IPAM

What is IPAM? Can you work without it?

In the modern tech world, we are surrounded by connected devices. Everybody wants to connect to the internet from their smartphone, tablet, computer, and sometimes, even with a few gadgets at the same time. For each of these devices, we need IPs, which identify them on the network. The IPs can be given manually or by software. IPAM is such software for IP management.

What is IPAM?

IPAM – IP Address Management. It is a method of planning, tracking, and administrating the information related to IP address space. With IPAM software, a network administrator can manage the available IPs. This type of software can automate IP management, DNS, and DHCP configurations. 

A typical IPAM software can:

  • Show you the available IPs at the moment.
  • The status of the IPs – permanent or temporary.
  • The hostname related to each IP address.
  • Routers in use by each device.
  • Show the subnets, who is using them and how large they are.

Working without IPAM

Yes, it is possible to live without IPAM, but it is harder. The IT staff can manage a small network with a spreadsheet. In it, there can be a table of IPs, connected devices, routers, and port numbers. The problem starts when the network gets bigger. The admin will have to check far many IPs and continuously update the spreadsheet.

Several obvious problems could arise:

  • IP address conflict. If there is no DHCP well-configured, and the admin is doing it manually, IP conflict could happen. If two devices get the same IP, none will be able to connect. This could be particularly annoying if one of the devices is a server, and it can lead to a massive outage.
  • Security problems. There is a high-probability of security breaches. The accountability is weak, and a new device could connect to the network.
  • Compliant issues. Depending on which country you are in, having logs and reports for your IP address space might be required. You will need to provide a proper report.
  • Troubleshooting problems. Manually, everything is harder. Finding the exact network problem might be a nightmare. Is it the port, IP conflict, or something else? It can take ages.

Open-source IPAM Software

There are plenty of IPAM software out there, but if you have a small or medium-size business a free open-sourced IPAM can be the right choice. All of these options support IPv6 and VRF (virtual routing and forwarding).

NetBox – It works with PostgreSQL database, under Apache license.

GestióIP – It has a web-based interface, advanced search options and uses MySQL under GPLv3 license.

phpIPAM – Another good free option with many features. phpIPAM uses MySQL and MariaDB under GPLv3 license.

These 3 options will get you started with IPAM. Later, if they don’t all of your needs, you can check paid software too.

Conclusion

IPAM is an excellent way of removing network burden from your IT staff. It will make the network administration far easier and organized. Applying IPAM in your company can improve productivity and reduce network problems. 

IPv4 vs IPv6 and where did IPv5 go?

Every time you see some network settings, there are IPv4 or IPv6. As you can guess, the previous versions are long in the past (TCP/IP v1, v2, and v3). But why is it IPv4 vs IPv6 instead of the 5th version vs the 6th? How is that the IPv4 from the 80s is still around? Let’s find out!

IPv4 vs IPv6

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What is Dynamic DNS? How does it work and how to setup DDNS?

What is a Dynamic DNS?

Dynamic DNS is a service that automatically and periodically updates your DNS’s A (IPv4) or AAAA (IPv6) records when your IP address changes. These IP changes are made by your Internet provider.

Dynamic DNS

 

How does Dynamic DNS work?

The Dynamic DNS monitors the IP address for changes. When the address changes (which it will if you have a dynamic IP address), the DDNS (or DynDNS) service updates your new IP address.

Why is it useful?

It can be very useful for people who want to host their website, access CCTV cameras, VPN, app or game server from their home computer. It is cheaper than to have a static public IP and by setting up Dynamic DNS, you will avoid the need to update all of your records whenever your IP changes manually. Also, static IP address is not always an option; it depends on your Internet provider.

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What is DHCP? How does the DHCP server work?

The DHCP server has changed the lives of all administrator forever. It has given them the commodity of automatic IP assignment. After the introduction of DHCP, there was no need for some IT specialists to spend countless hours providing IPs for every device connected to the network device. But how exactly does DHCP work? Let’s find out!

DHCP server

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What is a Recursive DNS server?

When you browse the internet, you don’t write IP addresses to go to the pages you want; you just write the domain. In the “backstage”, every request that you do, passes through a DNS query. It first goes to your internet provider’s recursive DNS server. If it can’t find in the cache, the information needed, it will continue to other recursive servers until it gets to an authoritative DNS server who can give the IP address of the required domain. Basically, it is a name server, that is a middle-man between you, the user, and the authoritative DNS server.

Tasks of the recursive DNS server:

1. Checks if the IP address is stored in the cache memory. There is a certain period of time, pre-defined by the domain’s owner called Time to Live or TTL. It says for how long the recursive server can hold the information. If it is still there, it will return the answer fast and won’t take further actions.
2. Searches for the IP address elsewhere. If it is not in the cache, it will continue the searching process until it gets to an authoritative server which has the information.
recursive DNS server

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What is Authoritative DNS server?

The authoritative DNS server is the final holder of the IP of the domain you are looking for. When you write a domain name in your browser, a DNS query is sent to your internet service provider (ISP). The ISP has a recursive server, which might have the needed information cached in its memory. But if the data is outdated, this recursive server need to find the IP elsewhere. It will try to find it in other recursive servers, but if it can’t, it needs to get the IP address from an authoritative DNS server.

Authoritative DNS server

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What is Anycast DNS and how does it work?

For many years already, the Unicast protocol has been outdated for the purpose of fast and secure DNS. It can’t manage with massive DDoS attacks, can’t handle load balancing in different locations, and it is quite slow for a global presence. But don’t get desperate, a new technology is there to help you out.

So what can you use to provide fast and reliable DNS?

Anycast DNS is here to step in. It is by far superior technology! It reduces latency, give extra security and minimize downtime.

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What is DNS?

Domain Name System – DNS

 

DNS – Domain Name System is an amazing technology. It helps us open internet addresses without a hustle. We easily write the domain name and the DNS has the job to find the IP of the domain we wrote. Just like the phone book on your mobile phone, you need to find Mike, so you write “Mike”, and you don’t need to remember his actual number, great isn’t it?

DNS is an essential part of the Internet. It manages to translate all the inquiries into IP addresses, and like this, it can identify different devices that are connected to the network.

 

DNS - Domain Name System

 

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Benefits from using Anycast DNS

Anycast DNS is one amazing technology that can save you a lot of time.

But first, let’s explain it to you in a simple way so you really understand why this can help you with your company network.

What is a DNS server?

Imagine it as a massive phone book. They contain a register of domain names and translate them to IP (internet protocol) addresses. For us humans it is easy to remember the domain names but the computers, they prefer numbers to orientate so they access websites based on their IPs.
The information of those DNS servers is saved and organized in the Central Registry. Internet providers and Host companies need to check with the Central Registry to get all the DNS updates.
When you write the following web address www.facebook.com, your service provider will check the DNS for this website, then translate to machine language and direct you to the following IP 66.220.144.0.

DNS server - domain name server

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