The Men & Mice Blog

Version 8.3 – Faster, Leaner, Fitter DHCP

Posted by Johanna E. Van Schalkwyk on 1/11/18 11:16 AM

Doing DHCP

The beauty of DHCP is the speed at which it functions. Basically, DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol) does what administrators can do manually, but DHCP just does it automatically, more efficiently, and in a fraction of the time.

Size can trump speed

Yet the bigger a network gets, the more DHCP servers and scopes are needed to dynamically assign, or lease, IP addresses and related IP information to network clients. The number of servers and scopes and the way the load is distributed and processed affect the speed at which networks can keep DHCP data fresh and IP leases available for use. On large networks, how efficiently DHCP lease data is documented, processed and synchronized becomes just as important as the initial matchmaking between DHCP clients and servers.

The relationship between DHCP client and server

DHCP does the hard work of handling communication between servers on a network, and client computers trying to access that network. If the series of messages between a DHCP server and a client computer would be illustrated as a conversation, it would probably look something like this.

DHCP conversation.png

Mind you, at any given moment on a large network, hundreds, or even thousands, such conversations can be occurring simultaneously. On top of that, the client computer sends its DHCPDISCOVER broadcast packet to all available servers, and all available servers can respond with a DHCPOFFER. The client is not programmed to be picky and always accepts the first offer it receives. Once they detect that their offers were not accepted, the other DHCP servers will withdraw their offers. In short, there’s a whole lot of to-and-fro action behind the scenes that is invisible to network administrators and users, but still finds its way into DHCP servers’ lease history. 

To complicate matters – or simplify it – these DHCP client-server relationships, or leases, are mostly temporary arrangements. Both parties know it will end. The server will revoke the lease once it’s expired. The client, on the other hand, can attempt to keep the lease by renewing it, or start looking for another IP address lease if the one they had had expired.

Apart from doing matchmaking between clients and servers, DHCP also ensures that each network client has a unique IP address and appropriate subnet masks. If two clients were to try and use the same IP address, neither of them would be able to communicate on the network.

These rotating relationships make the way DHCP lease data is documented, processed and synchronized so much more critical. If this is not done fast and efficiently, the whole process of dynamically assigning IP addresses can become slowed down, leaving DHCP clients, servers and ultimately network users, frustrated and ineffective.

Making DHCP management faster, leaner and fitter

Once networks run to hundreds, or thousands of DHCP scopes and servers, one needs to re-assess the way DHCP data is processed, and develop ways to improve speed and efficiency. This is exactly what Men & Mice developers set out to achieve in Version 8.3 of the Men & Mice Suite.

DHCP optimizations in Version 8.3 include:

  • Reduced network traffic, especially between the Central server and a DHCP server controller 
  • Improved database performance when processing data from a DHCP server
  • Reduced load on a DHCP server while it is being synced

Optimizing processes in these areas has resulted in lightening the often heavy load on DHCP servers, making DHCP server management considerably faster and more efficient – and more pleasurable for the people in charge of keeping it all going, all the time.

To dig into the more technical aspects of these enhancements and get the lowdown on what this boost in DHCP performance and scalability could mean for you or your network, get in touch with one of our sales engineers to walk you through the details.

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Topics: Men & Mice Suite, IPAM, DHCP, CLOUD, Akamai, Performance

Men & Mice Breaks New DDI Ground with xDNS Redundancy and Multi-Cloud IPAM

Posted by Men & Mice on 6/29/17 1:30 PM

The joke goes: “How did God create the universe in seven days? No legacy infrastructure.”

Funny (or not) as that may be, how to make the most of legacy infrastructure in the age of accelerating technological disruption and rapid cloud services adoption, is the harsh reality most enterprises face today.

Well-known for its fast, reliable and efficient performance on large enterprise networks, the Men & Mice Suite already has a reputation as the go-to, enterprise-class, software overlay DNS, DHCP and IP Address Management (DDI) solution. With the release of Version 8.2 of the Suite, Men & Mice further solidifies our position as the commercial DDI solution best equipped to help large enterprises capitalize on legacy infrastructure, while adopting cloud services to advance business agility and scalability.

