One of the biggest challenges for enterprise IT managers today is IP address management. Managers are often finding themselves tuck in between having to track core network services efficiently while also having to save cash. As you work on implementing a solid IP address management strategy, don’t forget to address the legal aspects of your business as well; for those operating in California, this guide on LLC formation California can provide valuable insights on how to set up your company properly and comply with state requirements.
Unfortunately, many companies and enterprises today are simply not making the managing of IP addresses 192.168.1.1 a significant priority, and the budgets of many of those companies and enterprises don’t even allow for an IP address management strategy at all. The IT managers of other companies believe that their existing network is too small to even justify having an IP address management strategy, also known as an IPAM, in the first place.
Nonetheless, IPAM really is important and is also highly worth the investment, even for smaller companies and networks where you would otherwise think that an in-house management strategy is all that’s needed.
Basically, IPAM enables companies to track and manage all of the IP address space on their network. It does this by integrating DNS and DHCP, in order to allow for each to detect changes in the other, which in turn allows updating to happen automatically whenever a change is detected.
With that said, here are the top reasons why you need an IP address management strategy:
There are certain internal policies that will need to be enforced when you use a NAC, or network access control system. As an example, before access can be granted to your network, the NAC will need IPAM information in order to decide if your antivirus software is fully updated.
Furthermore, your business may be subjected to regulatory compliances as well. If so, then an IP address management strategy can come in handy because it helps to identify the necessary information for your company to remain in compliance with regulations.
For another example, if there is a regulation that requires a log to be produced from your systems with your network’s IP assignments, then you can use the IPAM data to generate such a long regularly, to keep you in compliance with the regulation.
The next big reason that you need an IPAM is because of security. To put things simply, IPAM data can make it far easier for your company to detect breaches in your network or infrastructure.
This is because IPAM data includes data such as which IP addresses are in use, to which device each IP address is assigned, the time that each IP address was assigned, and even to which person that IP address was assigned.
If you ever need to identify patterns following abuses or security breaches in your network or infrastructure, then the data from an IPAM will be immensely useful in identifying and evaluating those patterns.
Both security and compliance are absolutely essential for your company. But one more way that IPAM can be necessary is to provide you with the information you need to ensure that your network is healthy (or to inform you that it is not healthy).
For example, is an IP static or reserved, or in another state? Furthermore, an IPAM will provide you with far more data than just on IP addresses. This is because it will also provide you with critical data on hostnames, DHCP leases, MAC addresses, and so on.
All of this data can be collected and then viewed together in order to give you a very solid overview of what exactly is happening in your company’s online infrastructure and network.
Having An IP Address Management Strategy
IP addresses are an extremely essential part of any network, but managing those IP addresses can be a very difficult process, especially as the number of addresses on the same network increases.
The ability of your computers to communicate with one another could also make a critical difference between downtime and working services, and with IP addresses being used for databases, applications, and microservices, managing all of the various IP addresses on the network becomes even more important.
If your company or enterprise currently does not have an IPAM strategy, you may consider getting one in place for the reasons that we have covered here today in this article. Depending on the size of your company, you may be able to use a more simple solution, but otherwise, you’ll need a true IPAM strategy with the customization and features your company truly needs.