Review of SolarWinds IPAM 3 (IP Address Manager)
IPAM and IPAT are two packages which will assist with managing your IP addresses. To let you into a secret, both utilities are fun to use, even if you don't have a pressing need to manage your IP address space.
Evaluation of IPAM 3 Utility
Firstly, remember that SolarWinds' IPAM has ALL the elements, whereas IPAT, the free 'IP Address Tracker', only contains the basic features. One factor that may sway you to install IPAM is that you already have other software in the ORION suite.
Assuming you are using IPAM, and not the IP Address Tracker, seek out the 'Manage Subnets and IP Addresses' tab. It's incredible the way the software can organise the subnets, you can even create supernets by dragging and dropping the elements.
See IP4 and IP6 reports by default, alternatively, create your own. What I particularly liked was the Top 10 lists.
Many techies have spent longer than we care to admit in customizing an Excel Spreadsheet to manage our IP addresses allocations. Thus it's worth getting a copy of this IPAM software just to save time tracking which server has been been allocated to which IP address, or which building uses a particular subnet. Best of all, the subnet allocation wizard works out the address ranges for you.
Guy's Review of the IPAM Install
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' IPAM.
The killer feature of IPAM is integration with the rest of the SolarWinds 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 IPAM needs IIS, thus I had to get that web service working before I could install the more sophisticated SolarWinds IPAM. After some fiddling I got 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.
SolarWinds IPAM Video by Josh Stephens
Here is a good way to evaluate SolarWinds' IPAM:
In a nutshell, IPAM 3.0 is just that bit more fun to configure than previous versions.
Improved user delegation. You can restrict IPAM users per location/departments; for example, the IT department for Asia may operate only with related subnets but they can't change anything in the European or USA IP address scope.
DHCP management. You can configure your Microsoft DHCP servers, thus you don't need to switch from IPAM to the Microsoft DHCP server console just to make an IP Address reservation.
Real-time monitoring of DHCP address leases.
You no longer have to connect to the Microsoft DHCP snap-in, with IPAM
3.0 what you do is
IPAM 3.0 now has DNS monitoring for Microsoft DNS.
I found the hardest part of the install was remembering where I downloaded the zip file! The rest was easy, I extracted the .msi files clicked on the licence agreement, and let the install wizard perform the setup.
After the install completes IPAM launches you are ready to begin. Should you need 'find' the application later look on the start menu, or if all else fails navigate to:
C:\Program Files (x86)\SolarWinds\
Starting with version 2.0.1 you can tweak the payload for ping requests. It solves the problem of firewalls filtering large ICMP packets.
Set the value to:
Summary: Review of SolarWinds IPAM 3
IPAM is the all singing all dancing version, while the IP Address Tracker is the free basic tool. Version 3 brings requested new features such as Real-time monitoring of DHCP address leases.
Full Reviews of the SolarWinds Licenced Family of Applications
Here are Guy's comprehensive evaluations, comments and recommendations for SolarWinds licensed products. Each application offers a 30 day trial of a fully functional program, so check out the download links provided.