DHCP services, be it from Microsoft®, Cisco® or open source, save administrators from routine problems that can occur during manual IP address assignment. They offer services that aid in centralized management of all TCP/IP client configurations, including IP and gateway address. They also enable DNS records to be updated on the client while DNS servers maintain mapping the client name to an IP address and vice versa.

 

However, one of the real problems that administrators face with DHCP/DNS management is keeping track of multiple DHCP/DNS servers operating in the same network. Some common pain points in everyday DHCP/DNS administration are:

 

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Missing Link between DHCP/DNS Setups & Efficient IP Address Distribution

 

Network issues and user downtime many times occur due to inefficient IP address management. To curb this problem, there needs to be a medium that can congregate relevant IP address data and also provide options for DHCP/DNS administrative and configuration tasks – all within a single interface.

 

A recent survey on thwack® indicated the top IP address management capabilities that administrators deemed as “Must Haves” were:

•    Data to accurately provision for IP addresses

•    Automation of routine DHCP/DNS configuration tasks

•    Real-time monitoring of IP address usage and IP resource utilization

•    Reduce manual effort in managing and maintaining  IP address documentation

 

What should you look for?

 

It’s high time that administrators consider their options for flexible IP address management solutions. Ideal solutions will not only automate, manage, and track your IP space, but also provide DHCP/DNS management within the same tool.

 

Specific features that a solution or tool should have in order to ease the hassles of DHCP/DNS administration are:

 

  • Enable unified management from a single interface irrespective of the underlying vendor
  • Consolidated view with manageability options for both your DHCP- scope/subnets and DNS- zones/records
  • Automatically sync changes with the associated servers eliminating the need for manual updates
  • Support for open source DHCP/DNS services providing friendly UI and reducing the use of complex CLI commands
  • Active alerts/notifications on IP conflicts, full subnets/scopes, DHCP/DNS server status, etc.

 

With increased IP address demands and complexity in networks, spreadsheets and other in-house developed tools fall short of meeting administrative requirements of IP space management. Additionally, Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) and the Internet of Things (IoT) mean more devices/IP requests in the network. This means there will be a need for more DHCP servers to handle IP address distribution. The choice of DHCP/DNS services depends on the organization and most of them tend to have a mix of vendors for their own reasons.

So, rather than making more investments in resources or appliances to manage your DHCP/DNS infrastructure, it would be sensible to invest in a solution that provides a common management console irrespective of the underlying vendor. Consolidate your multi-vendor DHCP, DNS server management to improve IP space administration while being able to easily scale without disrupting current management processes.