The Men & Mice Blog

Men&Mice and Azure

Posted by Greg Fazekas on 11/5/19 8:54 AM

The Men&Mice Team at Microsoft Ignite 2019

We’ve talked about Microsoft and Azure many times. Men&Mice takes pride for its deep-running synergy with the Microsoft ecosystem. The Men&Mice Suite was the first IPAM solution to fully integrate with Active Directory (AD), and now it is the only Microsoft-preferred solution for DNS, DHCP, and IPAM (DDI, or IP infrastructure management) on the Azure Marketplace.

Our team is at Microsoft Ignite to meet customers, present and prospective, and talk about how to make Azure work better with Men&Mice.

Why Azure?

For those already deeply reliant on Microsoft software (but also for those who aren’t) Azure offers convenient workflows and an array of resources in its Marketplace. Its global infrastructure backed by Microsoft. More and more Fortune 100-500-1000 companies, education and research institutions, and governmental municipalities (to name just a few) are discovering the value Azure brings to the table.

Scaling and migrating your on-prem Microsoft-based corporate network to Azure is not only beneficial on many levels but also simple with the Men&Mice Suite.

Deploying Men&Mice on Azure

Making the move to a cloud platform such as Azure has a reputation for being complex, expensive, and cumbersome. Capitalizing on the cloud is a priority for enterprises challenged by infrastructure sprawl, segmented projects, and mergers & acquisitions, but implementation is often hindered.

Men&Mice can alleviate those issues and create a straightforward path to cloud migration.

As an overlay solution deployed non-destructively, the Men&Mice Suite doesn’t restructure existing network infrastructure but facilitates communication between platforms. By treating all network resources, regardless of location, as equals, the Men&Mice Suite opens opportunities for migration at whatever pace is comfortable for the business.

How to make the most of Azure with Men&Mice?

Azure provides resilience, scaling, and security, and Men&Mice brings options to resolve obstacles in the forms of migration costs, lack of compatibility between services, and loss of control.

The native Azure Marketplace integration and support for features like Active Directory across multicloud and on-prem resources mean customers can freely move between platforms as needed.

The Men & Mice Suite allows:

  • bulk migration and import into Azure DNS
  • workflow extensions,
  • audit trails and tracking changes,
  • granular, role-based access and delegation,
  • support for multiple subscriptions,
  • use of unified APIs to manage all network data, wherever its kept.

Moving to the cloud made easy

Cloud networking, whether single, hybrid, or multi-cloud, is undoubtedly a sensible business decision. Increased service levels, improved network security, and overall uptime of critical network resources serve as validation.

Men&Mice is devoted to helping customers simplify IP infrastructure management and embrace (multi)cloud networking. Visit us at Booth #807 at Microsoft Ignite, download the Men&Mice Suite from the Azure Marketplace, or reach out to us to learn how we can help you.

The Men&Mice team at Microsoft Ignite 2019

 

Topics: Microsoft Ignite, Azure DNS, azure, Microsoft Azure

Men&Mice @ MS Ignite 2019

Posted by Greg Fazekas on 10/29/19 2:00 PM

Why come and meet us at MS Ignite? Let’s list a few reasons.

We’re recognized Microsoft experts

MS Ignite with its particular bend of focus is like home away from home for us.

Not only have we been recognized for a prestigious award here in Iceland, but in 2019 we've also won the Microsoft Partner Award for Infrastructure Innovation.

Men&Mice turns 30 next year, and from the very beginning we’ve been embedded deeply in Microsoft’s ecosystem. We were the first to offer comprehensive support for Windows Server 2016 (including zone scope and DNS policies) and Azure DNS.

After decades of working with Microsoft, we intend continuing our exceptional compatibility with their software and services. Including “one-click install” on Azure.

Yes, you can try the Men&Mice Suite directly from the Azure Marketplace

It literally takes 5 minutes to set it up.

Evaluate it for free, and see how it can help you optimize and drastically cut down deployment and management time to minutes rather than hours.

