A resource for IPAM related information news and tools. IPAM stands for "Internet Protocol Address Management." IPAM is a network management discipline applied to IP address allocation and planning for IPv4 and IPv6 dynamic address assignment via Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) services and name-to-address lookups via Domain Name System (DNS) services.
What is IPAM?
IPAM entails the application of network management discipline to three core inter-related IP network functions:
- IP address inventory - the allocation, tracking and maintenance of IPv4 and IPv6 address space, from public or private blocks, allocated hierarchically down through the subnet level to the individual IP address assignment. Effective IP addres inventory practice assures hierarchical block allocations, managed overlapping allocations, and unique IP address assignments.
- DHCP - among addresses assigned from subnets, some may be assigned by DHCP servers, which are configured with corresponding IP address pools and associated client configuration information. DHCP management involves appropriate pool sizing and option value assignment to enable the DHCP server to assign IP address and configuration parameters to laptops, IP phones, and wireless devices, among others.
- DNS - though IP devices communicate using IP addresses, DNS facilitates more palatable navigation by names instead of addresses. DNS performs the lookup function, translation website addresses for example into IP addresses.
Each of these three foundational IPAM cornerstones are tightly inter-related. A DHCP address pool must align with a provisioned subnet from the IP address plan and a DNS name must map to the correct IP address as defined in the IP address plan and DHCP server. The practice of IPAM then requires cohesive management of these three IP network functions.
IPAM functions are to the user experience of an IP network - if DHCP doesn't provide my device an IP address, I cannot connect and if DNS doesn't resolve my website address, no one will reach it; and we rely on these functions every day to connect to the web or intranet applications. But because they are essentially network support functions, most users don't even know they exist - and it's better that way! Effective IPAM is invisible but essential to the end user community.