We tend not to think a lot about some of the most fundamental IT infrastructure services, yet they come up a lot when we are troubleshooting problems. One rule of thumb is that when it is an application networking problem then it is a DNS issue. Even when it is definitely not a DNS issue, it is a DNS issue. I am being. A bit flippant here, but the reality of troubleshooting non-obvious problems is that name resolution in one form or another is a common problem area. When it is change time, the issue of IP address assignment and management will also come up. Many years ago, I was working at a global pharmaceutical company where IP address management was handled by DHCP reservations for servers. Apparently, there had been a slipup where a new server was assigned the IP address of another server and a highly critical application had gone down.
These two pieces of context came up for me when I was chatting with BlueCat Networks about their product. Their core is in IP addresses and DNS names: providing integrated IPAM, DHCP, and DNS. You may feel that these areas are covered by your Windows or Linux servers, or by your network platform and you may be right for your organization. At a massive scale, you do need a more coordinated and integrated system that keeps IP addresses attached to hostnames across the whole enterprise. The target market for BlueCat Networks is the very large networks with critical applications and high change rates, where security, scalability, and automation are critical. One aspect of the product that I found interesting is the ability to do analytics against DNS requests, noticing if a server suddenly changes its behavior in a way that indicates that it has been compromised. Your print server probably shouldn’t be trying to locate your payroll system. I’m always interested in management tools that gain more insights from the data they have about system behavior.
If you have a large network and if you have an IP address problem, BlueCat might be your savior.
© 2019, Alastair. All rights reserved.