The Men & Mice Blog

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

Hybrid Cloud DNS with the Men & Mice Suite

Posted by Men & Mice on 2/2/15 9:55 AM

Since its humble origins as QuickDNS for the Apple Macintosh, the Men & Mice Suite has evolved into a comprehensive management solution for existing heterogeneous DNS/DHCP environments, with a powerful IPAM module that allows for seamless AD Sites & Subnets management in Windows Active Directory environments. Since 2011 Men & Mice have also offered the Men & Mice Appliance for customers that desire integrated DNS/DHCP or caching appliance solutions.

Introducing the Generic DNS Server Controller

In 2014 Men & Mice introduced the Generic DNS Server Controller, an extension of the existing Men & Mice DNS Server Controller that allows the Men & Mice Suite to integrate with any DNS server product that features an API to access and update DNS data.

The result is a flexible DNS solution that can deploy and centrally manage a wide variety of DNS products within a single hybrid environment, all without having to replace existing DNS infrastructure.

Better living through scripting

With the Generic Controller, communication between the DNS Server Controller and the DNS server itself is not hard coded; instead, a scripting interface is called instead of directly accessing the server whenever changes are made through the Men & Mice Management Console (or any other Men & Mice client interfaces).

Men & Mice currently provides two scripts (written in python) to interface with a cloud based DNS service (Amazons Route53) and PowerDNS (with a MySQL back-end, which is widely used as authoritative DNS in the ISP market). These scripts can be further tweaked and configured to interface with any number of different DNS servers without changes to the core infrastructure.

Looking forward

What does this mean for Men & Mice's customers?

Put simply, it can significantly lower infrastructure costs when moving into the future; should you plan to migrate your data into a cloud based DNS service or even switch over to some other DNS product types like PowerDNS you can still use the Men & Mice Suite to manage the DNS/DHCP and IPAM with all the advantages it brings, such as audit trails, automation, and delegation.

Hybrid Cloud DNS with the Men & Mice Suite
  • An administrator requests a change on the DNS server via the Men & Mice Management Console, which connects to the Men & Mice Central server.
  • Men & Mice Central connects to the DNS Server Controller and relays the change request.
  • The DNS Server Controller deploys the change and reports success or error back to Central.
  • Central reports back to the administrator.

Topics: Men & Mice Suite, IPAM, DNS, DHCP, CLOUD

Unparalleled support for DNS Servers and tightened Security

Posted by Men & Mice on 10/8/14 8:51 AM

Men & Mice announces the release of version 6.7 of the Men & Mice Suite.

The Men & Mice Suite is the ideal tool for network managers who need superfast daily management, planning, reporting and auditing on growing dynamic IP networks, delivering the added benefit of improved network security as well. 

Unparalleled support for DNS Servers

To ensure the solution will scale with businesses as they grow, the Men & Mice Suite integrates with the widest available range of DNS servers, such as BIND, Microsoft DNS services and Unbound. The 6.7 edition adds PowerDNS to enable customers to run hybrid environments for tightened securityIn this release Men & Mice takes flexibility one step further with the addition of Amazon Route53 DNS services support.  Enterprises moving to the AWS cloud or running hybrid private/public clouds can now keep full control of their DNS, DHCP and IP environment with the Men & Mice Suite.


Support for Amazon Route53
The Men & Mice Suite now supports Route53, Amazon’s cloud DNS service. With this integration, users can manage DNS information stored on the Amazon Route53 DNS servers in the same way they can manage DNS on other supported platforms, such as creating new zones and edit DNS records in existing zones.


Support for PowerDNS
PowerDNS, an open source, high performance DNS server, is now supported in the Men & Mice Suite.  This capability will especially benefit customers with complex hybrid environments, as they will be able to  manage all their diverse DNS servers from one solution, regardless if they are BIND, Microsoft DNS or PowerDNS servers. 


DNS Security

The increase of mobile devices (BYOD), the Internet of Things (IoT) and the growth of cloud-based virtual machines has caused a seismic shift in the DDI landscape, leading to greater awareness of network-related security risks. Security manifests itself in various formats, such as availability, performance and the ability to withstand attacks like DDoS Attacks, DNS cache poisoning and other DNS security threats. The Men & Mice Suite helps network administrators address such risks by offering hybrid DNS server support and high availability.

