The Men & Mice Blog

Men & Mice Sensible IPAM Part 1: IP Conflict Resolution

Posted by Greg Fazekas on 11/9/18 7:56 AM

Picking up on the deep dive into sensible management for your scattered network resources, this Playbook blog series consists of five parts (plus the overview we've published previously) that are:

0. Overview
1. Conflict Resolution
2. Scaling
3. Cloud
4. Day-to-Day Management
5. Security

Each part of this blog series presents real-world problems that Men & Mice have experience in solving. This week’s focus is on Conflict Resolution.

Addressing IP overlaps and DNS conflicts

Imagine that you are a:

  • CIO with several geolocations but lacking a core network management solution, whose company just got acquired. You're looking for a solution that would be a good fit for the merged environments.
  • CTO of a solutions provider for companies. One of your customers, operating two data centers and building another for cloud services, needs an IPAM solution that can bridge between on premises and cloud.
  • Consultant, advising with a project involving the merger of two environments. You're looking for a single automation platform that can resolve the issues arising from overlapping network spaces.

The number one obstacle is resolving conflicts between services, applications, network environments and geolocations, at the IP address, DHCP and DNS levels.Conflict resolution increases security, efficiency and availability. 

What You Need

dns_dhcp_ipam_analysis

An overlay solution deployed on top of your IP infrastructure. A complete overview of every asset you have, and a convenient (preferably automated) way to resolve existing conflicts between them. (And, of course, prevent further ones.)

At the first step you need an easy way to analyze data from across network components. Longer term, one that helps ensure that new IP address assignments, DNS zones, and DHCP scopes are not created without cross-checking for conflicts throughout the entire network environment, including your on-prem and cloud (and multi-cloud as is often the case now).

How Men & Mice Can Help

DNS_DHCP_IPAM

A software-based and API-driven solution, the Men & Mice Suite was developed to simplify core management of IP infrastructure in heterogeneous environments.

Software-based means nominal performance impact on your hardware and cloud resources, and easier deployment because there are no physical appliances to implement. The Men & Mice Suite works on top of any environment(s) you have without impeding performance or disrupting operations.

API-driven design creates convenient ways to manage and automate your DHCP, DNS, and IP Address Management. It also collates various platforms into a single control mechanism through a central interface. The Men & Mice Suite boasts a backend-agnostic API that plugs into network components seamlessly.

You and your team can reduce project time and cost significantly through more quickly identifying overlaps and conflicts, which are visible in the Men & Mice Suite, as well as  more quickly identifying means for resolving them. Resources, be they related to DNS, DHCP, or IP Address management, can be replaced, upgraded, or expanded without the need to start over from scratch. Plus, with Men & Mice, you can capitalize on and migrate to/from whichever best-in-class cloud services make sense for you (Azure, AWS…).

DNS, DHCP and IPAM Demo

Topics: multi-cloud, IPAM, IP address management

5 steps to sensible IPAM for multi-faceted networks

Posted by Greg Fazekas on 10/15/18 6:57 AM

Let's say your business has just gone through a merger or acquisition. The network environments and resources are incompatible-- each using different vendors to operate and manage various segments of your network. You want to consolidate these network resources for better control, security, and efficiency. How do you go about it? Creating a project plan is a good start, until it gets out of hand and vendor lock-ins create impossible, costly hurdles. 

You need solutions that support your plan.

Men & Mice Suite DNS DHCP IPAM

Here are our five basic steps to successfully taking control of your scattered network assets. We'll cover each step in greater detail in later posts.  Think of this as a 'big picture' blueprint.

1. Addressing IP overlaps and DNS conflicts

The number one obstacle to control is resolving conflicts, at the IP address, DHCP and DNS levels. It's true, whether you're trying to integrate new network groups after a successful merger or acquisition, or simply need to get a better handle on the ones resulting from various segmented projects across your business.

Look for a solution that gives you a complete overview of every asset you have, and a convenient - even automated - way to resolve conflicts. An overlay, a solution that lives on top of your IP infrastructure and analyzes data from across network components, can help ensure that new IP address assignments, DNS zones, and DHCP scopes are not created without cross-checking for conflicts throughout the entire network.

2. Scaling existing configurations

Then there's the issue of 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it'. Many neglect to upgrade software services in fear that it will cause unforeseen conflicts that could potentially render a network inoperable. Plus, any organization that's been around for a while generally has its workflows and configurations worked out. It makes no sense to start from scratch or risk misconfigurations, unless you have no other option, right?

A proper DNS, DHCP, and IPAM suite should be able to unobtrusively pull data from your existing configurations, without further complicating the network. Even better,  if it can replicate at scale to suit your expanding needs, particularly into cloud. Look for API-first solutions that demonstrate compatibility with best-in-class providers. 

3. Taking advantage of the cloud

Speaking of expanding needs: cloud platforms offer many advantages to businesses experiencing network strain as a result of business growth and the digitization of every aspect of life and commerce. Little to no up-front costs, metered billing, and flexibility to scale up or down as needed makes cloud services attractive. They also introduce new problems, chief of which is additional network complexity and vendor 'lock-in'.

To avoid lock-in, increase scalability and portability, find a backend-agnostic solution that reduces the need for non-scalable, home-grown software and frees up valuable engineering and operational resources to focus on growth. Data and network assignments from core network components should work and synchronize across multiple platforms to adapt to changing needs.