The Men & Mice Suite – IP wherever you are 

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Almost three decades of expert innovation in DNS, DHCP and IP Address Management has given Men & Mice unique insight and expertise into creating solutions that confidently mitigate the shocks of technological disruption.

Built as an enterprise-grade, back-end agnostic solution and deployed on top of DNS and DHCP infrastructure, the Men & Mice DDI Suite pulls together critical network data from wherever it is kept, on-premises, in the cloud, hybrid cloud or multi-cloud, and turns a potential hot mess into a comprehensive overview, accessed and controlled from a single pane of glass.

The Men & Mice Suite provides consistent administrative controls on heterogeneous networks, with unparalleled support for Windows DNS and DHCP, BIND, Unbound, PowerDNS, ISC DHCP, Kea DHCP, Cisco IOS, OpenStack and Azure DNS and Amazon Route 53.

Designed to integrate seamlessly with the VMware Orchestrator framework, the Men & Mice Suite VMware vRealize Orchestrator plug-in allows for fast and efficient provisioning of virtual machines.

The first DDI solution to fully integrate with Microsoft Active Directory (AD), the Men & Mice Suite incorporates management of users and groups through AD, while granting access rights and building up roles and responsibilities through the Men & Mice Suite, ensuring advanced and secure granular role-based access management.

Offering you the flexibility to control your network as it suits you best, the Men & Mice Suite provides three powerful interfaces: the Men & Mice management console, the Men & Mice web interface, and, the strong and consistent Men & Mice API, communicating in SOAP, JSON-RPC and REST. The Men & Mice API, especially popular with our customers, provides the robust abstraction tools necessary to build and extend automation.

New in Men & Mice Suite Version 8.2

From Version 8.2, the Men & Mice Suite’s back-end agnostic capabilities are extended to include advanced, multi-cloud IP Address Management and integrated support for external DNS service providers.

Building on the flexibility of its architecture, Men & Mice Suite Version 8.2 consolidates on-premises and cloud networks in one view and point of access through support for IPAM in Azure and AWS, and by adding support for DNS service providers NS1 and Dyn to existing Men & Mice support for Azure DNS and Amazon Route 53.

Unique on the DDI market, and new in Version 8.2, the Men & Mice xDNS redundancy feature enables multi-platform DNS redundancy for ultimate network high availability, and successful mitigation of the fallout from DDoS attacks and other DNS failures.

xDNS redundancy provides the abstraction level necessary to replicate and synchronize critical DNS zones across multiple DNS service provider platforms, eliminating the possibility of a single point of failure resulting from dependency on one external DNS service provider.

Men & Mice - Changing the way the world sees networks

As IT matures into a key element for easily scalable business development and product delivery, and ultimately a driver of business growth, the need for high network availability, reliability and performance escalates.

For Magnus Bjornsson, Men & Mice CEO, delivering DDI products that boost business performance by bridging the gap between on-premises, cloud, hybrid cloud and multi-cloud network environments, is a challenge happily accepted. “We live in a world that’s getting more complicated by the minute. Cloud vendors are continuously bringing powerful new services online and enterprises are wrestling with how and when to best utilize them. Men & Mice Suite Version 8.2 is a landmark release, tackling this great challenge with innovative new features. Consolidating hybrid and multi-cloud IP Address Management in a single view and bolstering DNS availability across service provider platforms with xDNS redundancy, are great steps towards strategically improving the most critical of a company’s IT assets – its network. The Men & Mice Suite, used to run some of the largest corporate networks on the planet, is designed to give you the freedom and flexibility to use the back-end platform you want, to build the network you need.”

Looking for more?

Follow these links for more information on Men & Mice xDNS redundancy feature, or multi-cloud IP Address Management.

To see Men & Mice xDNS redundancy in action, check out the xDNS Redundancy webinar, jointly presented by Men & Mice and NS1.