The 6.7 edition of the Men & Mice Suite adds DNS and DHCP service Monitoring and support for TLSA records that enable the storage of/and signing keys that are used to verify SSL/TLS certificates through DNSSEC.


DNS and DHCP service Monitoring

The Men & Mice Suite now actively monitors the status of the DNS and DHCP services on all managed platforms and will alert users if the services become unavailable.  In addition to being displayed in the user interface, the alerts can be sent to monitoring systems for further processing.  This will serve to maximize availability and enable customers to avoid costly unscheduled downtime.


Support for TLSA records
TLSA records,  in conjunction with DNSSEC signatures, provide an easier and more secure way for applications such as Web browsers and mail servers to authenticate SSL/TLS certificates.   Support for management of TLSA records has been added to the Men & Mice Suite.  For more info on TLSA and DANE (DNS-based Authentication of Named Entities), users can view a recent Men & Mice webinar on the topic.


Reverse zone improvements
Handling of reverse records and reverse zones has been enhanced in this new version and is now much more tightly integrated into the IPAM module.  Users can select any number of subnets and create and/or update the corresponding reverse entries for the subnets.  Reverse record (PTR records) details are now also included with the IP address details in the IPAM view.

 

Role-based access support

Role-based access allows customers to create roles in the Men & Mice Suite and assign these roles to users and groups.  All supported users and groups, whether Men & Mice built-in or from Active Directory or Radius can have roles assigned to them, which will greatly simplify access administration while providing a more flexible access model.  

 

Men & Mice Suite version 6.7 FREE TRIAL

 

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


New features in version 6.7

Topics: DNS/DHCP Appliance, Men & Mice Suite, DDI, DNSSEC, IPAM, Monitoring, Security

An Introduction to the Men & Mice Web Service: SOAP API

Posted by Men & Mice on 8/29/14 9:51 AM

The Men & Mice Suite provides a large number of powerful features to manage DNS, DHCP and IP infrastructures of all sizes. All of these features are accessible through the Men & Mice GUI client or the web interface that come with the Suite.

An alternative to using the graphical tools, is to use the Men & Mice web service API to automate repetitive tasks. The web service has even been used to build new custom applications on top of the Men & Mice Suite. In this article, I will start by giving a brief overview of the API, followed by a short example to demonstrate how the service can be used.

Overview

The Men & Mice web service API first came out in 2008, and has been in constant development ever since. It uses the Simple Object Access protocol (SOAP) and has a Web Service Description Language (WSDL) definition that describes all operations that can be done. All new features in the Suite are implemented for the web service, so everything that can be done using the GUI tools can also be done through the API. The latest official API documentation can be found here. You can also see what operations are supported by your current release by connecting to the Men & Mice Central server that comes with the Suite (see the official API documentation for further details).

Examples of what users are doing with the Men & Mice web service include:
  • Search for DNS records in all zones that match a particular name.
  • Change the time to live (TTL) for all DNS records containing a certain pattern.
  • Construct a report for DHCP scope options and address pools, and e-mail to responsible personnel.
  • Automatically create DHCP reservations when deploying virtual machines.
  • Create DNS zones in bulk according to a template.
  • Manage a list of blacklisted DNS zones.
  • Run periodically a cleanup of IP addresses that haven't been seen on the network for some fixed time period.
  • Find the next free IP address, and create records and/or reservations through own web portals.

Numerous SOAP clients exist for different programming languages. For this article, we will be using the python programming language and the suds SOAP framework.

The first thing to do, when using the web service is to download the WSDL file from the Men & Mice Central server, that defines what SOAP commands are available for your release. The next step is to log into the system using the Login command to retrieve a session token that will be used to authenticate all subsequent calls to the service. Since the session token has to be used for all requests to the service, it becomes very repetitive to manually include it in all calls. We will, therefore, use a wrapper client, available from the Men & Mice website that will automatically append the token to all subsequent calls, once we have logged onto the system. Suds also requires a slight modification of the SOAP envelope in order to work with the Men & Mice web service, which will be handled by the client.

import suds
from soapCLI import mmSoap
 
try:
    cli = mmSoap(proxy="proxy.example.com",server="central.example.com",
             username="administrator", password="secret")
    cli.login()
except suds.WebFault as e:
    print "Error while logging into the Men & Mice suite: %s" % e.fault.faultstring

The same authentication model applies to users logged in through the web service, as to users using the GUI. The user needs to have permissions to work with a given resource (DNS records, zones, servers, users, etc). Special permissions are also needed to execute commands through the web server interface. The permissions can be granted by an administrator using a GUI, or the web service.

