Articles

It’s 10pm, Do You Know Where Your IPs Are?

Using IPAM and DHCP Management to Rid Yourself of Conflicts, Utilization Problems, and Reducing MTTR and Time-to-Market.

Nov 25th, 2021

It’s safe to say at this point that without IP addresses the devices on your network aren’t communicating. There are several reasons why your devices may not be getting IPs when they’re supposed to be. Using a sustainable DDI network management tool will help eliminate IP conflicts, make IPs available easily, and ultimately keep your services and users up and running at the performance level they’ve come to expect.

Why Are Users Complaining the “Network is Down?”

DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol) is the technology most companies use to automatically assign available IP addresses to their users. Users generally don’t require static IPs on their devices so this protocol ensures that users are connected to the right network and are able to communicate with the services necessary. Generally speaking, this all works very well, but there are a few reasons why there might be complete outages for users or performance issues.

The DHCP scope is fully utilized.

I’ve experienced this one first-hand. I went to work for a growing company and when they created the network scheme, they used /24s, or to be more accurate, they used a single /24. That meant there were 254 available IPs for routers, servers, wireless access points, and of course laptops and other user devices. The DHCP scope was small, and until I was able to redesign the network, there were a lot of times I ran out of IP space. This happens in large companies as well because there are always growing pains. A solid DDI solution will alert you to highly utilized networks, and even help you join IP ranges if necessary to increase the amount of space available on a network.

The IP Range is too large.

Perhaps this is less common, but sometimes we don’t need our DHCP scope to reside on a /10 (IPv4) or /68 (IPv6) network. A coworker of mine described this as driving your kid to kindergarten in a tank rather than just a commuter. The larger the domain, or network, the more possible performance problems are likely. In this case, a solid DDI solution can help you split IP Ranges and create right-sized DHCP scopes for the best performance.

A problem with the DHCP Server

I like to tell a story when I talk about this topic about a prospective customer who had us install a proof of concept (PoC) of Micetro on their network. The way Micetro works is that it will check in several different ways if an IP is actually in use by a device. It uses ICMP (Ping), SNMP, and LLDP, and then it will also go through and correlate with DNS and DHCP information it’s gathered from those servers as well. A few minutes into the PoC we noticed some discrepancies with several IPs. Because of the way Micetro can slice and dice views of the information we noticed pretty quickly that the IP discrepancies were all coming from one DHCP server.

“The call is coming from inside the house!”

It turned out that there was a runaway process on that particular DHCP server and so it wasn’t renewing leases. Without a DDI solution like Micetro, who knows how long that issue had been going on or would continue to go on.

Someone assigned a static IP from the DHCP Scope

This happens sometimes, due to a fat finger mistake, or someone having more permissions than they should, a server admin not knowing the available IPs and just picking one, or just old fashioned human error a static IP gets assigned to a server or other device and then served out as a DCHP address to someone’s laptop. By the way, it’s always the CEO’s laptop for some reason. Using a DDI solution can also help you avoid this issue by alerting you to the problem in the GUI, or as an alert which triggers an email, text, SNMP trap, or whatever your network team prefers.

Resolving What Really Matters

While many IT teams move to a dedicated DDI solution to help with IPAM, there are several benefits that directly relate to your company’s bottom line.

Customer and Coworker User Experience: Uptime is important to your users and apps, but fantastic performance has come to be expected. Dealing with IP conflicts and overutilized networks are not options anymore. A DDI solution that can alert you to issues is the easiest way to avoid these issues.

Troubleshooting Downtime: Alerts are important, but sometimes configuration issues don’t show up in the form of an alert. A DDI solution that can show you recent adds and modifications can be a life saver. Being able to view both recent and long term history, with information on who created or modified something, when they did it, where they did it, and why can significantly reduce your Mean Time to Resolution (MTTR).

Risk: Using a DDI solution that allows you to grant Role Based Access to people, and only grant them the necessary permissions for their role, across all platforms in one place will help make reduce security issues as well as human error.

Revenue: Bring apps and services to market faster by having a good understanding of available IPs within the appropriate networks. As a bonus, a good DDI solution will allow you to build in automation and self-service to make this process move quickly with less error.

Find Out More

If you’re interested in finding out more about what a good DDI solution can do for you, get a Live Demo of Micetro anytime! https://menandmice.com/live-demo