Whether you deploy it before MS Ignite and come with questions, or would like to learn more before trying it out, we’ll be happy to answer your questions.

The Men&Mice Suite is valuable for Azure and Windows 2016 environments

The Men&Mice Suite's architecture is designed to intuitively integrate with whatever infrastructure you have or want to have. Whether a pure Microsoft infrastructure environment or utilizing multi-vendor, multi-platform networks.

Thanks to our efforts customers can take advantage of the Men&Mice Suite to gain:

  • Visibility over all DDI operations across on-prem and single, hybrid, and multicloud environments.
  • Audit trails across all changes to DNS, DHCP, and IPAM.
    Granular, role-based access to objects residing with MS servers, services, and cloud subscriptions.
  • Easy and automated migration of data from server to server, or between on-prem and cloud.
  • Reliable and widely compatible APIs to automate and manage all your DDI operations and data.
  • Monitoring of data integrity and usage, such as DHCP scope and subnet utilization.

You can BYOAD (Bring Your Own Active Directory)

Moving from on-prem to cloud or deploying a multi-cloud strategy is not always easy. Existing deep investments in services like AD can prove prohibitive.

The Men&Mice Suite was the first IPAM solution to fully integrate with MS AD, and it keeps boasting exceptional Active Directory synergy into the age of cloud.

  • Synchronization ensures real-time system integrity, allowing and propagating changes through both the Men&Mice Suite or Active Directory.
  • Role-based granular access (both for users and groups), tracking, and auditing fortifies security and boosts administrative efficiency. Users can be authenticated through Active Directory (AD) and use single sign-on (SSO) to access Men&Mice Suite.
  • Global overview and administration of Sites and Subnets directly through the Men&Mice Suite.

Our booth experts at MS Ignite will be happy to assist you in how to preserve your existing AD setup.

You can make it easy to migrate to Azure DNS from another provider

If you’re on AWS or some other cloud service, but visiting MS Ignite to explore Azure, we’re the right people to talk to.

The most appealing features in the Men&Mice Suite for enterprise organizations looking to transition to Azure and Azure DNS from another provider are:

  • Cloud-native integration.
  • Bulk migration or import of DNS zones into Azure DNS.
  • Workflow extensions to automatically tag zones during the migration phase for indicating migration status.
  • Tracking changes, delegating access, and seeing all zones across multiple subscriptions, and managing data through APIs after migration.

We’ll have cool stuff and would love to meet you!

We’ll be at Booth 807 where you can talk to us about DDI and industry insights, get a demo from our experts, and score some sweet Icelandic swag. (Quite literally: our chocolate is second to none.)

To make sure you don’t have to wait in line, click here to schedule a meeting ahead of time.

Topics: Microsoft Ignite, hybrid cloud, Azure DNS, azure, multi-cloud, windows 2016

Change is our constant; innovation is our tradition

Posted by Greg Fazekas on 10/25/19 7:47 AM

This week Men&Mice received a prestigious award, recognized for our accomplishments in innovation.

That doesn’t happen often to the likes of us. We’re nearly 30 years old.

Except it’s the perfect way to describe who we are.

Change is everyone’s constant

As network connectivity became a commodity, pressure grew on our customers managing those networks. Hunger for IP addresses has never been stronger. And companies need DNS and DHCP to manage and support them.

Change is all over the IP infrastructure landscape, and businesses have to rethink their network strategies.

That’s where we come in.

Innovation is our tradition

“Nothing endures but change.” (Heraclitus)

There’s good reason we chose this quote to display on our home page. Our job at Men&Mice is, and always has been, to anticipate changes and solve challenges for businesses.

But we are responsible for enabling change. We do not force it. We position ourselves to be ready when our customers arrive at an inflection point. We did it when they moved from on-prem to multi-prem, from local to cloud, and now from cloud to multi-cloud.

And we’re working to make the next change as smooth as it can be.

(Digital) transformation is (y)our future

Benefit and cost always balance themselves out.

