What is 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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FTP vs HTTP. File Transfer Protocol and Hypertext Transfer Protocol

Today we will see what exactly is FTP (File Transfer Protocol) and how does it compare to the newer protocol called HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol). They both can perform similar tasks, and you can see them both still in use. But is it one of them better? Let’s compare FTP vs HTTP

FTP vs HTTP

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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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Traceroute command and its options

Traceroute

Many network administrators use the traceroute command daily. It is a convenient tool that you can use under different operation systems – Windows (Tracert), MacOS, Linux (traceroute) and even on mobile (Android and iOS).

You can use traceroute, and see the full route that the packets take to their destination (domain or IP address). Apart from that, you will see the hostnames and IPs of the routers on the way and the latency, the time it takes for each device to receive and resend the data.

You can see which gateway is discarding your data and later you can fix it.

Traceroute

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Primary DNS server

We have already talked about what is DNS and what is a Secondary DNS, this time we will focus on the Primary DNS server. There is a DNS hierarchy in which the Primary DNS server is taking the central spot. It has the latest and full information, in comparison with lower level DNS servers who has just a cache of this information and with an expiry period.
Primary DNS

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Why does DNS use UDP?

There are various ways of sending data over IP – TCP, UDP, DCCP, SCTP, RSVP and more. We will focus our attention on the two that are most used – the UDP (User Datagram Protocol) and the TCP (Transmission Control Protocol).

UDP

UDP and TCP

Both protocols are used to send packets of data over the internet. They do that on top of the IP protocol, which means that they direct the packets to IP addresses. They are treated very similar on their way from the users’ computers, through the routers and all the way to the end destination.

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