The world of technology moves at an extraordinary pace. Just a couple of decades ago, personal computers were only just making their way into homes and businesses around the world. Now, we live in a connected, digital age, where devices and networks of all kinds have become integral to our personal and professional lives.
Through the years, the technology powering these systems and machines has evolved and changed, but some fundamental aspects have remained the same, such as the consistent use of IP addresses. Internet protocol addresses are the universal language of the internet – numerical codes assigned to every unique device that allows these devices to quickly and easily communicate with one another.
IP addresses make connections and networks so simple to establish, but with businesses and individuals now owning and making use of more unique devices and IP addresses than ever before, managing them all can feel like a challenge. This is where IP address management (IPAM) comes into play, helping users scale their networks appropriately and manage vast quantities of IP addresses with greater ease.
What Is IPAM?
It doesn’t matter whether you’re talking about general IPAM, IP management in AWS, or IP management in some other service, the fundamental function is the same: IPAM is focused on scanning, tracking, and managing the information associated with a network’s IP addresses and systems.
By using IPAM programs and tools, administrators are able to make sure that they have an adequate inventory of assignable IP addresses, while also not having to worry about many of the tasks associated with IP space management, as many of these tasks will be taken care of automatically by the IPAM tool, like writing new DNS records and configuring basic DHCP data.
Benefits of IPAM
Many businesses or administrators might wonder if IPAM tools and software are truly necessary, but when you look at the broad lists of benefits of these systems, it’s clear to see what an impact they can make. Some of the many advantages of IPAM include:
The Internet Protocol evolves over time. Some systems are still running on the old IPv4, whereas many modern networks have transitioned to IPv6, the most recent version of IP. Making this transition can be a challenge, as there are some big differences between v4 and v6, but with an IPAM tool, you can enjoy a seamless switch from one version to the other.
If you don’t track your address space with care, you can run out of IP addresses, making it impossible to add new devices to your networks and scale your systems upwards. This can drastically affect your business’ capacity for growth and expansion, but IPAM systems make it much easier to cater for business growth over time.
One of the main reasons for any company to invest in IPAM is to make resource management a lot simpler. Any system can only call on a certain quantity of IP resources, and it costs money to make use of these resources and add more to your network. With an IPAM system in place, you’ll be able to more efficiently make use of the resources you have, as well as reducing the risk of IP conflicts and other errors that could cause issues for you and your users.
Network administrators often need to look at a range of key information and data regarding their IP systems and resources. Finding this meta-information, like hostnames, device types, and so on can be tricky on your own, but with an IPAM, it becomes infinitely easier. Information can be acquired at the click of a button and IPAM tools can even be configured to send out automatic alerts and informative reports.
A Clearer Picture
Another great benefit of IPAM tools and software is their ability to make complicated data a lot easier to understand. All of the key figures and facts associated with devices and networks can be a challenge to sift through alone, but with an IPAM, everything is neatly and tidily compiled in a simple database for your perusal.
The benefits of IP address management tools and software are clear to see. Failing to manage your IP networks correctly or trying to get by without IPAM can lead to conflicts, unhappy users, site downtime issues, and even huge amounts of lost revenue over the long term too, so if your business wants to keep up with the competition, investing in IPAM is never a bad idea.