Infoblox has released a new module for its networking appliances that makes it easier for corporations to manage Microsoft's DNS and DHCP servers. The Infoblox Microsoft Management module provides Internet Protocol Address Management (IPAM) capabilities, letting IT administrators manage and maintain Microsoft DNS/DHCP servers. It uses a Web-based interface for role-based administration and provides audit logs and automated disaster recovery. The product also helps protect against security and stability risks due to IP errors.
Networks are becoming more dynamic as devices such as IP phones and IP cameras are connected to corporate networks. Organizations require robust DNS and DHCP services to allocate IP addresses. At the same time, device location is more difficult for IT administrators. Enterprises don't want to replace the Microsoft servers but IT administrators need a better way to manage their IP address space without having to put agents on the servers.
Jim Frey, research director for Enterprise Management Associates, says he's pleased to see a vendor work with a customer's existing infrastructure rather than require the customer to rip and replace products. "It's a smart move in avoiding the whole forklift approach," he says. Customers can buy the Infoblox appliance and use the new module to connect to Microsoft servers in remote and branch offices and retail locations instead of purchasing appliances for all remote locations. "It's an easier implementation path than it would be otherwise," says Frey. It also gives Infoblox a market opening into these smaller shops.
At present, the module only supports only IPv4, but that may not be a problem at present for many customers. Frey says IPv6 hasn't hit the mainstream because most companies don't feel sufficient pain to make it worthwhile to rework their architectures in order to support it. That said, Frey notes IPv6 is a must for the future. Infoblox declined to comment on its plans for IPv6 support in the module.
The Infoblox Microsoft Management module is available now starting at $7,495, and targets small and medium-size businesses. The module requires an Infoblox 550 appliance, which starts at approximately $6,100. The Microsoft Management module can manage up to four Microsoft servers, 1,000 users, and 4,000 IP addresses. Multiple appliances can communicate with each other using a real-time control plane method called Grid.