The Men & Mice Blog

Microsoft Ignite 2018 Takeaways: the four pillars of Network Management for DNS, DHCP, IPAM

Posted by Greg Fazekas on 10/3/18 5:30 AM

Microsoft's push for a global Azure cloud has not gone unnoticed. We have integrated with Azure and Azure DNS, which is why we exhibited at MS Ignite and why meeting our customers and talking to attendees was validating. Our solutions and development roadmap addresses their pain points in network management.

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As Yousef Khalidi on the Azure blog writes: "Customers continue to ask for better ways to connect to the cloud, better protection of their cloud workloads, optimal application performance delivery, and more comprehensive monitoring services.

That's a great summary of the world of network management today, and a telling prediction of where it's heading. These core issues affect enterprise businesses who have to:

  • Balance between the needs for efficiency, scalability, and security;
  • Manage the increasingly scarce resource of IP addresses that connect the explosive growth of digital devices;
  • Strategize network restructuring to address overlaps in private namespaces that result from segmented projects, mergers or acquisitions,

We work with our enterprise customers on solutions that address these requirements, as well as providing centralized visibility and control for all their networks. Four pillars of effective network management while integrating with cloud services

1. Connect

Attendees at Ignite came with questions about migration to cloud environments. Enterprise businesses have invested significantly into on-premise networking and IT over the last two decades. Those investments are still precious. Migrating to a cloud platform can indeed seem a daunting - and expensive! - task.

We offer a solution that bridges the visibility gap (and increases operational efficiencies) between on-prem and cloud. Customers looking to migrate select workloads onto the cloud can still manage and scale their network as if it was one.

2. Protect

Security has always been a top priority in network management. And it is even more so, when heterogeneous environments share workloads with external cloud services. Cloud platforms like Azure have natively built-in redundancies and security guarantees, and the Men & Mice Suite takes advantage of those cloud-native features to deliver a holistic view across network environments.

Our xDNS Redundancy™ streamlines the migration and management of large DNS zones to monitor and synchronize changes, for example.

The Men & Mice Suite’s exceptional synergy with Active Directory (AD) was also well received. Customers can keep their on-prem configurations and access control intact and secure, save their previous investments in AD, synchronize and modernize their network management operations at the same time. It also enables access controls at the group and individual levels for greater security.

3. Deliver

We met a lot of network administrators and architects at Ignite who understood the value of non-disruptive deployment, and who were seeking solutions that can be integrated into their workflow unobtrusively.

Our goal is to provide a layer of abstraction through which you can better understand your networks. The Men & Mice Suite's architecture is software-based and API-driven. Deployment poses no interruption to existing services, and the performance impact is nominal.

The Men & Mice Suite gathers data from existing sources, and can control them, without overhead and performance impediments.

4. Monitor

Visibility in DDI provides a significant edge to businesses looking to optimize their resource use. We’ve always put that visibility front and center.

With a single-pane-of-glass interface we've made network management simpler and more efficient. Customers can save time and money by viewing and managing network resources regardless of where they are or what platform they're using.

Both the Men & Mice Suite and its recently improved web-based management application share the same affinity for simplicity and visibility. From customizable filters to automated reporting and alerts, your network is constantly under supervision.

'Ignite' means ‘start’ - where do we go from here?

Attendees of Microsoft Ignite came from companies whose IT is largely or entirely based on Microsoft products. They’re naturally looking at Azure as a complementary service to their existing resources. (Or as a competitive alternative by itself.) Our long-standing integration with Microsoft’s networking products is carried over to extend to Azure’s cloud services as well.

The aptly named event has been a great experience for us. In addition to meeting those who use technology and those who make technology happen in the business space, we’ve gathered feedback that both reinforced and expanded our development focus.

We may have been in the DNS, DHCP, and IP Address Management business for decades, but as cloud services like Azure rise and network architects have to keep reinventing themselves, so do we.

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Topics: windows 2016, Azure DNS, azure, network security, hybrid cloud, hybrid network, Redundant DNS, Microsoft Ignite

Reason to use Men & Mice for IPAM and DNS with Windows 2016 and Azure

Posted by Greg Fazekas on 9/20/18 10:30 AM

Men & Mice + Microsoft Ignite

Men & Mice at #MSIgnite

It's no surprise, given our long-standing relationship and integration with Microsoft's solutions, as well as our mutual enterprise customers, that we'll be attending the Microsoft Ignite event again this year. 

