The Men & Mice Blog

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

Dig up DNS with Door Slammer

Posted by Men & Mice on 12/18/15 6:00 AM

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Door Slammer (Hurðaskellir), the 7th Lad, likes to slam doors, especially during the night.

Doors, magnificent doors. There’s nothing like a hard “slam” or bouncy “bang” to give meaning to my day. Even better if it makes people jump in their seats or fall out of their beds! Luckily, those horrible sliding or revolving versions can’t be found in most homes. Life would just be so much more bland without the sound of a regular SLAM-dunk-BANG.

It’s happened though, in some of the bigger houses, that I run around slamming doors up to the point where I, well, kind of lose track of where I am. And maybe also where I’ve been … or where I’m going.

I’m not proud of it, but once Mother had to be called down from the mountains to come and find me. When she finally located me, she was livid. Pulled me along by the ear while screaming something about how her life would be so much simpler if I were an SOA record. Then she wouldn’t have to come out and risk her life on the slippery ice. She could just use dig menandmice.com +nssearch to find me. Dig would try to find the authoritative name servers for the zone containing the name being looked up AND display the SOA record that each name server has for the zone.

I couldn’t quite make out the rest too well as my ear was scrunched up between her thumb and some warts, but I could’ve sworn she said something about this dig helping to check if the SOA record serial number is the same on all zone instances. It crossed my mind to tell her that I’m her son, not a record or a zone, but it’s best not to tempt Mother’s temper once it’s on fire. Sigh.

Perhaps it’s safer for me to just sit tight this Christmas, no roaming houses and getting lost again...

Oh, look, a new door! Wonder where that goes? Must see!

 

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Topics: Men & Mice Suite, DDI

Bowl Licker Solves IPAM Host Discovery

Posted by Men & Mice on 12/17/15 6:30 AM

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The 6ht Yule Lad to arrive, Bowl Licker (Askasleikir) hides under beds while waiting to steal people’s food bowls.

Funny how people hardly ever check under their beds. They only seem to bother if they’ve lost something. Or if they’ve just watched a horror movie. Not that I’m complaining! Their carelessness has kept my belly full for centuries.

In the old days, when Icelanders were all cooped up in their turf houses and often sat on their beds eating, there was plenty of boiled mutton and potatoes left over in their bowls. Nowadays people still eat in their beds at times, but it’s most often some dry, crunchy stuff or sweet, creamy stuff or sometimes orange twiglets. I’ve heard them called “carrots”. I don’t like those very much. But I love the crunchy stuff. And there are so many flavors! Much more choice for me than all that grey meat from before.

The food might be nicer, but even now, nobody seems to care who is under their beds. I’ve sometimes heard them tapping away on their computers, though, cursing and demanding to know which hosts were last seen on their network.

They’re such a careless bunch. If they really cared for host discovery, they could configure host discovery in the Men & Mice Suite. And there’s more than one way to do it! They could either do it through using ping or through querying routers, basically setting a discovery schedule or by placing a router in an SNMP profile.

It’s always good to have a couple of options to choose from. If it wasn’t just so very, very comfy and warm here under the bed, I might even have bothered to use some of my own options, like stealing proper food from the kitchen. Ahh, mmm, warm, so warm. Maybe next Christmas.

 

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Topics: Men & Mice Suite, DDI

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