Digital transformation, be it migrating from on-prem to hybrid or multi-cloud or enabling IoT and BYOD practices within the company, come with clear benefits but often muddled and runaway costs. Men&Mice helps companies see and manage those costs as clearly as the resulting benefits are.

The Men&Mice Suite allows for transparency and optimization over any network at any scale. But as an overlay solution Men&Mice doesn’t change the way you run your network: we change the way you see it. No mandatory (and expensive) appliances. No required architecture. We want to make sure you have the freedom to run your networks from wherever you, or they, are.

With this award under our belt and the long-standing mandate to innovate, we invite you to try the Men&Mice Suite for free.

Men & Mice Suite Free TrialBecause being recognized is a great thing, but we have a job to do: changing the way you see your networks.

 

Topics: Men & Mice Suite, DDI, Men & Mice

IPv6 cheat-sheet, part 3: IPv6 multicast

Posted by Greg Fazekas on 10/18/19 8:56 AM

3_IPv6-cheat-sheet

Now that we’ve familiarized ourselves with the IPv6 header and the IPv6 address space, let’s take a look at multicast.

Unicast, anycast, multicast

IPv6 packets can be sent, depending on the intended purpose, in a variety of ways:

  • unicast: used for 1-to-1 communication; it sends the packet to a specific node. (Certain unicast addresses within the IPv6 address space are reserved. See the previous post for details.)
  • anycast: used for 1-to-1-of-many communication; it sends the packet to multiple nodes but only intended to the closest on its route.
  • multicast: used for 1-to-many communication; it sends the packet to multiple nodes.

We’re not covering anycast in detail at this moment, but we can — do let us know if that’s something of interest to you!

IPv6 multicast

IPv6 multicast works by nodes* joining multicast groups by sending Multicast Listener Discovery (MLD) report messages.

(*Little terminology from IETF: node is an interface enabled for IPv6. Router is any node that forwards IPv6 packets that are not expressly addressed to it. Host is any node that’s not a router.)

Multicast groups aren’t constrained by local or global (network) geography. Whether the host is on the local network or on the internet, as long as it’s signaling to join a multicast group, it can receive multicast packets sent to that group.

Any host can be a sender, whether it’s part of the multicast group or not. Only hosts part of the multicast group are receivers. Hosts can join or leave multicast groups dynamically at any time.

IPv6 multicast addresses: FF00::/8

All IPv6 multicast addresses share the prefix of FF00::/8.

  • The first octet is FF (1111 1111). This way you can tell at a glance if an IPv6 address is intended for multicast or not.
  • The second octet defines:
    • the lifetime (0 for permanent multicast; 1 for temporary)
    • and scope (1 for node, 2 for link, 5 for site, 8 for organization, and E for global scope).

The multicast address ends with the interface ID.

Well-known IPv6 multicast addresses

Many IPv6 multicast addresses are well-known to software implementing IPv6, to simplify common routing needs.

ff02::1

all nodes

ff02::2

all routers

ff02::5

all OSPF (Open Shortest Path First) routers

ff02::6

all OSPF DRs (OSPF Designated Routers)

ff02::9

all RIP (Routing Information Protocol) routers

ff02::a

all EIGRP (Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol) routers

ff02::d

all PIM (Protocol Independent Multicast) routers

ff02::f 

UPNP (Universal Plug and Play) devices

ff02::11

all homenet nodes

ff02::12

VRRP (Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol)

ff02::16

all MLDv2-capable routers

ff02::1a

all RPL (Routing Protocol for Low-Power and Lossy Networks) routers (used in Internet of Things (IoT) devices)

ff02::fb

multicast DNS IPv6

ff02::101

network time (NTP)

ff02::1:2

all DHCP agents

ff02::1:3

LLMNR (Link-Local Multicast Name Resolution)

ff02:0:0:0:0:1:ff00::/104

solicited node address

ff02:0:0:0:0:1-2:ff00::/104

node information query

ff05::1:3

all DHCP server (site)

ff05::101

all NTP server (site)

(Did we or did we not promise a veritable smorgasbord of acronyms?)

