Using HP Intelligent Management Center for IPAM?

HP’s Intelligent Management Center, or iMC, is a fantastic Network Management System (NMS).  It is very scalable, and very modular.  For those that know me, or read my posts, you’ll know that I quickly fell in love with this product.  And I’m always learning something new with it each day.

Why IPAM

One of the challenges of today’s infrastructure groups, is to get a handle on IP Address Management.  When you were on a small network, spreadsheets really did the trick.  It was easy to use.  But, it was flat and could not keep up with the changes and advanced uses of today’s subnets.  Especially, with the increased adoption of IPv6.

So, IPAM systems were introduced.  These systems manage your IP nodes for you.  I dumped spreadsheets 5 years ago and used free or open-source applications.  There are a few good ones out there.  Specifically, I had used IPTrack (I think it’s called IPPlan now, if it’s still maintained).  But, it didn’t look very pretty, and still required alot of manual work.  Because of that, I decided to buy a commercial system from SolarWinds (Infoblox and BlueCat were just too expensive for what I needed).

Plus, for most systems, it doesn’t take much to extend them for Mobility Management systems (MDM).

Using HP iMC for Address Allocation

However, if you are using HP’s IMC, there is a system built-in that can be used as an IPAM system.  This entry is to explain what you can and can’t do with it.  You access it under Resources –> Terminal Access.

Under IP Address Allocation, you can create your subnets and then add your static entries you want to track.  You can even create supernets, and then “Add Child IP Segment” to create your subnets under it.  Using the “Auto-Scanning” function, iMC attempts to identify the systems using the SNMP settings that it already knows about.

Here is where it gets interesting.  The Auto-Scanning function does NOT auto-allocate.  You have to go into the Auto-Scanning results, and manually “allocate” the identified system in order to see it under your created subnets.  The good news, is that if you have the subnets already created, iMC will automatically assign the allocated addresses to the appropriate subnet.  So, if you have a /24 assigned to your point-to-point /30 networks, and you have the /30 networks created under the supernet of /24, then iMC will know that 10.1.0.41/30 gets put into the 10.1.0.40/30 subnet.  Or vice-versa.  If you allocated /30 IP’s, but haven’t added the subnets yet, as soon as you do, they show up.

IMC_IPAM_Subnets

Conclusion

It is obvious, that iMC is not meant to be an IP Address Management system.  There is alot of manual work and effort that still needs to be done. SolarWinds still wins hands down, as it queries your DHCP servers and uses DNS Zone Transfers to auto-allocate addresses.  It will also scan regularly (i.e. every 1 day) to identify new systems and/or release DHCP addresses no longer in use.  SolarWinds IPAM is far superior.  But, if you already have iMC, and you are still using spreadsheets, get off it and move it to IMC!  IMC may not be the best, but it’s far better than spreadsheets, and a litle better than some open-source versions.

Although, many IPAM companies offer free limited versions of their products, having a system that is already setup and running, this could be the way to go.  But, if you need more features and automation, you may want to look at other products out there.

 

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