The Men & Mice Blog

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

“The more you know” -- Men & Mice @ VMWorld 2019

Posted by Men & Mice on 8/5/19 3:45 AM

The more you knowNetworks, like businesses, are all about relationships. It's relationships that transform individual strengths into greater cumulative benefits. To build such relationships between locations, platforms, and vendors, businesses need to facilitate communication.

That’s what the Men & Mice Suite does.

The Men & Mice Suite is a software-defined and API-driven management overlay for complex Network IP infrastructures. Version 9.2, released earlier this year, brought advanced workflow and reporting features to streamline operations and eliminate bottlenecks while preserving the signature visibility and ease of use.

Freedom of movement in diverse networks

The Men & Mice Suite’s ability to bulk migrate DNS zones and DHCP scopes, implement role-based authorizations, as well as access to both streamlined management interfaces and comprehensive APIs (REST, SOAP and JSON-RPC) eliminates many of the complexities inherent in today's large-scale networks, while mitigating vulnerabilities stemming from DNS failures such as configuration errors and DDoS attacks.

To protect networks further, the Men & Mice Suite's xDNS Redundancy™ feature provides a level of abstraction to build automation, eliminate human error, and remove conflicting DNS service provider platform complexities (e.g. incompatible APIs), all through centralized views for organizational and structural visibility.

All your networks, managed as one

The cross-platform functionality of the Men & Mice Suite v9.2 for DNS, DHCP and IPAM (DDI) operations targets complex enterprise networks. These typically hybrid and multi-cloud networks make use of either multiple cloud (cloud native) vendors or a combination of on-prem and cloud (hybrid) services.

The Men & Mice Suite is compatible with best-in-class on-premise and cloud services such as Unix/Linux, Windows, and Cisco IOS. It’s able to manage DNS in BIND, Microsoft DNS, Azure DNS, Unbound, Amazon Route 53, Dyn, NS1, PowerDNS, and Akamai Fast DNS; control DHCP in ISC DHCP, ISC Kea, and Microsoft DHCP; as well as IPAM with AWS, Azure, OpenStack, Layer 3, Active Directory and vRealize Orchestrator.

The Men & Mice Suite v9.2 offers an integrated management approach, enhancing visibility across network resources and providing secure monitoring of all network spaces. It can be deployed quickly and non-intrusively, whether on-premise, in the cloud, or across multiple cloud environments to manage millions of IP addresses and DNS records, and provide API connections for  thousands of users for automation and provisioning.

Make complexity an asset

The Men & Mice Suite simplifies complex challenges arising from the adoption of partial - or migration to  full - cloud computing capabilities. Customers can eliminate the dangers of creating overlapping network spaces on different platforms by utilizing consolidated views in the unified management console, and save valuable staff time by automating through the reliable, compatible APIs.

It leverages an organization’s existing infrastructure investment, and facilitates smooth integration with new resources. By streamlining the migration and management of a large number of DNS zones through cloud-native features to monitor changes to DNS made outside of the Men & Mice Suite, it greatly improves synchronization of DNS data from cloud providers. 

Granular access control and system health monitoring helps to mitigate costly network security disruptions while integration with both cloud vendors and on-premise network segments unifies monitoring, managing, migrating and authorizing operations across distributed network environments. Additionally, the Men & Mice Suite v9.2 is available through licensing and subscription payment plans to meet the needs of the diverse organizations using the Men & Mice solution.  

Let us help you: find us at VMWorld

The ROI for integrated DDI solutions such as the Men & Mice Suite is largely comprised of two distinct cost-savers: mitigating downtime and optimizing network management efficiency by cutting OPEX. 

Men & Mice has been helping businesses to synchronize data across their diverse networks, avoid vendor lock-in, migrate between services as needed, modernize, diversify and capitalize on compatibility with cloud-native functionality in cloud services. Customers turn to Men & Mice to align network architecture and operations with business logic and policy for more intelligent, future-ready infrastructure.

Migrate your networks to the future with Men & Mice: visit us at VMWorld in San Francisco between August 25th to 29th at Booth #2033.