More IPv6 coming up!

Next time we’ll be taking a look at IPv4-IPv6 tunneling and the particularities of migrating from IPv4 to IPv6.

After that, we have one last post to cover the remaining sections on our cheat-sheet, including useful Linux commands.

As always, do let us know if there’s a particular part of IPv6 (whether covered in here or not) you’d like to know more about!

Topics: IPv6, IPAM, IP address management

IPv6 cheat-sheet, part 2: the IPv6 address space

Posted by Greg Fazekas on 10/11/19 8:52 AM

2_IPv6-cheat-sheet

Now that we know how an IPv6 packet header looks, let’s take a look at where it goes.

A word (or 2^128) on IP addresses

One of the primary advantages of IPv6 is that its address space is vastly larger than IPv4.

IPv4 has about 4 billion addresses available (mathematically, the practical limit is of course lower) and we’re running out of them, fast. Granted, who would’ve thought back in the day that people would want to assign IP addresses to their toasters. (And even if they didn't, 4 billion addresses don't even cover one device per human being on the planet right now by a long shot.)

IPv6, on the other hand, has a mathematical limit of 2^128 IP addresses. That’s a lot. To be exact, it’s 340,282,366,920,938,463,463,374,607,431,768,211,456 (340 undecillion, 282 decillion, 366 nonillion, 920 octillion, 938 septillion, 463 sextillion, 463 quintillion, 374 quadrillion, 607 trillion, 431 billion, 768 million, 211 thousand and 456.

Say that four times fast!)

To put that into perspective: if you took all the atoms on the surface of Earth, you could assign about a hundred(!) IPv6 addresses to each(!).

Okay, it’s a lot. Is there a point to this math trivia?

Yes!

The IPv6 address pool is impossibly large. Even with the reservations and practical limits, it’s mind-blowingly huge. And smart people at IETF came up with some navigation shortcuts to help our brains cope with managing it, as well as reserving a bunch for specific purposes.

Let’s have a look at those.

Common & reserved prefixes in IPv6 addresses

Because of the huge amount of possible IPv6 addresses, and since the format of IPv6 is 16 hexadecimal values (grouped in eight 16-bit groups) instead of IPv4’s more simple 4 decimal groups, developers of the standard came up with ways to shorten them.

One way is to use ‘::’ when a 16-bit group is all zeroes. Note that when there are multiple groups with zeroes, only the first group will get shorthanded to ‘::’. (Reason for this is the need for shortened IPv6 addresses to be reproduced in their full forms.)

Another useful “trick” is the reservation of special structures for specific purposes:

::/0 default route  
::/128 unspecified address All 128 bits are set to zero. (Like 0.0.0.0 in IPv4.) Used only when a device is first looking for an IP address assignment.
::1/128 loopback address Equivalent to 127.0.0.1 in IPv4. When set as a destination the packet will get immediately routed back to its source and never exits the host. Loopback is useful for testing.
::ffff:0:0/96 IPv4-mapped address Used to help the deployment of IPv6. The last 32 bits contain the IPv4 address, with FFFF (following 5 groups of zeroes) in the preceding group.
2001:1::1/128 port-control-protocol anycast Using this will route the packet to the closest device for address translation. (Such as NAT64 or NAT44.)
2001:1::2/128 Traversal Using Relays around NAT (TURN) anycast The IPv6 address block for use with TURN (a protocol allowing host behind NAT to receive data over TCP or UDP). Known as 192.0.0.10/32 in IPv4.
2001:db8::/32 documentation prefix Used to indicate resources such as RFCs, documentation, books, etc.
2620:4f:8000::/48 AS112 DNS sinkhole servers Used in environments where private IP addresses (ie, not globally unique) may originate DNS reverse lookups to these addresses. While best practices dictate to resolve these queries locally, sometimes they are directed at public DNS, which cannot answer the queries. To resolve this issue, and relieve pressure on the authoritative servers, the AS112 project was created, and this reservation ensures its compatibility with IPv6.
fc00::/7 Unique-Local Addresses (ULA) Prefix to local IPv6 unicast addresses generated with a pseudo-random global ID.
fe80::/10 link-local unicast Equivalent to the 169.254.0.0/16 block in IPv4. Used when the host doesn’t have an IPv6 address assigned either manually or through DHCP.
fec0::/10 site-local addresses (deprecated)

While not an exhaustive list by far, it covers the most often used cases.

