Five Indicators of a Poor Performing IPAM Infrastructure

I’ve seen hundreds of customer architectures and spoken with most of their admins who have switched to BlueCat.

I’ve seen hundreds of customer architectures and spoken with most of their admins who have switched to BlueCat. A common question I ask is, “Why BlueCat instead of your old system?” There’s always a reason, and often times it’s because their old IP Address Management (IPAM) infrastructure wasn’t performing well.

If I wrote verbatim what those customers told me about their old IPAM systems, this blog entry would be laced with profanity and sarcasm. Keeping it clean, here are the five most common reasons why customers were frustrated with their old IPAM systems.

  • 1. Not using IPAM solutions at all They were simply not using their current IPAM solution due to its shortcomings. They were still using spreadsheets and writing stuff down, when they should have been in IPAM. You’d be shocked at how many customers have used disparate systems for tracking the same data in various places. I remember asking a customer why they moved away from their old IPAM solution. The lead admin I was working with wouldn’t tell me. Instead, he showed me: How much time did he have to spend writing out those IPs, doing what he needed to do and then crossing them out? Days.
  • 2. Visibility and accuracy Companies didn’t know what was actually going on in your network. Do you ever get asked the question from your security team, “Who leased the IP address xxx.xxx.xx.xxx, on September 20, 2013 from 3:00 AM to 4:00 AM? They were doing something they shouldn’t be.”
  • You proceed to check the IP in IPAM and correlate it with a user and device, except the data you’re looking for just isn’t there. Oops.
  • 3. It’s SSSLLLOOOOOWWWWW (i.e.: capacity) When you click on something in your IPAM system, do you have enough time to check last night’s sports scores, or even enough time to get another cup of coffee? Tasks should be quick, intuitive and resolve fairly instantly.
  • Networks are exploding in size, often doubling or tripling their IP footprint within six to twelve months driven by natural growth, BYOD, IPv6, and VoIP. So what’s the end result? More admins managing more devices and IP addresses.
  • 4. Architectural Scalability Mergers and acquisitions drive change in IT. Integrating companies places an immediate short-term burden on systems and infrastructure due to scale. Network Admins are faced with the uncomfortable question: “Do I have to purchase 5,000 new IPAM/DDI-related appliances to accommodate each and every one of the 5-10 M&A’s that I perform each year.” Even without M&A, there are those other “big” projects as mentioned in my third point.
  • 5. Reliability DDI infrastructure becomes the technology scapegoat AND people believe it. Can’t connect to an application server by IP? It MUST be a DNS problem! Can’t log in to your workstation? It MUST be a DHCP problem! The printer isn’t working! It MUST be an IPAM problem!

Without an effective IPAM infrastructure your network cannot operate. By replacing your legacy IPAM solutions and manual processes with a reliable and fully automated IPAM infrastructure, you can improve core services reliability, increase IT efficiency and better respond to business demands of always-on application access and business connectivity.

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