Curious about how the Men & Mice Suite can benefit your network? Get in touch with one of our Men & Mice Sales Engineersor get your free Version 8.2 license for a complimentary 30-day trial experience.

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Topics: IPAM, DNS, Security, CLOUD, High availability, DNS redundancy

5 ways to have fun while not doing IPAM this Christmas

Posted by Men & Mice on 12/23/16 7:06 AM

At the end of a year overshadowed by Mirai botnets, leaked emails, late-night Twitter rants and talk of upgrading the dormant Cold War to Version 2.0,  perhaps this Christmas is the ideal time to sit back, pop that (nut) roast in the oven and relax with a little something different. Have your pick from this short collection of fun IPAM-like things to enjoy this festive season.jolakort2016.jpg

  1. First up, a highly entertaining TED talk by Mikko Hypponen, well-known security specialist from F-Secure. Hilarious anecdotes, most notably when tracing the makers of the first PC virus (Brain A), help to make Mikko’s talk on all things cybercrime just as relevant today as it was when he first delivered it in 2011.
  2. If Mikko’s talk set in motion a nostalgic longing for the good old days of ‘hobby’ viruses, what better place to visit than the Malware Museum? Take a walk on this ‘formerly’ wild side and rediscover the almost cutesy retroviruses of yore. OK, not quite so yore, only the 80s and 90s, but still tech yore, really.

It’s hard to believe Casino and Walker may have paved the way for the massive effects of a Mirai botnet or bizarre developments such as ransomware as a service, but hey, everything’s got to start somewhere, doesn’t it?   

  1. Speaking of Mirai. Not satisfied with taking the DNS out of Dyn in October in the biggest DDoS attack witnessed so far, a new Mirai strain set its sights on routers and modems in November, causing an outage affecting 900,000 Deutsche Telekom users and possibly leaving up to 5 million devices vulnerable With commercial routers biting the malware dust in such spectacular fashion, perhaps it’s just better to build your own. This handy Ars Technica guide to building a Linux router makes it look easy. Well, at least for some of us.
     
  2. Lets face it. All things DDI arent very funny. Actually, very little is. But that doesnt stop some of us from trying to make it funny. And the rest of us from trying to explain the trying to everyone who doesnt get it. If you are really at a loss for fun things to do this Christmas, then maybe this SysAdmin thread will liven it up for you. Or maybe not. Worth a shot for some of the comments on the comments, though!
  1. Last but not least. Some useful DDI tips and tricks as described by the 13 Icelandic Yule Lads. Monitoring DNSSEC, doing IPAM subnet discovery or sniffing out rogue IP addresses take on a whole new meaning if you do it with the help of the ogress Grylas boys. What can possibly go wrong if Doorway Sniffer, Pot Scraper and Sausage Swiper try to find ways to do DDI better? This seasonal eBook compilation makes for easy bed-time reading.
    Be warned: not for the faint of heart!

Merry Christmas from the very merry bunch at Men & Mice! 

Topics: IPAM

Do great network teams need great DDI solutions?

Posted by Men & Mice on 7/22/16 8:59 AM

Did you have a look in the mirror this morning? Hair, face, teeth, lips, cheeks, clothes and other observable bits of body. Everything in the right place, relatively clean and looking as it should?

Regardless of what we see (or want to see), most of us spend quite a bit of time checking our appearance in a mirror. Few of us, however, get to shine a daily mirror on the parts of the body we don’t see. Our brains, hearts, lungs, intestines, bones, kidneys, veins and all those other critical bits and pieces remain largely unobserved under the human camouflage of skin and hair. Yet, much more than the appeal (or not) of our outer appearances, it is our insides that determine how well our bodies really function.

In many ways, networks and network activity are just like the inner workings of the human body: unseen and, unless something goes wrong, most often unnoticed. Billions of people use computer networks and the legion of devices connected to it in the same way we use our bodies. Few have any awareness of what’s inside or how it all functions. Fewer still consider the three critical components underlying network connectivity - the triad of DNS, DHCP and IP Address Management (DDI).