More IPv6 coming up!

For sake of simplicity, we’ve split this topic into two parts. The second part, common multicast IPv6 addresses, will be out next week. (And if you thought there were too many acronyms in this one, you’re in for a surprise!)

After that, we have one last post to cover the remaining sections on our cheat-sheet, including IPv4-IPv6 tunneling, and covering useful Linux commands.

In the meantime, let us know if there’s a particular part of IPv6 you’d like to know more about!

 

Topics: IPv6, IPAM, IP address management

IPv6 cheat-sheet, part 1: the IPv6 header & EUI-64

Posted by Greg Fazekas on 10/4/19 9:59 AM

IPv6 is increasingly not an option but a fact of life. We’ve talked about it a lot (and some more and more) but this time we don’t want to discuss the merits or pitfalls of IPv6.

Instead, let’s take a closer look at the IPv6 protocol itself. 

We’ll use our famed IPv6 cheat-sheet (also available as a lens cleaner — visit us at events to score one) as a guide, and examine each section in depth.

Let’s start with, just like an IPv6 packet does, the header.

The IPv6 header

When discussing the IPv6 header it’s inevitable to compare it to what came before:

(Image credit: Wikipedia.)

This is of course the IPv4 header. It’s smaller in size: IPv4 uses 32 bit binary numbers whereas IPv6 uses 128-bit binary numbers. Size matters not, however. Or at least matters less.

IPv6 headers are much less complex:

The IPv6 header is more streamlined: it contains 8 fields, compared to IPv4’s 14 fields.

  • version: 4 bits long, and corresponds to IPv4’s field of the same name. It indicates the receiver the IP version to expect. In case of IPv6 that is of course 6, making this field’s binary value 0110.
  • traffic class: 8 bits long, and replaces IPv4’s ‘type of service’ field. The first 6 bits contain the differentiated services (DiffServ) designation of the packet, and is called differentiated services code point (DSCP). DSCP classifies the type of traffic carried by the packet for quality of service (QoS) purposes. For example, streaming media like video and audio on a conference call can enjoy lower latency than non-critical traffic, such as web browsing. The last two bits are for optional explicit congestion notifications (ECN). ECN can be used to signal congestion on the network by marking it in the IPv6 header. (Instead of dropping packets.)
  • flow label: 20 bits long, and new to IPv6. Useful for real-time applications, it signals the receiving node (routers or switches) to keep packets on the same path as to prevent them from being reordered.
  • payload length: 16-bits long. Contains the size of the payload in octets (remember those?) and can include extension headers. (Extensions headers replace the ‘options’ field known from IPv4.) It’s set to zero when the packet carries a jumbo payload.
  • next header: 8-bits long. It shares its function (and values) with IPv4’s ‘protocol’ field, and as the name suggests specifies the type of the next header.
  • hop limit: 8-bits long, formerly known in IPv4 as ‘time-to-live’. Decremented by one passing each node, and the packet is discarded when the value of hop limit reaches zero.
  • source address: 128 bits long, same function as in IPv4. Contains the IPv6 address of the node originally sending the packet.
  • destination address: 128 bits long, same function as in IPv4. Contains the IPv6 address of the destination node for which the packet is intended.

MAC to EUI-64 conversion

Extended Unique Identifier (EUI-64, because it’s 64-bits long) is a new method with which IPv6 hosts can be automatically configured in DHCP. The conversion is needed because hardware MAC addresses are 48-bits long.