Error handling

The SOAP specification defines a format for messages containing error information and is used by the Men & Mice web service to notify a client when an operation fails. In some cases, we might also get partial failures. If we are for example deleting DNS records from a number of servers, then some of the DNS servers might be unreachable, while other servers successfully remove their corresponding records. In that case the operation will return a collection of error messages describing the errors.

Working with resources

All objects within the Men & Mice Suite, whether they are IP addresses, DNS zones, DNS records, DHCP scopes or any other type of resource, have a unique resource identifier that can be used to reference, retrieve and work with the resource. It is also possible to fetch a collection of items, for example DNS records and search the retrieved items for a specific pattern. Many of the SOAP commands also provide a filter input parameter, in order to filter what records to return from the service. Further details about references and filters can be found in the official Men & Mice API documentation .

Example usage

We will now demonstrate a simple, yet realistic example of how the API might be used.

The example demonstrates a scenario where we need to relocate a large number of websites hosted on different machines to a new web server. Instead of changing each DNS record manually by hand, we will automate the task by using a simple script.

We start by logging into the system using the before mentioned client available from the Men & Mice website. We then create an array of DNS records (arrayOfDNSRecordsToAdd) that will be used to store the new records that we want to add. We also create an array to store unique references to the records that we want to delete (dnsRecordsToRemove), after we have saved the newly created records.

try:
    cli = mmSoap(proxy=proxy,server=server,
             username=username, password=password)
    cli.login()
except suds.WebFault as e:
    print "Error while logging into the Men & Mice suite: %s" % e.fault.faultstring
    return False
    
arrayOfDNSRecordsToAdd = cli.create("ArrayOfDNSRecord")
dnsRecordsToRemove = cli.create("ArrayOfObjRef")

In order to get all DNS records, we need to fetch all DNS zones in the system using the GetDNSZones command. Once we have an object identifier for each zone (dnsZoneRef), we can use the GetDNSRecords SOAP command to retrieve all DNS records that are in the zone. Two filters are used. The first filter is used to make sure that only master zones are retrieved. The second filter is used to limit the results to records of type "A". If a record points to any of the servers we are migrating from (IP addresses 10.1.1.10, 10.1.1.11 or 1.1.1.1), then we add the record to the collection of records we want to remove and create a new DNS record pointing to the web server we are migrating to (IP address 10.0.0.1).

# Retrieve all master zones
(_, arrayOfDNSZone), (_, totalResults)  = cli.GetDNSZones(filter="type:Master")
if totalResults == 0:
    print "No DNS zones found."
    return True
for dnsZone in arrayOfDNSZone.dnsZone:
    # Fetch all A records from the zone 
    (_, arrayOfDNSRecord), (_, totalResults) = cli.GetDNSRecords(dnsZoneRef=dnsZone.ref, filter="type:^A$")
    if totalResults > 0:
        for dnsRecord in arrayOfDNSRecord.dnsRecord:
            if dnsRecord.data in ["10.0.0.10", "10.1.1.11", "1.1.1.1"]:
                # Modify records to point to new server
                dnsRecordsToRemove.ref.append(dnsRecord.ref)
                dnsRecord.ref = None
                dnsRecord.data = "10.0.0.1"
                arrayOfDNSRecordsToAdd.dnsRecord.append(dnsRecord)

Once we have created all the records, we add them to the system using the AddDNSRecords command. The command returns an array of record references for each new DNS record that has been added, along with an array of errors, if any. The references are used as a parameter to the GetDNSRecord command, that we use to get further information about the records.

