Wednesday, April 4, 2012

DDIB? DDI and block management

I recently had the opportunity to preview a market analyst's brief on BT Diamond IP's DHCP/DNS/IPAM (DDI) features and benefits. Among my comments, I indicated that there was no mention of IPv4/IPv6 block management, a core IPAM function for which we are frankly unmatched. To my surprise, I was asked to elaborate about our block management features and benefits.

From my perspective, for any modest sized or larger IP network, DDI starts with block management. If you have to manually type in every subnet address in your network, why not use a spreadsheet? Block management enables entry of a "root" block, such as 10.0.0.0/8, fc00::/7, 2001:db8:a87e::/48, etc. as the root block from which subnets or other "pool" blocks can be allocated. This allocation process should not require re-entry (or cut-and-paste) of a chosen subnet address; if yours does, you're little better off than using spreadsheets which likewise require manual entry. With the Diamond IP solution you simply navigate logically to where the subnet is needed, and a few mouse clicks to select the type of address space (VoIP, wireless, management, etc.) you need, the version (IPv4 or IPv6), and CIDR size then submit!

This simple process ties IPAM directly to business processes. For example:

  • "I need a new wireless subnet in the Philly office finance division"...point and click and done
  • "I'm planning to open a new branch office next month and need to allocate eight subnets for planning purposes"...our site template feature allows one to meet this business requirement in one click!

And each subnet in turn can have an associated address assignment template, so one can also assign addresses for routers, switches, servers, DHCP pools, etc. as well as automatically generate A/AAAA/PTR resource records for each assigned address, further automating DDI functions! These two simple examples illustrate how block management ties directly to business initiatives, and how BT Diamond IP intuitively and easily maps these business initiatives.

There's a lot of noise out there about IPAM and DDI, and the messaging is understandably blurred. When trying to cut through the hype, don't discount what I consider a core IPAM feature: block management. After all, if you don't get your block management right, your underlying IP assignments and DHCP/DNS configurations won't be right either.

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