Guy's Ezine 166 - IPAT and IPAM (IP Address Manager)
Guy's Ezine 166 - IPAT (Address Tracker) and IPAM (IP Address Manager)
Aren't acronyms are funny things? Catchy names such as IPAT and IPAM can promote a positive image even before you try the product. I find that the acronym IPAT (IP Address Tracker) is both memorable and intriguing. Calculating IP Address ranges is a black art, which many network managers solve by creating custom Excel spreadsheets. IPAT (and IPAM) crack the problem of allocating IP addresses in networks in two ways; for Mr Organized there is a nifty subnet calculator, you enter the network address and the subnet mask, then IPAT works out the usable addresses and their ranges. For Mr Lazy IPAT discovers and then displays the IP addresses of existing computers.
IPAT - The Easy Part
The first thing to realize is that Solarwinds offer two utilities, IPAT is the basic IP Address Tracker, while Orion IPAM is the all bells and whistles version. I recommend that you start by going to the Solarwinds website and download the IP Address Tracker. Only progress to the Orion IPAM once you have a grounding in the basic model.
I have a crusade, even an obsession that software should be easy to install. Say what you will, about Microsoft, their products are always setup. Actually, with IPAT there is no problem with the install. Despite setting a tough challenge of setting up the IP Address Monitor on a 64-bit Windows Server 2008, even Guy the arch-critic could not fault the setup routine.
Using the IP Address Tracker is straightforward and intuitive. Launch the utility and just press the buttons! 'Scan Now' and see if the utility detects the IP address just as you predicted - or will there be a surprise computer or two? 'New Subnet' launches the famous Subnet Calculator, if you have ever had to study for IP exams, or had to configure networks for real, then you will enjoy this nifty utility.
Solarwinds Orion's IPAM - The Hard Part
It's a force of nature that whenever you want to achieve something complicated there will be set-backs on the journey of discovery. One of my secrets of learning is to build on success, and it is for this reason that I recommend you test the IP Address Tracker before moving on to its 'Big Brother' Solarwinds Orion IPAM.
The killer feature of Orion IPAM is integration with the rest of the Orion suite, in particular linking with the Performance Monitor. Also, scanning subnets automatically is a real time-saver on big networks.
My first installation failed. The Orion IPAM needs IIS, thus I had to get that web service working before I could install the more sophisticated Orion IPAM. After some fiddling I got the Orion IPAM running smoothly and I was impressed with this utility. However, being an SNMP expert, my old friend 'Mad' Mick wanted more. To be objective, if you are a relative newbie, such as me, then you will be impressed, whereas if you are a hard-hearted veteran such as Mike, then you may be critical because it does not read your mind.
What Mick complained of was that IPAM allowed him to create duplicate IP ranges (Silly Mick, Guy says). It also would not perform all the import and exports that Mick wanted. See more reviews of Solarwinds Orion family.
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Guy Recommends: The Free IP Address Tracker (IPAT)
Calculating IP Address ranges is a black art, which many network managers solve by creating custom Excel spreadsheets. IPAT cracks this problem of allocating IP addresses in networks in two ways:
For Mr Organized there is a nifty subnet calculator, you enter the network address and the subnet mask, then IPAT works out the usable addresses and their ranges.
For Mr Lazy IPAT discovers and then displays the IP addresses of existing computers. Download the Free IP Address Tracker
Will and Guy's Humour
Have a look at our computer jokes and funny pictures. Our favourite this week is 'They said she could not break it!'
See more interesting free computer utilities
Here are my reviews of more useful computer tools. Most of these programs are free, while others are major applications, but time-limited. One common theme is that Solarwinds give you a free specialist utility, and then supply a more comprehensive suite for larger organizations. To let you into a secret; for small networks the free tool is all you'll ever need.