1 February 2022 | 5 min read | Ignas Anfalovas
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DDI Solution: A Comprehensive Guide

What is DDI and how does it integrate DNS, DHCP and IPAM solutions? Find answers to the most important DDI-related questions.

DDI is a solution that integrates DHCP, DNS and IPAM services.

The number of Internet of Things (IoT) devices might reach 25.4 billion by 2030. As a result, the demand for new IP addresses is also growing. Luckily, DDI solutions may help address the challenges related to network administration. But what is DDI exactly?

In this article, we address two most important questions related to DDI. First, how does DDI work and what are its core components? Second, what are the benefits that DDI brings to the table of any company trying to automate and secure its networks?

Keep reading to learn more about DDI solutions and why your company might benefit from implementing them as well.

What is DDI? 

DDI, or DNSDHCPIPAM, is a consolidation of three unique network services: Domain Name System (DNS), Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) and IP address management (IPAM). 

All three parts are essential DDI components integrated into one package. This package is particularly helpful for companies that manage and control IP resources. For example, companies can centralize DNS, DHCP and IP address services into a single platform to improve their network administration. 

Also, DDI solutions can help every IT organization that uses multi-cloud environments. How? DDI can integrate the multi-cloud network management in one place and, in turn, ensure reliable and smooth operation. For example, if companies use several cloud service providers, they can manage all clouds via one interface.

Moreover, DDI may help employ next-generation network technologies, like software-defined networking (SDN), that offer a new perspective to the network architecture. SDN can support interoperability between various network applications and cloud orchestration systems.

Now that you are familiar with the concept of DDI, let’s take a closer look at the three main elements – DNS, DHCP and IPAM.

DNS

The Domain Name System (DNS) translates IP addresses into human-friendly domain names. Thanks to DNS, internet users don’t have to remember long IP addresses to connect to a website. For example, you do not need to remember the IP 64.233.191.200 when you want to access google.com.

A DNS server translates a memorable domain name into a complex IP address.
DNS translates a complicated IP address into a memorable domain name

The Domain Name System relies on DNS records, or host records, to hold information regarding IP addresses. DNS wouldn’t find matching IP addresses for human-readable domain names without this information. In turn, computers and other networked devices could not communicate without DNS.

Undeniably, DNS is an essential element of DDI. After all, DNS connects internet users to websites and services, driving the HTTP web traffic.

If IPAM or DHCP systems are integrated with DNS, network operators can easily update and edit DNS records. Timely adjustments ensure efficient transfer of services if IP addresses change.

DHCP

The Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) is a network management protocol. It dynamically assigns new IP addresses to the devices on the network. The dynamic IP address assignment is automatic.

Three computers with unique dynamic IP addresses assigned by a DHCP server.
DHCP server assigns dynamic IP addresses

For example, when a new device connects to a network, it requests an IP address from a DHCP server. Then, the DHCP server automatically assigns the IP to the device. Finally, the device can successfully connect to both the internal network and the internet.

Moreover, the automated IP address assignment process ensures error-free configurations of devices. In turn, network administrators do not have to adjust the configurations manually and may save time managing networked devices.

Networking teams can add and update DHCP ranges, or scopes, by specifying the scope of IP addresses that connected devices can use. In other words, this configuration capability ensures that one device gets only one IP and avoids IP conflicts.

When DHCP integrates with IPAM, it ensures complete automation and centralization. In other words, without DHCP, network operators would need to set up the network manually according to the IP resource plan, a strategy for distributing IP resources.

On the other hand, DHCP would not provide a comprehensive view of the network without IPAM either.

IPAM

IPAM is short for IP address management. It is a management plane or a foundational layer to the DDI that helps organize, monitor and control a network’s IP address space.

Network administrator using IPAM to organize and monitor IP addresses.
IP address management helps organize, monitor and control the IP address space

In other words, with IPAM software, network administrators can efficiently manage IP addresses. The IP address management system allows inspecting assigned and unassigned IP addresses, related information about subnets and associated hardware.

Also, IPAM software allows the network operators to see IP address records and the entire IP address system on a single interface. With all the data in a central repository, network operators can analyze, inspect and keep the infrastructure resources up to date.

Furthermore, with IPAM data at hand, the networking team may be more successful at detecting potential network abuses or breaches related to specific IP addresses. Network administrators can follow IP address assignments and track usage patterns to identify potential security issues and network vulnerabilities.

To sum up, while DNS and DHCP are responsible for technical functionalities, IPAM provides management and planning functions. In other words, without IPAM, network operators could configure hardware automatically, but they would lack a broader view of the entire IP pool.

Why DDI is important

DDI integrates DNS, DHCP and IPAM, making it a unique packaged solution that offers a single pane of glass approach to the network architecture. This combination of IPAM, DNS and DHCP services offers two significant advantages:

  • Automated network management
  • Improved network efficiency

DDI automates network management

The centralization and automation of critical services of the network make the management of the IP-based network easier. In other words, the system eliminates the need to perform manual configurations. This automation, in turn, translates into fewer configuration errors.

Furthermore, businesses can gradually provide automated provisioning of IP resources within the organization by integrating DDI deployment models. For example, if the company has several DHCP and DNS servers already in place, they can incorporate IPAM for complete automation and resource centralization. 

An expert working with DHCP, DNS and IPAM (DDI) services at the same time.
DHCP, DNS and IPAM integration offers complete automation and resource centralization

That, in turn, can optimize the workload for the networking team in the company. Eventually, the network team managing the network can save time and perform other important tasks instead.

DDI improves network efficiency

Automated IPAM, DNS and DHCP services ensure that enterprise networks run smoothly. They also minimize the risk of possible configuration management errors. As a result, companies can keep their network traffic flowing and reduce network downtime.

Also, the centralization of core network services may help see all settings and data in one place. Consequently, that may facilitate network provisioning and help troubleshoot different issues more efficiently.

Conclusion

DNS, DHCP and IPAM, or DDI, is becoming an essential management solution for any company trying to automate and secure its networks.

The DNS-DHCP-IPAM system may facilitate companies to effectively address challenges related to their network growth. Also, DDI may help manage new IP addresses brought by the rise of IoT devices connected to the companies’ networks.

New challenges call for new management approaches. Luckily, DDI is the solution that enterprises can implement to simplify the management of their resources in real-time.

The DDI solution offers automated and centralized features that may help create more efficient networks. Eventually, optimized networks can save maintenance costs. As a result, network operators can save time and increase the company’s revenue in the long run.


About the author

Ignas Anfalovas

Platform Engineering Manager

Ignas is a Platform Engineering Manager at IPXO with more than 7 years of experience in the IT sector. His expertise includes network design solutions and infrastructure maintenance. After working hours, you will find Ignas in Lithuanian folk-dance classes.