This process is done in three steps:

  1. First the 48-bit MAC address needs to be separated into two 24-bit parts: C0:A1:B2:C3:D4:E5 becomes C0:A1:B2 C3:D4:E5.
  2. Then insert FF:FE between them, making it C0:A1:B2:FF:FE:C3:D4:E5.
  3. Lastly, invert the 7th bit: convert the first byte (C0 in this case) to binary (resulting in 11000000), check the 7th bit (0) and flip it (to 1) and translate it back to hexadecimal (binary 11000010 becomes C2).

The final EUI-64 version of the MAC address C0:A1:B2:C3:D4:E5 thus becomes C0:A1:B2:FF:FE:C3:D4:E5.

More IPv6 coming up!

In the next blog post we’ll continue the examination and explanation of the Men&Mice IPv6 cheat-sheet, and take a good look at the IPv6 address space and the things you can do with it.

In the meantime, let us know if there’s a particular part of it you’d like to know more about!

Topics: IPv6, IPAM

DNS training from A to Z, Part 5

Posted by Men & Mice on 9/20/19 9:25 AM

Continuing our glossary of DNS tips & tricks, we’re covering the letters M, N, and O this time.

M is for “master DNS zone”

A.k.a. the Primary Zone. Informally, The Zone Of All That Is Good and Pure. (May have made that one up.)

Simply put, the master DNS zone resides on the server which is authoritative for the zone’s data. (As opposed to a slave zone; more on that in a bit.) When you make changes to the master DNS zone, such as adding, editing, or deleting a record, those changes will be replicated to the slave DNS zones.

Slave (or secondary) DNS zones are read-only copies of the master DNS zone, used to relieve the primary zone of query load or as a backup in case of failure. Data from the master DNS zone to the slave zone(s) is done through zone transfer

N is for “named-check*”

Namely (🙄) named-checkzone and named-checkconf. These two are helpful commands in BIND (we’ve talked about it before) to check a configuration file’s validity before pushing it live. 

The neat feature of these two commands is that not only do they report any errors in their respective configuration files, but also let you know the line number of the errors. When dealing with large files, this can save a lot of time and headache.

Use them freely.

O is for “OpCode”

A DNS opcode is a four-bit field that identifies the type of query being sent to the DNS server.

The opcode can be, per IANA’s (the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority, we’ve also talked about them before) designations:

OpCode

Name

0

Query (see RFC1035)

1

IQuery (Inverse Query, obsolete; see RFC3425)

2

Status (see RFC1035)

3

Unassigned

4

Notify (see RFC1996)

5

Update (see RFC2136)

6

DNS Stateful Operations (DSO) (see RFC8490)

7-15

Unassigned

OpCodes show up when you examine a query. (Like with dig.)

Want to learn more?

This series is byte-sized (that joke just never gets old) — but a lot more can be said and done. To learn more in-depth about DNS specifically, we offer a comprehensive DNS training program.

You can enroll in different groups depending on your skill level:

  • If you’re new to DNS, we offer the DNS & BIND Fundamentals (DNSB-F) course. It’s part of the DNS & BIND Week (DNSB-W) and serves as a shorter introduction to the world of DNS and BIND.
  • If you’re already familiar with the basics, the full five-day DNS & BIND Week (DNSB-W) course takes you deeper into DNS, including a heavy emphasis on security, stopping just short of DNSSEC (for which we offer a separate course).
  • And if you're looking for even more, we offer the DNS & BIND Advanced (DNSB-A) program, getting into the deep end of things.

To check if you can get on board with one of the remaining courses this year, check out our training calendar for 2019, and reach out to us with any questions.

Topics: Men & Mice Suite, DNS, IT best practices, DNS training

VMworld US 2019: all aboard for multicloud

Posted by Men & Mice on 9/12/19 10:46 AM

The guiding word for San Francisco between 25th and 29th August was ‘cloud.’ Everything revolved around it, from storage solutions to innovations in computing performance, just about every vendor  came set to showcase how their products provide distinct advantages in a cloud environment.