The retrieved arrayOfDNSRecordRef will have the same record order as the arrayOfDNSRecordsToAdd that was passed to the SOAP command. If an error occurred when creating a particular record, then a "null" reference "{#0-#0}" will be returned for that record instead. The results could be used to make sure that any old records that correspond to the ones we were unable to add, will not be removed in the next step when we delete old records. We will, however, omit that step for this example and instead prompt the user to do a manual cleanup in case of any errors.

if len(arrayOfDNSRecordsToAdd.dnsRecord) > 0:
    # Create new records
    (_, arrayOfDNSRecordRef), (_, addRecordArrayOfErrors) = cli.AddDNSRecords(dnsRecords=arrayOfDNSRecordsToAdd, 
                                                                                saveComment='Modifying DNS records to point to host "10.0.0.1".')
    if len(arrayOfDNSRecordRef.ref) > 0:
        for recordRef in arrayOfDNSRecordRef.ref:
            if recordRef == "{#0-#0}":
                # Caused by a record that was not added due to some error
                continue
            try:
                print "Added record:", cli.GetDNSRecord(dnsRecordRef=recordRef)
            except suds.WebFault as e:
                print 'Unable to retrieve record with ref "%s" due to the following error: %s' % (recordRef, e.fault.faultstring)

If any errors came up while adding new records, then we instruct the user to do a manual clean up. Note that the error property from the AddDNSRecords response is "nillable". That means that it might not be present in the response. We therefore check if it has been set, before using it.

If no errors came up while adding new records, then we remove the old records using the RemoveObjects operation. The RemoveObjects command can be used to delete almost any object in the system, given that we have a resource reference to the object.

 

if hasattr(addRecordArrayOfErrors, "error") and len(addRecordArrayOfErrors.error) > 0:
    print """One or more errors occurred while adding records: %s.
 Old records will not be deleted. Please check manually and delete old records that were successfully migrated.""" % addRecordArrayOfErrors.error
    return False
else:       
    # No errors came up during migration, we delete the old records
    removeRecordErrors = cli.RemoveObjects(objRefs=dnsRecordsToRemove,
                                            saveComment="Removing records that now point to host %s." % addressTo)
    if len(removeRecordErrors) > 0:
       print "The following errors occurred while removing old records:", removeRecordErrors
       return False

The complete example can be downloaded here.

Summary

The Men & Mice web service API can be used to automate repetitive DNS, DHCP and IP address management tasks and can be used to write custom applications on top of the Men & Mice Suite. The service can be used by most common programming languages, and as demonstrated, is easy to use.

Topics: Men & Mice Suite, IPAM, DNS, DHCP, DNS Zone, Web Services, SCRIPTING

Men & Mice Suite version 6.6 released

Posted by Men & Mice on 5/15/14 10:32 AM

Men & Mice, a leading provider of DDI solutions, announces the release of the Men & Mice Suite version 6.6 along with added functionality for the Men & Mice Appliances.

The new release focuses on usability enhancements and DNS Security features, further ensuring that the Men & Mice Suite retains its position as one of the most reliable and user - friendly solutions available.

Highlights in version 6.6:

Utilization of static subnets displayed in the Management Console and the Web UI
Real-time utilization of static subnets is now displayed in the user interfaces, which allows users and administrators to quickly see the utilization percentage of the subnets.  The utilization information can be copied out from the console for easy reports and the users can furthermore sort and filter by the utilization.  Filtering of the utilization can be combined with other filters so the user can, as an example, get a list of all subnets of a specific size, or of a specific type that are more than 85% utilized.

Smart-filters
With the addition of Smart-filters one of the most popular features of the Men & Mice Suite has now become even more powerful.  The user can save filters and place them in "smart" folders. The user can also right-click the filter, change its name and the filter statement.  Filters created by the "administrator" user are global, i.e. they are visible by all users.

Support for RPZ (DNS Firewall)
Men & Mice now support the Response Policy Zone framework in BIND, which is the underlying mechanism of DNS Firewalls.  Administrators can create and define RPZ zones with the Men & Mice Suite or, via the tool, configure the DNS servers to subscribe to RPZ feeds from trusted sources.

SNMP Profiles and SNMPv3
Multiple SNMP profiles can now be created.  This allows enterprises with complex networks that use the Men & Mice Suite to pull discovery information from routers that belong to different security realms to create a profile for each realm.  With the addition of SNMPv3, profiles can be for version 1, 2c or 3 and can contain different settings, such as authentication and community strings.

Appliance diagnostic access
The Men & Mice Appliances, both DNS/DHCP and Caching, now have a read-only diagnostic shell access that can be used to run troubleshooting commands (such as dig, drill, etc.) and to gather information and logs from the appliances.  The access is read-only so no changes can be made to the configuration or data on the appliances using the diagnostic access.

