Geek Speak

4 Posts authored by: discoposse

With all of the attention coming to IP address management, it is even more challenging when we look at the addition of NV (Network Virtualization) into the mix. I've had a lot of conversations with people on how IP management including IPv4 versus IPv6 will be affected by the addition of NV. The reason I link the two of them together is because while they are not the same, they are also not mutually exclusive.


IP address management and network allocation for Layer 3 can be an unruly beast sometimes. As I often say: Today's best practices are tomorrow's "What were we thinking?". This becomes true even more often with the quick adoption of new networking technologies. Our topologies never seem that volatile, but there are a host of different reasons why volatility gets introduced and as our datacenters are changing, so are our IP networks.


The Times They are a-Changin'


With adding Layer 2 management into the process we create even more of a challenge. Layer 2 VLANs are often confused with Layer 3 management because they tie together, but server different technical purposes. More and more we are seeing the idea of stretched  networks and the extension of Layer 2 over Layer 3 networks. With this happening, documenting and visualizing our network topology can seem difficult.



Suddenly, with stretched Layer 2 domains across our Layer 3 networks, we need have moved away from where Layer 2 was merely a logical boundary to isolate broadcast domains within a single datacenter. Now, Layer 2 is becoming the most looked at portion of our network because we are changing the way that we think of the datacenter. Server addressing is no longer required to be tied to a physical datacenter.


So, with NV on the cusp of becoming much more mainstream, we have to rethink the way that we manage our networks. NV takes the L2/L3 discussion even further to add policy-based management into the menu of options we use. We are at the beginning of a fast changing world in datacenter and network management.


I like to know how administrators are deploying and managing IP networks. I'd love to hear your thoughts on how you think you will manage your network differently in the coming year.


What do you think about:


  • IPv6 for your network
  • IP address management for dynamic cloud environments
  • Is Network Virtualization on your roadmap?
  • If you have, or will have NV in your portfolio, what's your protocol of choice?

Thanks for sharing and I look forward to hearing your comments and thoughts!


This has been a great experience to share information with all of the great Thwack community members and I've gained good insight into how folks are doing monitoring, notification and dealing with some of the day-to-day operational issues around server management.


What I am curious about is how much of your process for monitoring and management is wrapped into your orchestration platform or your server build process. Even more so, I would love to hear about how others have integrated operational processes like setting up backups, monitoring, patch management and other core management systems into the build process.


I'd love to hear about any or all of these:


  • What is your server build process? (Orchestrated, Image based, Manual)?
  • If you orchestrate, what platform(s) do you use? (Puppet, Chef, vCO, vCAC, SCCM/SCO, or others)?
  • Which steps have you been able to successfully automate (e.g. add to monitoring system, add to patch management)?
  • Do you have a decommission process that includes automation?


In my current organization we have a mixed bag of platforms, and I do as much as I can to leverage my SolarWinds monitoring, SCCM, vCO and Active Directory GPO to create clean, stateful build processes. It is a constant challenge to get folks to understand the importance of it, and I hope to see how you've had successes and challenges doing the same.



Over the last couple of companies I've worked in, I have used a variety of different monitoring and management solutions. One of the top features that I look for in my system is the ability to effectively manage nodes during planned outages.


I'm dabbling with the SolarWinds Orion SDK for updating nodes to unmanage them during planned maintenance windows and I'm slowly making ground with it. Ultimately I'd like to have my whole system manageable by using RESTful URLs, or SMTP, so that I can use my patch management tool to actively disable monitoring before affecting systems.


What tools have you been able to use for this? I'd love to hear how anyone has used tools like Microsoft SCCM, LANDesk, or other patch deployment solutions to interact with their monitoring solution like SolarWinds Orion?


  • Do you actively disable monitoring during patch cycles?
  • Do you have a simple method to unmanage monitored devices such as email or a RESTful API?
  • What are the top features that you would add to your application/node monitoring tools?

Today I'm using SCOM 2007 R2 and migrating to SCOM 2012, with SolarWinds Orion, plus SCCM 2007 R2 for patch management. Has anyone gotten similar infrastructure to be more self-aware through better processes?


Hope to hear your solutions as there are a lot of folks looking for good alternatives to this

We hear the ever present story of Shadow IT, but what is even more challenging for many sysadmin teams and network teams is what I call Shadow IP. It's the independent tracking (or failure to track) IP and network information for your environment.


There are many tools that have different levels of storing, displaying, tracking, and even actively managing IP addressing for networks. With the freshly minted SolarWinds IPAM beta, there are some slick features coming down the pipe. The real question though, is what are you using today, if anything?


I've used everything from Excel documents, custom designed web apps, and I've dabbled a bit with the Microsoft IPAM tools in 2012 but so far I've had the best adoption by my team (network and IT ops) with the SolarWinds IPAM.


I'd love to hear about your stories, good and bad on IP address management. Looking to hear about anything regarding:


  • Tracking IP usage
  • Documenting subnets and descriptive info
  • Active management
  • How do you do IPAM today?
  • What's missing from your IPAM solution?
  • What are any barriers to adopting a full IPAM product


Looking to see if I can improve my processes. Happy to share any learnings along the way too as I dive into more options and features of any tools that may be appropriate.


Any thoughts and help appreciated!

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