Topics: vmworld, network management

Men & Mice Suite IPAM and DNS with xDNS Redundancy™: security without complexity

Posted by Greg Fazekas on 8/22/18 7:12 AM

As we increased focus on cloud optimization, DNS redundancy, and compatibility across hybrid and multi-cloud networks in our latest Men & Mice Suite v9.1 release, we also went to great lengths to ensure visibility and ease-of-use across IP address management as a means of increasing network security.

Dynamic IP infrastructure challenges require dynamic DNS management

IP address management in general, and creating DNS redundancy in particular, are complex and often expensive challenges for network administrators. The possibility for human error leading to configuration errors and DNS failures, establishing where, and with which vendor in a distributed network an error has occurred, and the sheer disruptive power of DDoS attacks compound these challenges. Furthermore, increased redundancy across various environments within a network ecosystem often brings with it hindered visibility.

Without redundancies however, Networks are more susceptible to failure. Thus an important feature in the Men & Mice Suite 9.1 release is the improved xDNS Redundancy™.

xdns_new_yellow

xDNS Redundancy in Men & Mice Suite v9.1

Men & Mice Suite's xDNS Redundancy™ provides a level of abstraction that builds automation, provides centralized views, eliminates human error and removes conflicting DNS service provider platform complexities (e.g. incompatible APIs). It increases visibility and control of networks with hybrid or multiple cloud dns providers by unifying management, supporting Active Directory-hosted zones, offering the ability to create read-only zones (see below), and improving native support for Azure DNS and Amazon Route 53, all of which benefits the functionality and core health of IP infrastructure. 

We think of it as “taking the ‘daunt’ out of DNS redundancy." It streamlines the migration and management of a large number of DNS zones, such as with Azure DNS and Amazon Route 53, by utilizing cloud-native features to monitor changes to DNS made outside of the Men & Mice Suite, greatly improving synchronization of DNS data from cloud providers. It also enables the assignment of read-only zones across the network to boost resilience against DDoS attacks and other DNS failures.

xDNS Redundancy for creating read-only DNS zones

It is now possible to mark a DNS zone in an xDNS replication group as read-only. While internal changes are synced, external modifications to read-only xDNS instances will not be replicated to other zones.  

Once an xDNS zone redundancy group has been created, xDNS assists the administrator in creating identically replicated zone content, resulting in multiple equal master zones. Additional zones can be added or removed from the xDNS group as required.

If an xDNS zone is not available for updating (for instance - pun intended 😁 - if one DNS service provider experiences an outage) it will be marked as ‘out-of-sync’. Once it becomes available again, current data will be re-synchronized and updated from other zones.

All changes can be initiated by the authorized user through the Men & Mice Suite’s web-based or Windows-based management consoles or APIs, and will be applied to all zone instances in the group. All changes to xDNS grouped zones made externally, or outside of the Men & Mice Suite, will not be synchronized.

DNS management built for the cloudvisibility

A common pain point for CISOs and network managers is the lack of centralized views and the workflow automation difficulties of coordinating on multiple platforms. Whether you’re using a single-platform deployment or a combination of Cloud DNS providers (from Akamai Fast DNS to Azure DNS, Amazon Route 53 Dyn, NS1, or OpenStack), Men & Mice Suite’s xDNS gives you a convenient means to monitor and manage all your DNS resources within the Men & Mice Suite.

Simplifying the management of high-availability network resources across multiple environments is crucial for making network management intuitive and effective. To further address this, we added a web-based application in our 9.1 release, which rounds out the visibility trifecta that also includes a Windows-based management console as well as reliable and compatible REST, SOAP and JSON-RPC APIs. CISOs and network managers are able to look into their domains (again: pun absolutely intended 😉) from anywhere at any time, the way it works best for them.

The Men & Mice Suite is already known to be a robust DNS, DHCP and IPAM (DDI) solution that's easy to implement and able to leverage existing infrastructure investments to provide the visibility and ease-of-use for hybrid and multi-cloud environments that’s missing from competitive products.