Just like doctors of internal medicine manage the unseen, but crucial, inner health of our bodies, network teams manage this unseen, but crucial, inner DDI health of a successful modern organization’s network. As a result, smart investments in a great network team can play a decisive role in business success.

But what does a great network team need to run a great network? In this new white paper, DDI specialists Men & Mice delve into how a comprehensive DNS, DHCP and IP Address Management solution can boost a network team’s productivity, performance and general well-being, thereby greatly enhancing network security and elevating business efficiency.

Topics explored include;

  • network administrators' DDI pain points
  • DDI solutions and network security
  • DDI solutions and network efficiency
  • DDI solutions and DDI teams
  • how to choose a DDI solution
  • the ups and downs of DDI

To find out whether great network teams need great DDI solutions, download your free copy of this Men & Mice white paper today.

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Topics: DDI, IPAM

Men & Mice Suite Version 7.2 Released

Posted by Men & Mice on 5/19/16 10:38 AM

Flying High with Kea DHCP and Windows RRL

Men & Mice celebrates the arrival of the long, arctic summer nights with the release of Version 7.2 of the Men & Mice Suite.

This blog post offers a quick round-up of what’s new in Version 7.2.

Versatile simplicity, as always, forms our bottom line. Version 7.2 is no exception. This time around, support for the new ISC Kea DHCP server and a dedicated UI for Windows 2016 Response Rate Limiting (RRL) should warm the hearts of network administrators far and wide. At least, that’s what it’s been doing for us here in the North!

Let’s run through what major highlights Version 7.2 contains.

Taking flight with the new ISC Kea DHCP server

Men & Mice introduces support for the brand new ISC Kea DHCP server, the natural successor to the ISC DHCP server.

Like its namesake, the uniquely strong and intelligent New Zealand kea parrot, the brand new ISC Kea DHCP server is a powerful beast that reaches more than 1000 leases/second, allowing for clean and fast implementation of both DHCPv4 and DHCPv6.

Kea DHCP also boasts PXE Boot Support, DHCPv6 prefix delegation, dynamic reconfiguration and dynamic DNS updates.

As with other servers supported by the Men & Mice Suite, the Kea DHCP server functionality is fully controlled through the Men & Mice Management Console. This includes the effortless migration of IP subnets (scopes), including options, from ISC DHCP to Kea DHCP.

In the spirit of open source, Kea DHCP is released under the widely used Mozilla Public License 2.0, paving the way for collaborative improvements to the source code for many years to come. 

A taste of the Kea DHCP and how it integrates with the Men & Mice Suite, can be enjoyed in this recent webinar presented by Mr Carsten Strotmann.

For those interested in plunging into the Kea DHCP full force, Men & Mice, in cooperation with ISC, is offering intensive two-day hands-on training courses in Europe and the USA in the fall of 2016. The courses are aimed at small groups, so don’t forget to sign up in time! 


Scaling up with Windows Server 2016 support

The Men & Mice Suite’s architecture as an overlay solution exhibits a singular synergy with Windows Servers, making it the logical solution for any Microsoft-based network. Consequently, the Men & Mice Team is developing and releasing support for specific new Windows 2016 features as and when they are made available by Microsoft.

From Version 7.2, the Men & Mice Suite supports all of the primary Windows DNS and DHCP Server 2016 features.

Support for other new Microsoft Server 2016 features, such as DNS Zone Scopes and DNS policies, is scheduled for the Men & Mice Suite Version 7.3 release later this year.


Reinforcing DNS Security with Windows 2016 RRL

Security only works if you work it, and the more tools you have to work your security, the better. Adding to your menu of security options, the Men & Mice Suite Version 7.2 introduces a dedicated UI for the Windows 2016 Response Rate Limiting (RRL) feature.

Response Rate Limiting can make all the difference in the event of a Denial of Service (DoS) attack on DNS servers. During a DoS attack, the IP number of a victim computer is used to send high volumes of forged DNS queries to multiple DNS servers. DNS servers tricked into sending replies to these queries can push the number of DNS requests and replies over a manageable threshold and disable targeted networks. Restricting DNS servers’ response rate with Response Rate Limiting helps to control a suspicious volume of malicious enquiries and minimize the impact on the affected servers.