Backup and restore of appliances
The Men & Mice Central now stores a backup of full configuration and data from all the managed appliances.  Full backups are taken daily and incremental backups are taken each time a change is made on the appliances.  If an appliance were to become unavailable for some reason, a new appliance can be configured with the same IP address as that appliance. All configurations, including DNS and DHCP data, network configuration and other settings is restored from the backup to the new appliance making it identical to the previous one.

 

 

Men & Mice Suite version 6.6 FREE TRIAL
 

 

Topics: DNS/DHCP Appliance, Men & Mice Suite, DDI, IPAM, DNS, DHCP, Caching Appliance

Men & Mice Suite version 6.5 for DDI released

Posted by Men & Mice on 2/10/14 9:17 AM

Men & Mice, a leading provider of DNS, DHCP and IP Address Management (IPAM) solutions, announces the release of the Men & Mice Suite version 6.5.

The new release focuses on providing operational security and the ability to expand customer infrastructure.

Traditionally the Men & Mice Suite has been deployed as an overlay management solution for core DNS and DHCP services. As more customers become reliant on the Men & Mice Suite for the automation and control of their critical network infrastructure, any potential downtime can affect provisioning systems and other automated processes that must operate without interruption. To address the need for this absolute reliability, version 6.5 of the Men & Mice Suite comes with even more complete High Availability functionality.

Cloud environments have become an important part of the enterprise network, and traditionally the visibility into the DDI component of the cloud has been limited. Version 6.5 of the Men & Mice Suite now enables customers to manage core infrastructure services in the OpenStack cloud environment as seamlessly and easily as they manage their internal networks.

Higlights

High Availability

Version 6.5 of the Men & Mice Suite enables customers to configure and run Men & Mice Suite (Central) in a HA mode. This means that multiple copies of the Men & Mice Central can be run simultaneously on the network, and at any given time one of them will be the active instance. If an active instance of the Men & Mice Suite fails or is taken down for any reason, one of the other instances will assume the active role. When that happens all clients, whether they be regular user interfaces or script APIs, will automatically fail over to the new Central. With the new HA setup customers can run their critical automation processes without fear of interruption from possible downtime.

OpenStack integration

Software Defined Networking (SDN) and Cloud stack solutions that act as an IaaS platform are increasingly becoming a common part of the enterprise infrastructure. The Men & Mice Suite version 6.5 contains integration with OpenStack, an open source project for service providers, enterprises, government agencies and academic institutions that want to build public or private clouds. Multiple teams within an organization, each with their own cloud instances and multiple networks and subnets, are faced with the problem of limited visibility into their cloud environment. Men & Mice integrates the software defined networks with the traditional networks that exist in the enterprise environment enabling a global view into every aspect of the network infrastructure. The "good citizen" nature of the Men & Mice Suite continues to be preserved so the OpenStack networks can be created and configured through the Suite but the solution will also adapt to changes done outside of the Men & Mice Suite, either through the Horizon UI or through the OpenStack API.
Additionally, changes to OpenStack networking can be done through the Men & Mice Suite SOAP API, which can utilize the authentication, authorization and activity logging in Men & Mice. The result is gaining the flexibility of a cloud environment while still retaining all the security and control possible through the Men & Mice Suite.

Other improvements

In this new release the documentation and help has been moved from the operational manual format to a web based format. This change will ensure that all users get guaranteed access to the latest version of the help and documentation.
As in previous releases of the Men & Mice Suite, the new version contains various other enhancements that are intended to improve ease-of-use, stability and performance.

 

Men & Mice Suite version 6.5 FREE TRIALHow to's - Men & Mice Suite version 6.5 Webinar sign up here

Topics: Men & Mice Suite, DDI, IPAM, DNS, DHCP

How does the Internet work?

Posted by Men & Mice on 7/19/13 9:37 AM

How does the Internet sort out your request to read this blog article from all the request to look at, such as the newspapers online or videos about cute kittens?

Rules are the answer!

Rules come in the form of acronyms and an IP address in the world of computing. A Protocol is another name for a rule and an Internet Protocol (IP) address is a unique number assigned to every device on the Internet. But how does it all work? Take a look at James May's Q&A on "How the Internet works" to learn more.

 

Topics: IPAM, DNS

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