ManageEngine DDI DNS DHCP IPAM- Scheduling DNS and DHCP objects. Create now Schedule later

In the complex and often fluid world of network management, the ability to swiftly adapt to changing requirements is paramount. This is especially true in scenarios involving temporary projects, testing environments, or seasonal events that generate unusually high traffic. Using ManageEngine DDI Central, you can schedule the activation of DHCP objects—like subnets, shared networks, host or DHCP reservations, client classes, and DNS changes—at specific times, making a significant difference.

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Scheduling changes for DHCP objects 

Scheduling DHCP objects in a network involves defining or updating these objects and timing these objects to be active based on predetermined schedules. Here’s a practical scenario that demonstrates how strategic scheduling can be leveraged to optimize network performance and reliability.

Scenario:  Expanding IT services for seasonal demand    

A retail company experiences significant increases in online traffic and internal network load during the holiday shopping season. To handle this efficiently, the IT department needs to scale up its network infrastructure temporarily.

The primary objective here is to efficiently manage network resources to support increased IT demands during a peak seasonal period, such as a major sales event or the holiday season, involving heightened activity across both online services and internal operations.

Step 1: Schedule activation of additional DHCP objects  

  • Network planning: Assess the anticipated increase in network traffic and device connectivity requirements based on historical data and forecasted growth.

    • Additional subnets: The company determines that an additional /23 subnet, which supports up to 510 devices, will be necessary to accommodate the surge.

    • Additional shared networks: The company is also in need of a shared network that comprises subnets that are exclusively meant for additional surveillance cameras, printers, and point-of-sale devices. All the devices, though housed in a subnet of their own, are grouped collectively and managed as a shared network, sharing the same DHCP objectives and policies set via DHCP options.

    • Additional DHCP reservations: Identify critical devices needing constant IP addresses (e.g., servers, routers, access points). Add these devices as hosts or in a host group to share the same policies, ensuring they receive reserved IP addresses for improved stability and performance.

  • Scheduling: To schedule the activation for the targeted DHCP objects, select the preferred date and time for them to take effect. The scheduled DHCP instances will then appear on the Network page with a clock icon next to them, indicating it has scheduled configurations set to activate on the designated date and time. You can only reschedule or delete the scheduled configurations when the schedule is activated. Until then, the current configurations remain active, ensuring seamless network updates without disrupting operations.

Step 2: Set up scheduled reports to monitor the DHCP objects  

Set up scheduled DHCP reports to monitor the scheduled DHCP objects to continuously analyze the capacity and performance of the new subnets and the overall network health. Prepare to make real-time adjustments as needed to respond to unforeseen demands or potential security threats. Be ready to make adjustments based on real-time data and insights provided by DDI Central’s scheduled subnet reports. 

Step 3: Deactivation and post-season review  

Once the peak season concludes, the additional DHCP objects can be deleted to revert to the standard network infrastructure. This helps in reducing the maintenance overhead and conserving network resources.

Conduct a thorough review of the network’s performance during the peak period to identify any issues and gather insights for future improvements. Analyze data to determine if the additional DHCP objects adequately met the increased demands and use these findings to optimize next season’s planning.

How to set up DNS and DHCP objects scheduling in DDI Central?


Scheduling changes for DNS objects  

Imagine you’re planning to migrate your website to a new DNS server during the weekend. To ensure a smooth transition and minimal disruption to your website visitors, you decide to present a maintenance page during the migration process. Therefore, it is essential for you to handle the DNS changes required to display this maintenance page before and after the migration. This is where the ability to schedule DNS changes can be a game-changer.

Scenario: Scheduled website migration 

Let’s explore a practical scenario using DDI Central’s intuitive administrative interface to easily schedule such DNS changes, ManageEngine’s unified DNS, DHCP, and IP address management solution for your on-premises DNS and DHCP servers. Suppose your website migration is scheduled to start at 3am. Ideally, you would want your DNS to point visitors to a maintenance page just before the migration begins to avoid any confusion or a poor user experience. Once the migration is completed, say an hour later, you’ll need the DNS to revert back to pointing to your newly migrated site.

Here’s how you can automate this process with DDI Central:

  1. Preschedule the DNS change(s): Set up and schedule an updated DNS record in DDI Central to run at 2:55am, redirecting your domain to the IP address of your maintenance page. This ensures that anyone attempting to visit your site during the migration sees a clear message that maintenance is in progress.

  2. Post-migration DNS update: Schedule another DNS update for 4am to switch back to the IP address of your new server post-migration. This change will direct users back to your site, which will now be hosted on the new server.

  3. Review and analysis: By scheduling reports on a daily basis, you can monitor and analyze the query analytics for your particular domain and all its subdomains to view and analyze the query traffic during the migration process. Document the findings from these reports and any corrective actions taken. This documentation can be invaluable for auditing purposes and for planning future IT infrastructure changes.

This approach not only automates the process but also minimizes downtime and enhances the user experience during website migrations. By scheduling DNS changes in advance with DDI Central, you can control precisely when these changes occur, ensuring they align perfectly with your migration timetable.

Optimizing temporary network deployments  

This strategic approach can offer several specific benefits:

  • Proactive network management through DNS objects and reports scheduling ensures that network changes occur exactly when needed, without manual intervention.

  • Scheduling not only reduces the risk of errors but it also provides peace of mind that the network will function smoothly, even during potentially disruptive events causing downtime like network expansions and website migrations.

  • Network resources are managed efficiently, ensuring they are available when most needed without permanent expenditure on extra capacity.

  • By automating the activation of DNS and DHCP objects, network administrators can focus more on monitoring and optimizing the network’s performance during critical periods rather than managing routine tasks. This is crucial in dynamic environments where conditions can change rapidly and the demand on network resources can vary significantly.

  • By scheduling the activation of DNS and DHCP objects according to expected demand patterns, businesses can create a flexible, responsive IT infrastructure capable of supporting diverse and demanding project requirements with ease.

Embrace the future of network management with less complexity and more control 

Imagine a network administrator tasked with navigating multiple automation tools, vendor-specific DNS and DHCP management interfaces, and complex scripting to schedule necessary changes. This can be rigorous and complex, however, with a solution like DDI Central, it can be significantly simplified.

DDI Central consolidates these tasks into a single, user-friendly interface. Instead of juggling various platforms, your administrators can now manage everything from one window with just a few clicks. Scheduled changes are no longer a series of complicated steps but are seamlessly integrated into the flow of network operations. This strategic centralization not only streamlines processes but also sharply reduces the chance of human error, ensures compliance with scheduled maintenance, and optimizes the network resources throughout the project’s life cycle.

By embracing an integrated solution like DDI Central, organizations can dramatically enhance the efficiency of their networks, ensuring that their networks are not just functional but are optimized and future-proofed against the demands of tomorrow.

Download a free, 30-day trial now to explore how ManageEngine DDI Central can transform your network.