The verdict is clear: cloud adoption in one form or another is not an ‘if’, but a ‘when'. Those coming to VMworld whose companies haven’t yet invested in some kind of cloud offering, came prepared to explore all options.

Pitfalls and best practices

Cloud adoption is a complex task. And it is especially true in the area of our expertise: networks.

The show floor was abuzz with the newest advancements in technologies like storage for big data (in the cloud) and computing performance in service of machine learning (in the cloud).

Meanwhile, the stalwart Men & Mice team had a field day as scores of people came to us to learn how to do cloud better. We chatted with people running multiple data centers, on-prem, in the cloud or hybrid and multicloud, looking for better management solutions. We debated the merits of appliance-based approaches vs. overlays. (Overlays are better, of course). And we had a blast discussing the power of cloud DNS. (If you’re utilizing cloud DNS, you don’t need anything else. You’re already using the best there is. You just need to make it more transparent and compatible with your existing systems and processes.)

Cloud adoption, coupled with migration of data and existing systems, can bring with it a host of pitfalls to avoid, as well as a score of best practices to study and apply. But how do you get your network ready for cloud, or multicloud, adoption? 

On this subject, our North American Director of Sales Operations, Paul Terrill,  gave a talk at VMworld's Solutions Exchange Theater in San Francisco on future-ready network best practices. Take a look:

Cloud is a multiple choice question

We’ve arrived in an era where one cloud is not necessarily the best answer. The differentiation between services and their respective ecosystems has grown beyond simply executing similar processes along the same concept.

The quality of tools and depth of services between different cloud providers can vary considerably, and your needs may be best served by more than one. Every company has to evaluate what works for them. Networking best practices, as discussed by Paul Terrill in the above-mentioned talk, might help you decide what matters most to you. 

In this vibrant and varied landscape of the cloud market, solutions that provide a connective layer between the disparate offerings provide lasting value and position networks well for a rapidly changing network management landscape.

The Men & Mice Suite is such a solution, developed to provide an abstraction layer for cloud (and on-prem!) networks that can work with any underlying technology or service. From VMware to Azure to AWS, NS1 and Akamai -- it doesn’t matter what’s in your networks; what matters is how you see (and manage) it.

And because it’s a software-defined and API-first solution, the Men & Mice Suite can be deployed non-disruptively (no more re-buying appliances every five years) while offering advanced automation and customization tools to save valuable resources across network teams.

In short, with the Men & Mice Suite you don’t need to adapt your network to  to conform to our solution. You can continue to use the platforms you have, or want, to build the future-ready network you need. 

Get connected

IMG_6575We’ve had a great time in San Francisco (as illustrated) and answered a lot of questions from interested parties. We were also delighted to meet up with current customers and hear their success stories with the Men & Mice Suite.

From the latter, we’ll be bringing you deployment studies, white papers, and more technical content on the blog and in our podcast in the coming weeks and months.

For the former, our doors are always open for a chat, or delve deeper with a free demo.  Feel free to reach out to us and we’ll be happy to answer your questions and show you how we can help you change the way you see, and manage, your networks.

Topics: Men & Mice Suite, IPAM, DNS, DHCP, "cloud dns", vmworld

DNS forecast: cloudy (in a datacenter near you)

Posted by Men & Mice on 8/29/19 10:13 AM

Men & Mice @ VMworld 2019

The VMworld contingent of the Men & Mice team has arrived in San Francisco. We’ve met “Karl”, and taken the Moscone Center by storm, where, together with tens of thousands of attendees and hundreds of exhibitors from over 5,000 companies (and 86 countries!), our team is ready to see, show, and tell what’s in store for the future of networks. 

So what’s in store you might ask? From our vantage point in San Fran, it’s abundantly clear:  clouds. Loads of them.

Clouds. Clouds everywhere.

We expected the City of Fog (that has a name; it’s Karl) to be all about clouds, and it didn’t disappoint.

Everybody’s doing cloud. Or, rather, everybody’s doing hybrid and multicloud. We’ve expected as much, and our experience here at VMworld has confirmed it.

