Infoblox hooks into Windows DNS

Infoblox has launched an appliance designed to help manage DNS and DHCP addressing on Windows servers without swapping out existing systems.

Infoblox IPAM WinConnect sits in the data centre and talks to Windows DNS and DHCP servers via the network, providing IT managers with a common view into both environments as well as automation and administrative features. It would augment existing Windows IP address management tools, according to industry watchers, who say many customers depend on out-of-date and insufficient tools to manage IT addresses.

“Forgotten services like DHCP, DNS, and RADIUS are critical network services components that dictate availability. Yet most are woefully out of date, stagnating on non-enterprise-grade infrastructure, with few security mechanisms," wrote Robert Whiteley, a senior analyst at Forrester Research, in a recent report on IP address management.

Infoblox said its appliance adds more functionality to existing Microsoft DNS and DHCP server deployments. For instance, the product automatically catalogues devices on the network, eliminating the need for IT staff to maintain spreadsheets or other home-grown approaches to tracking IP data. It also gives IT staff a look at current and historic IT usage and lets managers delegate administrative jobs into roles, which is critical for compliance purposes, the company said.

"IT managers need detailed audit logs of who did what and when to every device. And a vast majority of organisations using Windows are tracking that with spreadsheets, which is very manual and error-prone," said Richard Kagan, Infoblox vice president of marketing. "The native tools offered with Microsoft aren't as rich as they need to be so this appliance is designed to help people keep managing DNS and DCHP with Microsoft and a little help from Infoblox."

Infoblox, which competes with the likes of BlueCat Networks, DNSstuff and Secure64, said the appliance uses standard Microsoft protocols, so no changes are needed on the Windows servers. Forrester's Whiteley said such appliances could be ideal for greenfield environments looking to get started with IP address, DNS, DHCP and RADIUS management.

"If you have a greenfield opportunity to build a utility-grade network, then start with an appliance-oriented vendor like Infoblox or BlueCat," Whiteley wrote.

Infoblox IPAM WinConnect is scheduled to be available in December. It runs on Infoblox-250, -550, -1050 and -1550 platforms. Pricing for the IPAM WinConnect on an Infoblox-250 platform starts at about $3,000.

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