Fast and efficient in heterogeneous DNS and DHCP environments, the Men & Mice Suite supports thousands of concurrent users and API connections, with millions of managed IPs and DNS records, for automation and provisioning, whether Unix/Linux, Windows, and Cisco IOS or across cloud services like Azure DNS, Amazon Route 53, Dyn, NS1 and Akamai Fast DNS, as well as IPAM in AWS, Azure and OpenStack.

We’ll be at VMWorld, at booth #2124let us show you how Men & Mice Suite’s xDNS functionality can ease network management and prevent against errors, DDoS and other attacks.Book appointment

DNS, DHCP & IPAM Software Trial

Topics: network outages, IP address management, hybrid cloud, hybrid network, DNS events, vmworld, network security, Azure DNS, Cisco IOS, Amazon Route 53, Dyn, NS1, Akamai Fast DNS

Men & Mice at VMworld 2018 Las Vegas Part 2: Network and Security

Posted by Greg Fazekas on 8/14/18 12:47 PM

DNS_DHCP_IPAM_vmworld2018

As we mentioned in Part 1 of our 2-part VMWorld series, we’re returning to VMWorld in Las Vegas, August 26-30, (Booth #2124) and focusing on two main tracks from the agenda: Data Center and Cloud and Networking and Security. Our first post, discussed the advantages of our newly released Men & Mice Suite v9.1. Here we’ll discuss its networking & security advantages.

We already discussed how The Men & Mice Suite v9.1 supports Unix/Linux, Windows, and Cisco IOS and stretches into the cloud with functionality across Azure DNS, Amazon Route 53, Dyn, NS1 and Akamai Fast DNS, as well as IPAM in AWS, Azure and OpenStack.  Further, it can be dropped on top of an organization’s existing infrastructure to manage, sync and automate network changes, authorizations and provide comprehensive insight into large-scale networks through one unified dashboard.

NETWORKING AND SECURITYmen-mice-visibility-network

Organizations with well-considered DNS, DHCP and IP address management (DDI) strategy in place, are less vulnerable. Access to systems is binary; either you have access or you don't. Proper DDI management can help prevent vulnerabilities because critical resources are better protected through fine-grained access control, for both authorizing individuals and authorizing systems, which DDI offers. But DDI services vary in their offerings.

Deployed in a high-availability configuration as a management and automation layer on top of some of the world’s largest networks, the Men & Mice Suite supports thousands of concurrent users and API connections, with millions of managed IPs and DNS records, for automation and provisioning.  DNS updates and IP address allocation through workflow from provisioning systems is accomplished in milliseconds.

men-mice-network-securityThe Men & Mice Suite’s fine-grained access controls, ability to filter and record through its audit trails the network changes made across various on-prem and cloud services in a network, and reliable, compatible APIs, give organizations a strategic advantage to mitigate network vulnerabilities, limiting the impact of human error and attack probes, who otherwise would be more likely to go unnoticed.

xDNS redundancy is a focal point for our newest, 9.1 release. It’s designed to mitigate exposure to DDoS, ransomware, and other attacks; while keeping the transparency that plays a great role in security itself. We’ve also added a ‘read-only’ option within xDNS redundancy groups in Men & Mice Suite v9.1. With it, network managers can protect their configurations from spreading an otherwise isolated problem to the entire network. Together with the support of Active Directory zones in xDNS groups, organizations can easily bring their on-prem DNS configurations to a cloud environment and vice versa, proactively minimizing common network availability issues.

Enterprise organizations require exemplary network functionality and security. Much of that security comes from fine-grained control and visibility, especially when the sprawl of IT resources scale up. Recently, John P. Mello Jr. reported on the inherent, large-scale threats faced by critical infrastructure and enterprise organizations. The TechNewsWorld article, interviewed several security and network management companies, including Men & Mice, to learn various ways to protect against such threats. 

Can’t make it? No worries!

You can book an appointment to meet our team onsite at VMWorld (Booth #2124).

Or, if you’re missing the event, book a walk-thru any time by clicking the button below.