Come to Booth 108, where we'll be answering questions and demoing the Men & Mice Suite. But if you want to learn more about Men & Mice and Microsoft, here's some information that can help you understand our compatibility and how that may be beneficial to your network infrastructure management and operations. 

Book appointment

Men & Mice and Microsoft

Robust and trusted: magic words in any enterprise IT environment.

Microsoft has been able to largely dominate this space because its products are robust and its reputation is trusted. Enterprise IT professionals understand the value accountability that their network infrastructure solutions brings to the table.

With the Men & Mice Suite for DNS, DHCP and IPAM (DDI), you can leverage your existing Microsoft investments without replacing hardware or adding additional appliances. Trusted for decades by the architects and managers overseeing some of the world’s largest network infrastructures, Men & Mice offers simplified integration, advanced control, and improved security.  

Why Men & Mice?

What makes the Men & Mice DDI Suite valuable? Using Men & Mice’s software solutions with your existing Microsoft environment has numerous important advantages through our architecture, Active Directory and Azure integration.

The more robust a network is, the more complex it becomes. Men & Mice, simply put, ‘takes the daunt’ out of network management, while still staying robust and providing the ever-expanding features and support our customers came to trust.

As you scale to meet your expanding networking needs, Men & Mice offers you flexibility, portability, and complete management - all while cutting operational expenses and strengthening overall network resilience.

Architecture

Any vendor-specific appliance, including Microsoft, works best in their own homogenous environment. But the everyday realities of life rarely afford businesses the luxury of such. Once a foreign element, from another vendor or from the same but in another location, is given entry to the network, the chances for strategic disconnect and vulnerabilities multiply.

The Men & Mice suite (now at version 9.1) is an overlay DDI solution. Its architecture is designed to intuitively integrate with a Microsoft infrastructure environment or multi-vendor, multi-platform networks.

The Men & Mice Suite takes care of coordinating between hardware, software, no matter where they are or where they’re from. It unifies resources under a single-pane-of-glass interface, and can be deployed non-destructively. A powerful API serves the users for automation, while redundancies and fine-tuned access control ensures security.

Core advantages of the Men & Mice Suite architecture include:


  • Single pane of glass visibility over all DDI operations on-prem and in the cloud.
  • 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.

Active Directory

The Active Directory synergy of the Men & Mice suite is at the core of our product, and has been since the earliest days. As the first IPAM solution to fully integrate with Microsoft Active Directory, we can list - among others - functionality essential to enterprise businesses powered by Microsoft software:

  • 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.

Portability

With the 9.1 release of the Men & Mice Suite, we've introduced a web-based application. It is designed to (further) simplify the day-to-day management of your company's network,

Having everything at your disposal all the time can often result in complicated, slow processes for even the simplest tasks. We’ve cut down on the noise, deploying our wealth of experience working with and listening to enterprise IT professionals, to identify the most common tasks.

And then we made them lightning-fast and possible to do on any device, from anywhere in the world. (While still plugging into Active Directory, if required. Portability is no excuse for less security.)

Azure

Our customers are the customers of Microsoft as well: we support their needs and investments in IT.

Microsoft takes their cloud strategy seriously, and so do we. We've been working closely with various solutions teams at Microsoft to build compatibility into the Men & Mice Suite. For example, we were the first to offer comprehensive support for Windows Server 2016 (including zone scope and DNS policies) and Azure DNS.

Whether your company is migrating to Azure from another provider, or looking to scale its existing network, Men & Mice provides support through:

  • Cloud-native integration with Azure and Azure DNS.
  • Bulk migration or import of DNS zones into Azure DNS.
  • Tracking changes, delegating access, and seeing all zones across multiple subscriptions, and managing data through APIs after migration.

It's only natural that the same compatibility, ease-of-use, security, and portability that our customers got used to with regards to Microsoft’s existing software and Active Directory, exists for Azure DNS as well. 

Topics: Microsoft Ignite, microsoft active directory, Windows, windows 2016, azure, Azure DNS, Men & Mice Suite