IP Address Management

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Network monitoring
Networking
Currently, we are using an Excel spreadsheet to manually assign and track IP address with multiple techs having access. This is no longer meeting our needs, as devices are moved, new devices deployed, and old devices retired, the spreadsheet is not updated by by all. What software are others using to manage IP assignment and tracking?
ASKED: January 25, 2007  10:45 AM
UPDATED: January 29, 2007  4:05 PM

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Laurie:
We had a problem similar to this at intel back in 1994. Managing the DNS table with vi became virtually impossible. Because of this, as soon as microsoft deployed DHCP, I set up a pilot for my geography. This was so successful we deployed it to the entire company.
I strongly recommend you convert to DHCP and tie it into active directory integrated DNS so things will happen automatically. The only devices we gave static addresses to were servers and network devices like switches and routers.
In my current job in a different company, we are slowly working toward the same goal.
rt

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  • Marcola
    Well you didn't actually state which OS platform you are running on so if it is Windows NT 4.0 or higher then the correct applications would be Microsoft's DHCP and DNS with dynamic updates enabled. You may also want to run WINS for legacy devices and OS's. WINS does not manage IP address but does facilitate address resolution.
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  • MennoT
    There is specialized software for this purpose on the market, for instance IPControl (INS) or QIP (Lucent). For selecting the optimal solution, you need to be sure about your requirements (hardware, software, interfacing requirements, scale, etc.).
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  • Marcola
    There is no need to purchase additional software to handle your issue. Everything that you need to automatically issue, monitor and scavenge IP addresses is built into Windows Server.
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  • Icestormz
    Everyone above is right. There is no need to purchase any additional software. Microsoft should be used to help you distribute, and manage IP Addresses. All workstations should be give DHCP addresses and Servers, Printers, Switches and Routers should be given Static addresses. If you want to keep a running record of what Static addresses you have handed out, then use the DHCP Option of Reserved. This will allow you to review who has what on the static level. Also, if you review the leases in DHCP you will be able to review who has what dynamic IP Address. Hope this helps and saves you money. Every company likes that.
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  • Maryam82
    I agree with you all, especially with your company loving to save money. We are using DHCP to assign users. Also not forgetting to reserve ranges for servers, printers, etc. We also set up a intra-website keeping track of all IPs used along with their information, users, location, devices, etc. It is updating regularly by our staff. This can be done simply by using access and whatever web design language you are comfortable with.
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  • Acandler
    Sometimes as well, the answer may not be new technology. We techies have a tendancy to through technology at issues that policy may resolve. You can use a monitoring tool in conjuction with a database (like Excel or Access, and some tools will feed to your database). But the issue is still a problem of human nature. I would place one person in charge of the data base or spread sheet and require all technicians to report any changes via email to that person. Pick a detail oriented person and make it his/her high priority and it will get done. Use a discovery tool like LANSurveyor (free) and require a weekly scan and update. This is just one possible solution.
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  • Gforsythe
    Other replies are right on the money, DHCP with statis only on those devices that MUST be static. Beyond that, using a IP scanning utility like Mad IP scanner is a great way to audit what is each subnet. It will display the ip address as well as the device name.
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  • Marcola
    I am confused as to wht this thread is still going. Here is a link to a step-by-step guide from Microsoft on how to install and configure DHCP on Windows 2003. http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/windowsserver2003/technologies/directory/activedirectory/stepbystep/domcntrl.mspx Here is a link to the Scripting Center at Microsoft loaded with VB and VB.NET scripting samples that you can modify and run in your environment to handle a huge array of tasks. http://www.microsoft.com/technet/scriptcenter/scripts/ad/users/default.mspx?mfr=true I use this site religiously.
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  • Jdwill
    Hi Laurie, I had a similar problem at the last place I worked where the systems administrator insisted on using static IPs for everything . . . something about being able to trace activities to a particular computer and person. Anyway, we suffered from the same problems you are experiencing -- outdated lists, people who "jumped the gun" and relocated equipment wihout prior approval or coordination, and the irritation of duplicat IP addresses. The way I finally solved the problem with my area of the network was to name the computers and other devices on the network by an easily locatable name and then assigned IP addresses to the locations. When techs installed a PC or network device, they used the assigned IP address and when they checked equipment or di preventive maintenance on anything, they also checked the number. With the backing of our senior management team, we curbed the unwanton relocations of machines and persuaded everyone to follow the published procedures. We also used NetView periodically to keep tabs on active IP addresses and check the IP address with the name of the machine at the location. Shortly after I left, the system administrator started assigning device names according to their inventory number. From what I heard, the network techs are going crazy again trying to keep tabs of everything. I just hope they are reading this for all the great ideas that others have tried. It would save them a lot of heartburn and time. Hope this gives you another option in dealing with your problem.
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