With the growth of virtualization, mobile devices, and the cloud, management of your IP Address space assignments has become increasingly challenging. Using static spreadsheets to manage your space is no longer a viable method. Not just at the Enterprise level, but for mid-size and smaller shops, space assignments and statuses change too rapidly to keep track of manually. Add to that any unforeseen growth through acquisitions, staff changes, and or changes through a location move and you quickly feel the drawbacks of relying on static spreadsheets.

Reasons to Replace:

  • Access control/Change management: Who will be allowed to edit the spreadsheet?
  • DHCP addressing: Extremely difficult to manage dynamic data via a spreadsheet
  • Historical tracking of changes: Manually updating columns can lead to typos, errors, etc…
  • No automation

Although simple to use, spreadsheets are not scalable and they can be difficult to access remotely. If by misfortune, fate, or destiny, you are one of the administrators assigned to the role of manually updating spreadsheets, there is a solution. You can automate the processes mentioned above using a simple software solution.

Your spreadsheet replacement tool should automate the discovery of any new devices added to your environment. Every time new addresses are allocated, someone (you!) will not need to manually update spreadsheets.

Look for a tool that will notify you of impending doom, such as IP address conflicts, with alerts or emailed scheduled reports. Inferring from spreadsheets to determine which IP Addresses are available is very 1990s. It is after all, the 21st century.

 

Can your spreadsheets setup alerts for scope utilization and critical subnet usage?

Perhaps you would benefit from reports that you can customize that provide an audit trail that shows you who made what changes and when.

Solutions:

Have a look at IPAM and test out the Spreadsheet Import Wizard.  The IPAM Import wizard provides an intuitive GUI that allows you to select which columns you want to import. The wizard also respects user delegation roles when you have multiple administrators responsible for particular subnets. The wizard imports IP addresses and/or subnet structures including folders/groups automatically, allowing you the option to organize them manually via the drag and drop feature. Don't worry MSPs, duplicate subnets are supported.

Are you planning for IPv6 migration yet? It's never too early to start migration planning. IPv6 addresses are difficult to manage using spreadsheets. Just imagine having the 128 bit number expressed in eight hex blocks, each block having four characters, thus increasing the possibility of errors as you type them into a spreadsheet.

 

How does IPAM work? IPAM uses ping sweeps, SNMP scans, and Neighbor scans, which scan ARP tables, to retrieve up to the minute statuses and data.  You can see all events and space utilization summaries of your network on the summary web page.  You can drill down to the details page to see the IP Address, MAC Assignment, and Hostname Assignment histories.

Also, IPAM can manage DHCP scopes and IP reservations directly from the IPAM web console, thus reducing the time modifying RDP connections to the DHCP server console.

For further information see the IPAM Administrator's Guide.

Too small of a shop or don't have a budget? Try the free IPAM tool-

 

IPAM_BestPrac_WP.png