m going forwards or backwards. This time of year it’s especially bad. So much meat everywhere!

Once I get down to the humans with my sack of presents, the smells just make me go round and round and round and round. Roast turkey here, smoked leg of lamb there, glazed ham, prime rib, stuffed chicken, juicy quail, tender beef, pork crackling! Where to start! I really have to be careful. It’s so mouthwatering, I might just end up slipping on my own saliva.

When I don’t know where to turn, I like to spend a moment syncing before I make any decisions. You know, updating my reverse records and all. I find it’s best to use the Update Reverse Records Wizard in the Men & Mice Suite for this purpose. It allows me to create reverse DNS zones for selected ranges that exist on subnet boundaries and contain 254 or more IP Addresses (/24 or larger).

I only need to access IP Address Ranges on the object list, select the ranges, right-click, select Update Reverse Records from the shortcut menu and take it from there. Dead easy!

Now only if it were that easy to sync some roasted meat straight onto my hook …

 

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Topics: Men & Mice Suite, DDI

Monitoring DNSSEC with Doorway Sniffer

Posted by Men & Mice on 12/22/15 6:00 AM

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Third to last, Doorway Sniffer (Gáttaþefur) uses his abnormally large nose and acute sense of smell to locate Christmas “leaf” bread.

It’s a gift they say. You can do so much with it! Sure, it kind of stands out and it is a somewhat conspicuously grand sniffer nose for a simple Yule Lad, but it’s a talent like no other. Not even trained sniffer dogs can match my ability to detect delicious leaf bread, no matter where it’s hidden. I’m also super good at finding keys and lost toys, but only if you managed to touch it with sticky fingers before losing it. I generally find more keys than toys.

Large sniffers are often also sensitive sniffers. Just like a signed DNSSEC zone is much more vulnerable to software or operational errors, my sniffer is also more vulnerable to bread errors. Sometimes, I think I’m detecting “leaf” bread, but the only thing on offer is gluten free spelt bread. That’s such a disappointing misconfiguration.

In a signed DNSSEC zone, such small misconfigurations can render the whole zone invalid. Therefore it’s always a good idea to monitor a newly signed DNSSEC zone to detect potential DNSSEC validation issues before the zone goes public. Or at least that’s what Leppaludi says, and he sure knows a lot about validation issues, being married to Mother and all. He’s given me a great list of tools to help me monitor DNSSEC signed zones. Who knows, it might even help me with my nose!   I just won’t be the same without it.

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Topics: Men & Mice Suite, DDI

Peeping through IPAM multiple address spaces with Window Peeper

Posted by Men & Mice on 12/21/15 6:00 AM

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The tenth Yule Lad, Window Peeper (Gluggagægir), likes to sneak a peek through windows in the hope of finding something nice to steal.

I love it! All these windows and all these lights to help me see in the dark.

Humans sure are silly. Each year they add a few more windows AND a new set of lights. How can I do anything else but have a look? So much to see, so much to find, so much, so much ... stuff. I like stuff.

One of my brothers, the one who always sits holed up in the attic where Mother can’t reach him with her stick, says it’s not stuff. It’s called data. And that I should stop peeping into windows like some kind of old-fashioned pervert. He says I should rather use something called the multiple address space feature in the Men & Mice Suite to see what’s going on in other people’s places. According to him, each address space instance contains its own set of DNS servers, DNS zones, DHCP servers, DHCP scopes, IP Address ranges (including the IPv4 and IPv6 root ranges), IP Address entries and object folders.

That’s all well and nice for him. But I told him my space is already cramped enough without him and my other brothers also messing in my so-called “data”. He just laughed at me and said: “Changes to data in one address space do not affect data in any other address space.”

I told him I don’t give a flying turkey about his damn “data”, but if one of them brothers so much as sniffs my smoked leg of lamb again this Christmas, I’ll data him into his own black hole

 

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Topics: Men & Mice Suite, DDI

Sausage Swiper sniffs out rogue IP addresses

Posted by Men & Mice on 12/20/15 6:00 AM

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9th in line, Sausage Swiper (Bjúgnakrækir) hides in the rafters of the smoking shed and snatches sausages that are being smoked.

It’s nice hiding here. No one can see me. They never look up or search the Containers anyway. They just always fiddle with their precious sausages and then leave.

One would think they’d be a bit more careful and all, or at least bother to count the sausages. They never seem to miss any until it’s too late, and the best sausages are already safely disposed of … in my stomach.  

Oh well, not everyone cares about rogues like me, or about IP addresses that are directly under Containers and not part of IP Address Ranges or Containers. Of course, when “rogues” are present in a Container, it most likely indicates that an IP address range definition is missing within the Container for these addresses. Luckily, in the Men & Mice Suite, the Container icon will get a warning sign on it, and clicking on a button in the Container properties will list the rogue IP addresses, same as when a user opens up a normal range.

Such a simple trick! Maybe they should think of installing such a “rogue” warning in the smoking shed. Could save themselves a whole lot of sausages every year. Then again, why bother reminding them if it’s working so well … for me!

Have a Merry Sausage Christmas, All!

 

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Topics: Men & Mice Suite, DDI

Skyr Gobbler tests DNS reply size

Posted by Men & Mice on 12/19/15 6:00 AM

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Nothing comes in the way of the 8th Yule Lad, Skyr Gobbler (Skyrgámur) when it comes to eating the delicious Icelandic dairy dish, skyr.

Skyr. It’s the best. Don’t know how anyone can even try to eat yogurt once they’ve tasted skyr. It’s like the difference between gelato and sorbet – half the texture, half the joy.

Just this morning, I made myself comfy under the skyr barrel and just let it flow, straight into these hungry jowls. Pure bliss.

Sometimes, when the skyr isn’t flowing like it should, I get really cranky. Almost as cranky as when there’s a DNS resolver limiting my DNS reply size. Such a hassle. Whenever that happens, I test my DNS reply size with $ dig +short rs.dns-oarc.net txt  

If the result is lower than 4000 Bytes, I call Mother. She knows how to slap the crap out of a resolver that doesn’t support Extension Mechanisms for DNS (EDNS) or how to stop an uppity firewall from interfering. And if all else fails, she just checks out the info at https://www.dns-oarc.net/oarc/services/replysizetest to figure out what’s spoiling my good cheer.

But today, today is a good day. No skyr blockages and no DNS server bottlenecks. Only the smooth surge of units of joy. Ahhh, paradise.

 

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Topics: Men & Mice Suite, DDI

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The Men & Mice blog has educational, informational as well as product related material, both videos and articles for everyone and anyone interested in IP Address management, DNS, DHPC, IPv6, DNSSEC and more.

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