Microsoft sheds more light on Response Rate Limiting and how it works on their TechNet blog.

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Men & Mice Suite Console Enhanced

Spring cleaning at the Men & Mice headquarters has resulted in a Management Console with a cleaner, and ultimately more manageable, look. From Version 7.2, windows in the Management Console are dockable, making it both simpler to manage and easier to navigate for the user.

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The Men & Mice Suite Release Notes provide more detail on other minor improvements and fixes that form part of the Version 7.2 Release.

That wraps it up for a quick round-up of what Men & Mice Suite Version 7.2 has to offer. In the next months, Men & Mice will publish further blogs and webinars on installing and managing Kea DHCP, Windows 2016, Docker containers and Yeti. Watch this space! Or better yet, just watch Men & Mice.

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Topics: Men & Mice Suite, DDI, IPAM

Men & Mice Suite Version 7.1 Released

Posted by Men & Mice on 1/14/16 10:30 AM

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

Importing Sense and Sensibility into DNS, DHCP and IP Address Management

Posted by Men & Mice on 11/3/15 5:53 AM

According to some computer historians, the first personal computer was the IBM 610 Auto-Point Computer, introduced in 1957. It was the size of a fridge and cost $55,000. Apparently, it was easy to use but a tad slow, using about 20 seconds to calculate a sine. Not surprisingly, only 180 IBM 610s were produced.[1]

Some 58 years after the IBM 610, PCs are not only “somewhat” smaller, faster and cheaper, but they are everywhere:  the sheer increase in the number of devices is staggering. Just in 2015 it is predicted that a total number of 2,591,753 billion new units of PCs, tablets and mobile phones will be shipped[2]. On top of that, market analysts Gartner believe that 4.9 billion “things” will be connected to the internet by 2015, increasing to 25 billion in 2020. Or 50 billion according to Cisco. Or 75 billion as is anticipated by Morgan Stanley.[3]

Despite organizations being faced with an imminent deluge of devices that need to be connected to network infrastructures, too few are investing in DDI solutions that effectively bridge the gaps between DHCP, DNS and IP address management tools. On the contrary, many administrators and managers in mid- to large-sized companies today are still left struggling to make native tools or home-grown solutions do the trick. With the advent of bring your own device (BYOD) and the Internet of things (IoT), not to mention the incremental migration to IPv6 and cloud-computing, the situation is only set to become worse.

DDI Sense

Effective and reliable DDI management forms the cornerstone of any modern organization’s IT infrastructure. It directly affects an organization’s overall performance and productivity. Improving DDI efficiency strengthens network infrastructure, simplifies administration and leads to considerable increases in business value on the whole. It is estimated that organizations investing in a commercial DDI solution can reduce operating expenses related to DNS/DHCP and IP address management by 50% or more, which can lead to significant full-time equivalent (FTE) savings in larger organizations.[4]

Meeting IPAM Challenges Sensibly

The challenges faced by today’s network administrators and managers, an analysis of related problems and issues and a discussion on how to simplify IP Address Management and become more productive as a Windows administrator, form the topics of this White Paper by IT infrastructure and security specialist, Byron Hynes. Additionally, Mr Hynes discusses what benefits DDI solutions such as the Men & Mice Suite can bring to an organization’s infrastructure.

 

[1] Information retrieved on 28 October 2015.

[2] Estimates by market analyst Gartner, retrieved on 28 October 2015. 

[3] Estimates as reported in Business Insider. Retrieved on 28 October 2015. 

[4] Gartner Market Guide for DNS, DHCP and IP Address Management, published February 2015.