The interesting part is talking to people who haven’t yet started using cloud, or those that have already started entertaining the possibility of a multicloud strategy. As exhibitors strut their clouds and visitors contemplate the best options for their businesses, we’ve offered a gentle reminder: cloud adoption is not an either-or proposition - every future-ready network strategy should be having a serious look at it.  

And, not to blow our own horn too loudly, but it’s more apparent than ever - and more important than ever - to consider how an API-first network solution can help your network bridge the gaps between  different platforms, in a variety of clouds that offer a diverse selection of functionality and benefits.

On this note, we are pretty pleased to announce that Men & Mice was chosen as a finalist in TechTarget's 'Best of VMworld' networking category! More on that in our next post.

Stay tuned

paul_terrillOur post-VMworld report is coming in a few days - full of  details on what’s been happening at the event, what and how we think the future will be shaped from the things we’ve learned while meeting people at our booth, or attending and presenting talks (or being chosen as finalists for awards!).
As an additional treat, we’ll be posting a video from the talk our North American Director of Sales Operations, Paul Terrill, held on Monday, where he went into detail on what
’s the what in implementing best practices for future-ready network management.

In the meantime, spend a moment to be wonderstruck by our handsome booth babes. :-)



Topics: VMware, hybrid cloud, vmworld, multicloud, vrealize

Men & Mice @ VMWorld US 2019

Posted by Men & Mice on 8/23/19 9:31 AM

San Francisco: the Men & Mice contingent will be at booth 2033

Come meet us for all your DNS, DHCP, and IPAM needs. (Also the swag. We have good ones.) We'll be happy to chat, and also conducting lightning interviews for our DNS and networking podcast. (Speaking of which: check out the latest episode below.)

While at VMWorld, our North American Director of Sales Operations, Paul Terril, will also be giving a talk on network best practices. Paul has over a decade of experience in assisting enterprises to transition from local to global network operations, and scale accordingly, as well as developing the resilience necessary for secure and efficient  network management on a global scale.   

Changing the way you see your networks

The challenges organizations face are multi-faceted. It's a (multi)cloud-native world, and businesses need solutions that transform their networks into a future-ready state - and quickly.

In his talk, Paul will highlight pain points faced by managers who are getting their networks ready for tomorrow, today. These include:

  • the potential loss of access control assignments,
  • vendor compatibility hurdles
  • lost time and efficiencies 
  • low visibility across platforms
  • boosting security and control
  • optimising service-native features (both on-prem and cloud)
  • automating and workflows
  • unifying management with overlays

(v)Realize the power of your networks

We understand the importance of visibility, control, automation, and security — and also how challenging those can be in complex, hybrid IP infrastructures. Men & Mice provides API-driven DNS, DHCP, and IPAM software solutions to global enterprise, education, and government organizations.

Men & Mice also recognizes the importance of VMWare in enterprise networks. (Why else would we go to VMWorld? Other than the weather in San Francisco, that is ;-) .)

With Men & Mice, users aren't tied to a single DNS and DHCP platform. The Men & Mice Suite comes with built-in vRealize integration, and the ability to, amongst other things, rapidly allocate IPs and manage DNS entries via either the management console, the web interface, or a best-in-class API.

Questions?

Paul will describe in detail the advantage of overlay solutions over other methodologies, as well as where most hybrid and multicloud migration strategies go off the rails. For instance,  IT decision-makers need not fear APIs, but embrace them, especially for network-specific customisation and automation. Homegrown solutions are no longer acceptable.

Come and listen to Paul’s talk, ask the questions you need to know and visit us at booth 2033 throughout the event for an on-the-spot demo (and some super swag!). 

If you can’t make it to San Fran, worry not: we’ll be bringing you daily coverage here and on our social channels.



Topics: VMware, vmworld, resolv.pod, Paul Terrill, vrealize

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The Men & Mice blog publishes educational, informational, as well as product-related material for everyone and anyone interested in IP Address Management, DNS, DHCP, IPv6, DNSSEC and more.

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