We’re always happy showcase the benefits of deploying our best-in-class overlay management solution on top of your network.

Book appointment

DNS, DHCP & IPAM Software Trial

Topics: DDI, Men & Mice, Redundant DNS, High availability, networking best practices, hybrid cloud, hybrid network, "cloud dns", vmworld, network security, Azure DNS, aws, Cisco IOS, Amazon Route 53, Dyn, NS1, Akamai Fast DNS, azure

Network virtualization with visibility and automation of DNS, DHCP and IPAM

Posted by Greg Fazekas on 7/16/18 8:45 AM

The Men & Mice Suite version 9.1, released last week, introduced several new features and improved functionality for hybrid and multi-cloud networks. One of the additions we developed in our mission to change the way the world sees networks is a cross-platform, easy-to-use web-based management application.

Seamless integration

We intend the web-based management application for the Men & Mice Suite to be the go-to interface for the most common tasks. In the future, it will also serve as the central platform for our innovations across DNS, DHCP and IPAM (DDI). We're highly focused on developing an increasing number of partnerships to make integration across services and vendors even more seamless.

Day-to-day DDI operations made simple


With three major sections — DNS, Networks, and Reporting — the Men & Mice web-based management application is organized around operational efficiency.

Where the existing Windows-based management console of the Men & Mice Suite gives you the full range of configuration and management options for your networks, the web-based management application focuses on day-to-day tasks, such as finding and working with DNS zones or records, IP address ranges, DHCP scopes and IP addresses. You may want to use the full Men & Mice Suite application for the yearly inspection or the large restructuring of your networks, but can quickly get things done from anywhere, on any device, with the web application.

Quick Commands: lightning-fast, best-in-class user experience

men_and_mice_quick_command

Another way the web-based management application helps to efficiently manage networks is through its Quick Commands feature.

If you ever used the Spotlight functionality in MacOS or the universal search bar in other platforms or services, you know how a deceptively simple function can save incredible amounts of time. The Quick Command feature interacts with a single click or key combination (ctrl+space) and uses auto-complete to arrive at the needed information or function in just a few keystrokes. 

We’ll continue to focus on and add functionality to Quick Commands in future releases. As it gets smarter, so to will your network management get easier.

Visit the Men & Mice Suite web-based management console guide for more information on its capabilities and full functionality.

Virtualization and automation 

In addition to our virtual DNS/DHCP appliances and Virtual DNS Caching appliances, in a larger context of network management, the v9.1 release of the Men & Mice Suite continues to forge its path towards greater network virtualization and automation. The Men & Mice Suite restores and significantly improves the unified network visibility usually forfeited in the process of virtualization, intuitively pulling data from critical network components and consolidating it in an easy-to-use UI with extensive centralized control and functionality.

The Men & Mice Suite offers unrivalled integration with Microsoft Active Directory Sites and Subnets, combined with real-time synchronization across diverse server environments and distributed virtual and physical locations.

The comprehensive built-in tracking and logging tools ensure the systematic keeping of records. It's important to know who made what change, when, where, and why. Transparency takes the sting out of the fast and dynamic change procedures that are the hallmarks of virtualized environments.

Access management is granular and fully integrated with Active Directory. Role-based access provides strong, centralized control and delegation. Different IT teams experience painless cooperation and efficiency, respecting the often hazy task boundaries created by the transformation from physical machines to virtual instances.

The Men & Mice roadshow continues!

men&mice_vmworld_Booth #2124

What we do at Men & Mice is help companies with large, complex network infrastructure automate and virtualize their networks. We also believe in the value of other forms of networking-- meeting customers and future customers in person.

We’ll be exhibiting at VMworld in Las Vegas August 26-30, to showcase the Men & Mice Suite at booth# 2124.  We'll report in on our social media and on this blog — hope to see you either there!

Topics: DDI, Men & Mice, DNS, DHCP, VMware, External DNS, IP address management, hybrid cloud, hybrid network, vmworld

Why follow Men & Mice?

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.

Subscribe to Email Updates

Recent Posts

Posts by Topic

see all