CTO, BlueCat Networks Inc.

BlueCat Networks Inc. gave attendees at this year’s Networld+Interop a sneak peek at an integrated DNS and IP system that simplifies IP address management for large enterprises.

The Proteus Enterprise IP Address Management Appliance, to be released in the final quarter of this year, is a self-managed solution that will help large enterprises design, deploy and manage IP-based networks.

Richard Hyatt, chief technology officer for the Richmond Hill, Ont.-based company said companies with IP-based networks are currently trying to manage the ever growing array of IP-enabled devices and systems manually, a process that is time consuming, not efficient and often prone to error….the real problem is that we have gotten to the point where we are assigning more IP addresses and more devices are getting IP addresses so you have to come up with a way to manage all those addresses.Richard Hyatt>Text “Many companies are simply pinging (IP) addresses and that is how they are doing IP address management,” Hyatt added. “They are going about pinging to see what is out there on the network and what (IP) addresses are assigned to specific things like printers. But the real problem is that we have gotten to the point where we are assigning more IP addresses and more devices are getting IP addresses so you have to come up with a way to manage all those addresses. It is going to get really hard to just memorize those addresses.”

Hyatt said the issue of increasing IP addresses to manage is going to become an even bigger issue as companies begin to move to VoIP.

By adding VoIP to a network, IP addresses could effectively double as each desk in a business not only has a computer with an IP address, but a phone with an IP address as well.

The Proteus device allows a network manager to model a company’s network based around a conceptual view and then deploys and manages that design across the organization without worrying about interference or implementation details. At the same time, the device will have a dual core design that makes it both IP- and DNS-centric. The strength of this design element is it allows Proteus to model both IP and DNS information through a single interface, but the information can at the same time be kept separate if necessary. The device manages other IP and DNS processes automatically.

“Whenever a person is making a DNS change, an IP address change or moving a device from one network to another, it can be a very complicated process and it can be very expensive if mistakes are made,” Hyatt said. “An IP address management system that can automate some of these things is a way of tackling these problems.”

Hyatt added Proteus allows a network manager to find much faster where devices are on a network and to see which devices have IP addresses.

Johny Budiman, a network systems analyst with the Bank of Montreal in Toronto, said his organization is looking at various IP management solutions to replace the system the bank currently has in place.

While Budiman says the bank has Nortel NetID now working, he would like to see a solution that simplifies and rationalizes the management process.

The Proteus device, when it becomes commercially available, is one of many solutions the bank may examine to tackle management issues.

“IP management is always a challenge and we have gone through a lot of exercises and while the solution we have right now is working, we are always on the lookout for solutions to improve our processes,” he added.

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Related links:

How to manage IP phone installations

Video users say hello to IP



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