By 2023, the number of gadgets connected to IP networks will be three times more than the global population, according to statistics on Cisco. With more devices added to networks, managing internal IP networks and addresses has become more complex. Today, it’s impossible to monitor IP address assignments using a spreadsheet. As more IP-enabled computers, tablets, and smartphones are launched in the market, businesses need an effective IP address management strategy.
Implementing the right IPAM strategy helps manage weak network pathways that hackers use to access your data, thus improving cybersecurity for your business. But, what exactly is an IP address management system? Below is everything you should know about internet protocol address management and the best IPAM practices to consider for 2022.
How IPAM Systems Work
IP address management systems function effectively by integrating with DHCP (dynamic host configuration protocol) to assign static or dynamic IP addresses to each device and keep records. Typically, an IPAM system assigns a static address or an address that stays unchanged for an extended period to printers and web servers. On the other hand, a dynamic address is assigned to similar devices, and workstations for a specified period workstation addresses are bound to change.
IPAM systems also integrate with DNS to keep updated web server names and alphabetical maps of printers together with their addresses. Since the system can connect with network inventory software, you can track devices connected to the internet and those added to your network. In simple terms, the role of IPAM systems is to automate IP address management tasks and centralize IP inventory to help businesses track IP addresses and improve connectivity.
Challenges In IP Address Management
Increased use of internet-enabled devices creates a lot of challenges for IPAM systems. For example, when a Wi-Fi device accesses your facility’s network, it connects to the DHCP. The DHCP server then provides a dynamic address. This means if the device leaves the facility, the address will expire. So, every time the Wi-Fi device is in the building, it will require a new address, making it impossible for the IT department to track Wi-Fi device IP addresses manually.
Businesses can overcome this challenge by moving to advanced IPAM solutions that coordinate with the DHCP. That way, your IPAM system can update addresses of Wi-Fi devices that move to new subnets each time DHCP grants a dynamic address. Besides internal network growth, there are other reasons for advancing your IPAM system, including the need to reduce human error, enhance network security, and speed admin tasks.
IP Address Considerations
The public IPv4 space has been depleted, meaning businesses and individuals should transition to highly available IP addresses. If you haven’t switched from IPv4, it’s time to change to IPv6, even if it’s on your internet-facing infrastructure. There are some benefits of implementing IPv6, such as maximizing your internet presence. IPv6 also allows access to internet hosts via protocol and guarantees a valuable experience. With network growth on the horizon, you’ll also need to transition to advanced IPAM solutions. That way, you can maximize IP resources available on your network to ensure it reaches its full potential.
Implementing an effective IP address management strategy is vital to keep your IP network functioning successfully. To ensure you get the best result, you need to understand how an IPAM system works. Also, get to know the challenges affecting IPAM systems and implement the best IP address management practices.