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Best Practices for Next-Generation IP Address Management

A comprehensive guide for how to flawlessly execute tasks for IP management

Introduction

IP address management (IPAM) can be defined broadly as encompassing three major interrelated functions:
IP address inventory – Obtaining and defining public and private IP address space, and allocating that ddress space to locations, subnets, devices, address pools, and users on the network. Dynamic IP address services management –Defining the parameters associated with each address pool defined within the IP address space management function, appropriately configuring Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) servers to supply relevant IP addresses and parameters to requesting users, and effectively managing the capacity of address pools to ensure that dynamic IP addresses are available for those who need them and are permitted to have them.

IP name services management – As devices are assigned IP addresses statically or dynamically, configuring appropriate Domain Name System (DNS) servers with address-to-name and name-toaddress resource records so that end users may access hosts and/or applications by name (e.g., by URL) is critical. Managing name space and name services also requires proper design of the name space, configuration of other relevant DNS resource records, and many behavioral aspects of DNS as well.

Each of these functions is critical to the proper operation of an IP network. Users need at least one IP address to access the network, whether via a wired or wireless LAN interface, VoIP device, video device, etc., and they need to access resources on the network and the Internet to maintain a high level of productivity. Typically, these functions occur without user involvement. In fact, one could argue that the
job of an effective IP address manager is to be invisible. In other words, as users attach to various network points, they are automatically configured to communicate and easily access network resources by URL/name.


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