If you’re a network administrator, then you probably already know that complex spreadsheets and home-grown solutions for IP address management (IPAM) just don’t cut it anymore. You need a solution that provides comprehensive IPAM, DHCP management, and DNS monitoring to prevent IP address conflicts and ARP spoofing attacks. Overlooking the importance of gaining control over IP addresses can prove disastrous. OpUtils’ IP Address Manager allows you and your team to ditch the spreadsheets for an easy-to-use, centralized IPAM, DHCP, and DNS solution.
What causes IP address conflicts?
There are three main causes of IP address conflicts:
- Human error
System administrators who don’t have an IPAM tool often end up adding or removing thousands of IPs every day. It’s nearly impossible to keep an accurate, up-to-date list of IP addresses when considering how often the status of an IP changes, so the chance of a system administrator accidentally assigning an IP address that’s already in use to a new device on the network is very high. This error would cause an IP conflict, which could lead to massive server outages.
- Bring your own device policies and static IPs
Bring your own device (BYOD) policies and IoT play a crucial role in nearly every organization today. BYOD policies allow employees to use their personal devices like laptops, mobile phones, or tablets at work. BYOD devices will often have a “home” IP address assigned to them, which can create collisions within the corporate network. System administrators have to assign free IPs to every BYOD and IoT device; manually assigning IPs to all these devices can lead to IP conflicts.
IP conflicts can also happen in virtualized environments, like when a VM clone has an IP matching that of a VM with a statically assigned IP. Collisions may also occur after employees return from business trips, since devices may get a static IP assigned in a specific hotel or conference room.
- DHCP servers and their configurations
When two DHCP servers manage the same IP or subnet with overlapping IP addresses, neither DHCP server will check the IP status of the network. In these cases, IP conflicts happen when one machine already has a DHCP address assigned from the first DHCP server and another device is also given the same IP from the secondary DHCP server. This creates a major issue in load balancing DHCP configurations.
So, what problems can an IP address conflict cause?
IP address conflicts primarily cause network connectivity issues. Any impacted machines will lose internet access until the conflict is resolved.
Many enterprise networks don’t use a proper IPAM solution. Instead, these companies get by using spreadsheets for IPAM, often running into multiple IP address conflicts a week. Network admins that don’t have an IPAM solution may have to ask the infrastructure group what IP addresses are available or if they could use a particular IP address. After some time and effort, the resulting answer will probably be “most likely.”
If an organizations’ revenue depends on a strong IP infrastructure, then the ambiguous response “most likely” won’t be good enough. Network admins need to be 100 percent sure there won’t be any IP address conflict; and when it’s time to find a new static IP, it’s best to know exactly what is or isn’t available.
The solution to all these IP address conflicts is OpUtils, our integrated software that lets you easily handle network IP addresses.
Key features of OpUtils’ IP Address Manager:
- Provides end-to-end IP address details, eliminating the use of spreadsheet records for IPAM.
- Manages your entire IP infrastructure from a single, intuitive web-based console.
- Uses a global search to find IP details, such as IP address, MAC address, DNS name, and location, from millions of IP addresses.
- Checks the availability of each IP and reserve IP.
- Provides options to add your own fields for subnet and IP level, and logically group subnets.
- Provides statuses of IP addresses at a glance, including availability, IP conflicts, and reservations.
- Publishes the scan results of any data in HTML or CSV format, and offers a hierarchical tree view of IPAM data.
- Offers custom email alerts and forwards alerts to your syslog server when the status of the IP changes, the forward/reverse lookup fails, subnet utilization is high or low, and more.
In addition to that, you can:
- Pull out reports for used, unused, static, and available IP addresses in your network.
- Audit IP allocation from IP history.