Topics: Men & Mice Suite, DDI, IPAM

Through the IPAM looking-glass with Men & Mice

Posted by Men & Mice on 10/26/15 10:29 AM

Migrating your IP address management to the same pane of glass as your DNS/DHCP management

The path to consolidated DDI

Since the advent of commercial DDI services, many enterprises have taken the leap of investing in their IT infrastructure by way of acquiring centralized DNS, DHCP and IP address management (IPAM) software, services and appliances. Though DDI vendors generally provide a consolidated product with DNS, DHCP and IPAM in one package, most also offer individualized software, services and appliances, differentiating between DNS, DHCP and IPAM. This means that one large enterprise could house DNS management from one vendor, DHCP from another and IPAM from yet another.

Often times this development is a combination of most modern medium to large enterprises’ constantly changing needs and environment: some grow larger, some grow smaller, others merge and need to accommodate previously separate networks in one united approach.  Additionally, as DDI forms the cornerstone of most networks and many vendors’ products have become an integral part (for better or worse) of an enterprise’s infrastructure, replacing one form of DNS/DHCP or IP address management with another runs the risk of severely interrupting business, with the accompanying loss of revenue – something which most organizations can ill afford.

Recognizing that network systems rarely consist of one type of hardware or software product or service, the Men & Mice Suite is an integrated overlay solution installed on top of existing infrastructure, thereby maximizing efficacy without any expensive hardware replacements or DNS/DHCP service downtime. One of the greatest benefits of the Men & Mice Suite solution is its ease of use (especially in heterogeneous environments) and simplicity of deployment, which makes it a particularly attractive option when a company is looking for ways of consolidating IT infrastructure after a merger or other forms of transition.

Migrating IPAM from another vendor to Men & Mice

Recently, a large Fortune 500 retailer decided to migrate its IP address management to the same pane of glass as its DNS management, which has been managed by Men & Mice for some years. Given the size of their operations, such a migration can be a risky and time-consuming affair, more so when it requires extensive hardware replacements, which, fortunately, is not the case with the Men & Mice Suite overlay solution. In fact, Men & Mice services staff needed to spend no more than five days on location preparing for the deployment, training staff and eventually executing the deployment itself.

After the initial preparation and very well-attended training sessions, the deployment was put into action by using the robust and agile Men & Mice SOAP-API to migrate data to the new system. During the migration, business continued as usual without general employees experiencing any DNS/DHCP downtime or inconvenience. Users managing the company’s DNS/DHCP and IP address infrastructure could start updating IPAM data again through the new system after a mere ten-hour interval.

Apart from the time spent on preparation, training and deployment, Men & Mice services staff also cleaned up data, integrated with external databases, connected domain controllers for DNS and DHCP to Men & Mice and synchronized with AD sites and subnets.

The Fortune 500 retailer now has a system which provides unified information across their network, from their AD, DHCP servers, BIND servers, routers, as well as their IPAM database, and all through one pane of glass. Additionally, they have a feature rich and easy-to-use UI for advanced management, web interface and a particularly powerful API, plus the opportunity to further maximize efficiency through potential customized automation and workflow implementation capabilities contained in the Men & Mice Suite.

Conclusion

It’s perfectly understandable that customers fear a journey through the “looking-glass” of consolidating their DDI solutions: will they enter an unusual world of chaos and confusion? Or wake up in their own office chair with everything in its right place? More importantly, how much will this DDI journey cost them in terms of lost operations, time and money?

With a DDI solution and services that promise simplicity, reliability and flexibility when a situation calls for chaos and confusion, the only “looking-glass” that Men & Mice aims to leave behind with their customers, is the single pane of glass from which to painlessly manage their newly consolidated DNS/DHCP and IPAM infrastructure.   

 

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Topics: Men & Mice Suite, DDI, IPAM

Men & Mice Suite version 6.9 released

Posted by Men & Mice on 9/17/15 12:26 PM

Men & Mice the leading provider of DNS, DHCP and IP address Management software solutions (DDI), announces the release of version 6.9 of the Men & Mice Suite.

The Men & Mice Suite is a software based IP Address Management (IPAM) solution, used for managing many of the largest and most critical networks in the world. This new version further strengthens the Men & Mice lead when it comes to IPAM for Microsoft Active Directory oriented networks where virtualization and private clouds matter.

