Lauren Malhoit

Multicloud IP Address Management and DNS with AWS

The unbeatable value of the overlay model vs the appliance model for multicloud DDI management.

Jul 8th, 2022

The year 2022 marks the first time there will be more infrastructure spend on cloud than on-premises. Tech forward companies like FedEx are going all-in on cloud, but even more traditional institutions, like banks, are moving to hybrid and multicloud models. As cloud-native apps proliferate, management of IP addressing and DNS becomes inherently more complex, but with an overlay DDI solution, operations don't have to be.

Why Multicloud IPAM and DNS?

Multicloud is a vague buzzword used frequently by customers and vendors alike, so it's worth describing what we actually mean by "multicloud." For the purpose of this article, multicloud describes a physical and operational change in architecture. Companies may be using multiple public cloud services, multiple on-premises structures, or a mixture of both. All of these may be considered multicloud architectures. The operational change for multicloud is that management for all of these places using the same tools as well as being able to create consistent automation workflows no matter where workloads and applications reside.

There are several models in which companies are introducing public cloud to their footprint such as Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (Paas), Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). No matter which model(s) companies are using, observability and control are paramount when it comes to IP address management and DNS orchestration for apps and workloads, or what some would call revenue generating services. DNS, DHCP, and IPAM (DDI) management becomes more than just capacity planning and reporting afterthoughts, DDI will be (and already is) an operational necessity to keep the network not only up but performant providing the simplest operational experiences to admins.

Single Points of Failure

DNS is one of those protocols that no one thinks about until it goes down. DNS and IP address management are core to all phases of the application lifecycle. From design to testing to deployment and then eventually sunsetting, IPAM and DNS can cause multiple errors and even unintended financial costs when considering how much public IP addresses may cost. We can't continue to run DNS and IP address management as we would have for a single site. There needs to be a solution which provides frictionless user experience and assurance.

As companies grow organically or through mergers and acquisitions, the IT footprint becomes more complex. New teams are created along with new management domains creating silos amongst IT. IP addressing becomes untenable because everyone has their own spreadsheets but no visibility into other teams' IPAM. Teams are using their own DNS providers, but not building in redundancy for their DNS zones. Below is an image of how the top Fortune 500 companies are managing DNS, with only 4.5% of them building in multicloud DNS redundancy.

DNS at Fortune 500 Companies

These numbers aren't surprising because as teams manage DNS in silos and manage DNS manually, it's nearly impossible to introduce a second or third DNS provider and maintain DNS zones for both or all providers. Having an overlay solution that can manage multi-vendor DNS providers is necessary in this multicloud world.

Choosing a DDI Solution

Considering that there are now multiple teams and multiple places being managed by those teams, it's imperative that DDI information is up-to-date and consistent for all admins.

What to look for:

  • Automation and API-driven services to keep up with demands from external customers and internal users as well as reduce error and friction
  • Support for on-premises services as well as native cloud services without having to install appliances which need to be maintained and require costly resources both on-premises and in the cloud
  • A unified DDI solution which gives you one UI or API to manage all environments, on-premises or in the cloud

Want more info?

Check out this [actually helpful] whitepaper on Micetro and AWS which has a little something for everyone. The first few pages run through common business drivers and technical pain points of maintaining DDI in a multicloud environment. At the end it will run you through the UI and API so you can see how to get started with actual configurations.

Read the next part in this series of AWS multicloud blogs here.