Infoblox integrates IP address management with network configuration

Infoblox has integrated two network management technologies into one box to help network managers keep their systems running.

According to Dirk Marichel, vice-president EMEA for Infoblox, network managers can spend up to 75 per cent of their time just keeping their networks alive, leaving little time to update and improve them.

Infoblox already offers IP address management (IPAM) tools that provide in-house domain name server (DNS) and dynamic host control protocol (DHCP) services. It says the tool is appropriate for networks that support at least 300 devices.

The company argues that its dedicated boxes are a better option than running the BIND DNS software on a generic server, because they can offer centralised management, better resilience, and better reporting and auditing capabilities.

"As a company we have been trying to replace Microsoft DNS/DHCP environments with Infoblox solutions," said Marichel. He argued that the Infoblox tools offer more hooks for better control and reporting than generic options, using a real-time data-sharing backplane to keep all the connected servers up-to-date with each other.

"Financial services and e-commerce firms want this to ensure their up-time," Marichel added.

The latest revision of the Infoblox IP address management tools adds technology for network insight gained through the company's acquisition of NetCordia. This adds network change and configuration capabilities that enable companies to collect and analyse information about how their networks are configured, possible policy violations, and the impact of network changes.

Other features include expanded discovery, inventory and real-time tracking of IP addresses, automatic population of network discovery data collected by the NetMRI devices into the Infoblox IP address management interface, and automatic configuration of customer network definitions with the IPAM interface using NetMRI's ongoing discovery of network subnets and routes. The tool also supports automated network DHCP relay configuration.

Infoblox customer Johniel Marrero, network specialist at Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center, which has both Infoblox NetMRI and IPAM solutions, said: "The value of Infoblox products is derived from the power of automation, robust management capabilities and network visibility. Instead of the normal mundane and time-consuming processes, Infoblox's automation and control is essential to help our team ensure we are providing a flawless guest experience by maintaining a network infrastructure that is completely under our control and performing precisely as we expect."

Jim Frey of analysts Enterprise Management Associates commented in a recent report: "There is little, if any, hope for manual processes to keep pace with the rate of change introduced by server virtualisation and cloud services – the only reasonable answer is automation. Network managers could benefit greatly from tighter automation and control around IP address management as an essential aspect of maintaining a highly functional, highly performing network."

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