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Infoblox Adds Integrated IP Address Management to its DNS Solution


By Derek Iwasiuk
October 10, 2005

The very thing that makes the Internet so useful is that it connects everyone to everyone else. Yet it is anonymous and controlled by no one. This points to a potential ‘network identity crisis’ where enterprises who operate similar anonymous networks have limited visibility about how their systems are being managed.

A fundamental shift in network architecture towards ‘Identity Driven Networks’ may now be called for. User and application-level security and auditability are built into the platform.

Currently, up to 84% of name servers provide recursion to arbitrary queries, leaving the network vulnerable and open to abuse and DNS attacks i.e. ‘pharming’ which exploits name servers that allow recursive queries from any IP address.

Infoblox Inc. has announced enhancements to the Infoblox DNSone™ and Keystone™ software modules for its line of network identity appliances, that should help solve this issue. With the enhanced modules, Infoblox delivers appliance-based, integrated DNS, DHCP offering with built-in, rather than built-on, IP address management (IPAM) functionality.

IP address management systems provide tools that enable organizations to efficiently administer, monitor and report on the utilization of their limited pools of IP addresses. Conventional IPAM solutions that require dedicated hardware and software have been expensive to install and maintain, and therefore have been deployed by a relatively small number of large organizations. As demands on network infrastructure continue to increase, many more organizations, regardless of size, are seeking IPAM solutions that are robust, but without unnecessary cost and complexity.

The new Infoblox DNSone version 3.2 module, in conjunction with the enhanced Keystone module, provides an appliance-based, integrated DNS and DHCP solution with built-in IPAM capabilities. The new solution provides manageability, real-time performance and reliability advantages for nonstop domain name resolution (DNS), IP address assignment (DHCP), and IPAM services.

The fully integrated DNS, DHCP and IPAM solution is delivered on security-hardened, high-availability appliances and includes unified management, one-button, system-wide software upgrades, and seamless disaster recovery.

In addition to new IPAM functionality, other DNSone version 3.2 enhancements include the new “Infoblox Views” feature, which, like BIND Views, allows a single Infoblox appliance to appear as multiple “virtual” DNS appliances, supporting, for example, both internal and external DNS services on a single device, simplifying deployments and lowering costs. The Infoblox Views feature takes advantage of core Infoblox technologies to extend and enhance the more common BIND Views features.

The DNSone version 3.2 module also provides a new file distribution service, via the TFTP protocol. This allows for delivery and centralized management of firmware and configuration files for VoIP phones, cable modems, and wireless access points, among other devices, that require dynamic software and configuration updates.

“To manage IP addresses, most enterprises rely either on Excel spreadsheets and manual, labor-intensive processes, or on fairly complex IPAM applications, which can be very costly and difficult to administer,” commented Dan Golding, senior analyst at industry research firm the Burton Group.

“Enterprises are largely operating ‘anonymous networks’ where they have limited visibility or control over who is getting IP addresses and gaining access to IT resources,” said Richard Kagan, vice president of marketing at Infoblox.

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