Further, a solution that capitalizes on its compatibility with cloud-native functionality in cloud services like AWS and Azure, rather than retro-fitting its own solutions into cloud environments, is more apt to mitigate additional complexities down the line. It also give network administrators the ability to migrate between services as needed.    

4. Simplifying the day-to-day

Simplicity also boosts operational efficiency. Automating mundane network functions and unifying all on-prem and cloud DNS, DHCP and IPAM into a single-pane-of-glass console reduces network complexities.

A lightweight, agile management software should complement your desire to easily see and control everything across your network while enabling you to simplify everyday actions, scale and replicate as well as control delegation responsibilities to those in the field.

5. Securing the networks

Delegation can become one of the largest pain points when proactively defending against security issues, however. Increasing access can create more attack vectors. This combined with the utilization of multiple vendors across network functions, creates opportunities for misconfigurations and vulnerabilities. The balance between implementing conveniences and ensuring network security can often be tricky. 

Choosing a solution that enables granular, role-based access and complete operational transparency is not only useful but critical. Find a solution that allows you to retain access controls from various network components and delegate only a well-defined set of permissions to individuals or groups across network resources, whose actions are then logged through a unified audit trail.  

Keeping an eye on your bottom line

Consolidating and upgrading your core network components doesn't have to be riddled with runaway costs and operational headaches. Just like your network itself, your network management toolset needs to work for you. Both operationally and financially you need something as complex as it absolutely has to be.

Men & Mice Suite is a robust, agnostic, overlay software solution for DNS, DHCP and IP address management that includes a powerful unified console for consolidating control and visibility over hybrid and multi-cloud networks. 

Trusted for decades by the architects and managers overseeing some of the world’s largest network infrastructures, Men & Mice Suite offers simplified integration, advanced control, and improved security.

DNS, DHCP & IPAM Software Trial

Topics: multi-cloud, "cloud dns", CLOUD, networking best practices

Men & Mice at Microsoft Ignite 2018: hybrid compatibility with on-prem Windows Servers and Azure / multi-cloud portability

Posted by Greg Fazekas on 9/5/18 2:25 PM

Fresh from the great experiences at VMWorld in Las Vegas — including a Finalist nod in the Networking category for the Best of VMworld Awards, thank you very much — the Men & Mice team is heading to Orlando, FL at the end of September, to talk all things Windows, Azure, hybrid DNS and IP address management at Microsoft Ignite 2018.

(Best of) VMworld 2018

menmice_vmworld_bestof

Men & Mice was awarded as the Finalist in TechTarget’s ‘Best of VMworld 2018’ awards in the Networking category, and we couldn’t be more proud.

We brought the Men & Mice Suite to VMworld to showcase our no-nonsense, unified approach to simplifying enterprise DNS, DHCP and IP address management. Our commitment to developing software solutions that scale and adapt to changing network needs while keeping costs and complexity down (through automation, virtualization and full network visibility) were validated both in conversations we had at our booth and reflected in the award we received for Men & Mice Suite v9.1.

The Men & Mice Suite is an overlay management solution that can be dropped on to an organization’s existing on-prem and cloud infrastructure, maximizing investments to give full visibility, synchronization and added security across network environments. Its fast-implementation and non-disruptive deployment, as well as reliable REST APIs, cloud-native functionality, fine-grained access controls and web-based management application simplifies day-to-day operations while amplifying compatibility with best-in-class platforms and vendors for greater network flexibility and portability as an enterprise network evolves.

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At Microsoft Ignite 2018 -- Hybrid & Multi-cloud Network Management

Microsoft Ignite is a prized opportunity not just for Microsoft, but for third-party developers, like Men & Mice, to connect with customers, partners (and each other) in order to advance Network technology further.

The Men & Mice Suite was born amidst the rolling green hills of Iceland but feels right at home flying in the Azure skies of Microsoft (and on the ground in Windows Servers-based on-prem).

Ignite will focus on cloud and networking (and cloud networking.) as dialog around cloud integration shifts from“if” to “how” and “how to make it better.” From datacenter modernization, and its fundamental transition to Managed Services, to cloud-native development for future-ready network infrastructure, Men & Mice will feel right at home. We are about simplified DNS, DHCP and IP address management, after all.

Azure DNS

Men & Mice has been working closely with the Azure DNS team for a long time, to implement full support for Azure DNS in the Men & Mice Suite, an augmentation of the suite’s existing functionality with Windows-based on-prem environments, unparalleled Active Directory integration and hybrid IPAM synchronization with Azure cloud instances.

Men & Mice customers have been able to enjoy the same high availability, performance, and convenience of Azure DNS while maintaining the low cost and full control of their DNS domains and IP address blocks via the tools provided by the Men & Mice Suite.

With the newest additions to the Men & Mice Suite  v9.1, including xDNS Redundancy, which includes cloud-native integration and support, full portability of DNS zones between on-prem, cloud and between cloud vendors, fully leveraging your resources has never been simpler and more efficient. With our web-based management application you can even take everyday network management on the go, while our APIs offer powerful automation (and more!).

Meet Us at Booth 108

Drop by our booth to see how the Men & Mice Suite can increase network flexibility, scalability and simplify your Windows and Azure-based network management — including hybrid networks with on-prem Windows servers, IPAM in Azure and DNS on Azure DNS — without burdening administrators and end users with the complexities.

Come meet us in Orlando to see for yourself.

DNS, DHCP and IPAM Demo

Topics: azure, Windows, Azure DNS, Microsoft Ignite, hybrid cloud, multi-cloud, Men & Mice Suite

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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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