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SolarWinds Tackles IP Address Management Conflicts

While IP address conflicts are as old as networks themselves, the growing number of employee-owned devices in the workplace are making them a more frequent problem for system administrators. By nature of the fact that PCs and devices have become transient in terms of the number of networks they may connect to, it's not uncommon for a device to still think it's linked to one network, causing  an IP address conflict when it tries to connect to another network.  

SolarWinds is addressing that with its new IP Control Bundle, which identifies and resolves IP address conflicts. The bundle consists of the new SolarWinds IP Address Manager (IPAM) and the SolarWinds User Device Tracker (UDT). There are two parts to the IP address resolution process.

First, IPAM identifies the IP conflicts by subnet, provides a history of where the user and machine connected to the network, identifies the switch and port on which that system connected and then actually disables that user's connection. Next, UDT uses that information to disable the switch port and assigns a new IP address and updates any DNS entries as necessary for the device to work before reconnecting.

IPAM and UDT are typically installed on a separate server, and when a problem arises an administrator can use the software to scan the network and IP address ranges. It also interrogates routers, switches and other network infrastructure to gather relevant troubleshooting information. Rather than using agents, it relies on standard protocols, notably SNMP.

In addition to troubleshooting and remediating client-based devices, the SolarWinds package can handle IP address conflicts occurring on servers and virtual machines, says Chris LaPoint, vice president of product management at SolarWinds.

"If I'm the owner of that critical app trying to figure out what's going on, I can go to this tool and see that Joe over in another part of the datacenter has spun up a new VM and that's what's creating issues with my application," LaPoint explains. "So now I can probably notify Joe and tell him I'm kicking him off the network because it's actually affecting the availability of a customer-facing application that we need to have running."

Pricing for IPAM starts at $1,995 and UDT begins at $1,795.

Separately, SolarWinds this week said its SolarWinds Web Help Desk now works with DameWare Remote Support. SolarWinds acquired DameWare in 2011 but it operates as a separate business unit. The products are collectively used by 25,000 customers and the combined solution will allow help desk technicians to connect with remote devices or servers, collect support data including chat transcripts and screen shots and generate reports.

The SolarWinds Web Help Desk offering provides automated ticketing, SLA alerts, asset management and reporting while DameWare Remote Support provides remote access to client devices and servers, allowing administrators to take control of those systems and manage multiple Active Directory Domains as well as resetting passwords.


Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on 12/12/2014 at 11:27 AM


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