The Men & Mice approach to IPAM is that manageability is added on top of existing DNS and DHCP servers. The Suite provides the required manageability and overview while guaranteeing that current DNS and DHCP servers retain authority over DNS and DHCP configurations. As a result the Suite can provide seamless integration on hybrid networks with tight MS/AD integration where required.

The Suite is a great tool for network administrators for daily administration, planning, auditing and reporting in large networks.

Among new features in version 6.9 are:

System Health Monitoring

The Men & Mice Suite Health Monitoring feature provides administrators with a good overview of the general health of the Men & Mice Suite and other related services, through the Health Bar in the Management Console.  More importantly, it will give administrators an indication if there is a problem that needs to be addressed.

The Health Monitor status indicators are split into five categories, where each category represents a specific part of the system;

  • Men & Mice Suite
  • DNS
  • DHCP
  • IPAM
  • Appliances

Warnings and errors 

The Health Monitoring feature uses color codes to represent the severity of a status indicator. A warning or an error is shown as yellow or red, respectively; otherwise as green.
Expanding the Health bar on a warning or an error gives more detail and description in a separate window, as well as the opportunity to navigate to the object that is affected and fix it from there.

Examples of warnings and errors could be slave zones that are expiring or a zone that has not been loaded on a server due to an error. Both errors can cause outages for users and therefore have a serious impact on their business.

Virtual Routing and Forwarding Support (VRF Support)

VRF support allows for multiple instances of routing tables to coexist on a single router and work together in such a way that IP addresses can be re-used and don’t conflict with each other.  

The Men & Mice Suite communicates with routers to retrieve information for the subnet and host discovery functionality. Now, the Men & Mice Suite also supports retrieving information from VRF enabled routers.

Other Improvements

Version 6.9 also improves other aspects of the Suite, featuring enhanced Subnet Discovery, management of reverse records and further security enhancements for the Men & Mice Appliances.

Men & Mice Suite version 6.9 Free Trial
  

 

 

Topics: Men & Mice Suite, DDI, IPAM

Men & Mice Suite Version 6.8 Released

Posted by Men & Mice on 4/28/15 7:49 AM

Reykjavik, Iceland, April 28th 2015 - Men & Mice announces the release of version 6.8 of the Men & Mice Suite.

The Men & Mice Suite is the ideal tool for network managers who desire minimal daily management, featuring planning, reporting, and auditing of growing dynamic IP networks, with the added benefit of delivering improved network security as well. The Men & Mice Suite version 6.8 can be deployed as a software solution on top of existing DNS/DHCP servers or as hardened DNS/DHCP virtual appliances.

Subnet Discovery and Ease of Use

Version 6.8 introduces several new features designed to streamline both initial deployment of the Men & Mice Suite, and day-to-day management of enterprise networks by way of automatic discovery and intuitive user interface improvements.

The new Subnet Discovery feature allows the Men & Mice Suite to directly query network routers for subnet information, making it far easier to add new subnets, and reducing administration time by eliminating the need for tedious manual input of new subnets. Meanwhile, the First Use Wizard allows new users to rapidly gain complete control over their networks by automating DNS/DHCP server and Active Directory Subnet discovery, and intelligently guiding administrators through the initial setup process.

Enhanced System Support

The Unbound Caching DNS Server now enjoys the same management utility as the Men & Mice Virtual Caching Appliance in the Men & Mice Suite, and can be simply added to the Men & Mice Suite Management Console like any other supported DNS server. With version 6.8 the Men & Mice Suite now also features native support for 64-bit Linux systems, and support for systemd integration on Linux installers.

Other Improvements

Version 6.8 also improves other aspects of the suite, featuring enhanced Windows DNSSEC support, improved failover handling on Microsoft DHCP servers, and a number of performance improvements to both the Men & Mice Suite and the Men & Mice Virtual Appliance products.

For a complete list of new features and enhancements:
Release notes on version 6.8.

 

Men & Mice Suite version 6.8 Free Trial

 

Topics: Men & Mice Suite, DDI, DNSSEC, IPAM, DHCP, Windows, Unbound