IPAM - Simple, but very useful
December 18, 2015

IPAM - Simple, but very useful

Steve Jenovai | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with SolarWinds IPAM

We use IPAM both internally and to monitor IP usage for several of our customers. We provide industrial IT solutions to municipalities and other large industries. One of the frequent problems we run into is undocumented devices. IPAM allow us to scan the environment and locate any connected device that has an IP address associated with it. Because IPAM also records the last response, we can also look for devices that may have been removed or gone down since they were scanned.

IPAM also makes it easy to organize subnets via folders and subfolders that contain named ranges. Because we are often dealing with customers that have multiple sites with multiple IP ranges, IPAM has been a good tool to simplify management of these subnets. IPAM also integrates with the rest of the Solarwinds suite, meaning that clicking on an address in IPAM will link to any monitored details.
  • Because of the integration with the Solarwinds suite, IPAM not only scans for devices, but links to any monitored details for that device. This is particularly nice when you have multiple sites and subnets that you are tracking
  • IPAM allows you to populate DNS. Since many of the devices we work with are non-standard non-windows devices, it allows us to update DNS as soon as a device is discovered and identified
  • Provides a great way to manage IP addresses, since IP addresses can be reserved and commented on. We use IPAM as our definitive source for finding available static IP addresses.
  • IPAM alerting is limited. Ideally, I'd like to be able to set up notifications for events such as a reserved IP address becoming active.
  • Much better customer service. We are able to easily identify every active IP address on our customer networks. Many times we identify devices they never knew they had.
  • Reduces our time in mapping a customer environment
  • Allows us to easily add DNS entries for devices that do not autopopulate DNS
IPAM is a good fit for environments with multiple sites and multiple subnets. It is also a useful tool when determining available static IP addresses. At my last company, we replaced cumbersome subnet spreadsheets with IPAM, and suddenly we actually knew if the address was really available. It may not be as sophisticated as the other SolarWinds tools, but it just as useful.

Using SolarWinds IPAM

5 - Customer Service, Engineering Support, Help Desk
5 - IPAM is fairly simple to understand. But it is most often used by IT admins or engineers with some networking knowledge. An understanding of DNS, and our company strategy for naming is also important.
  • Identification and alerting for oversubscribed IP ranges
  • Rapid understanding of customer IP environment
  • Troubleshooting of remote sites where we need to know location and customer
  • ability to update DNS directly from IPAM. This feature has made it possible to quickly and efficiently update DNS for the many devices we deal with that do not autopopulate DNS
IPAM is an integral tool for helping us understand our customer's environment.

SolarWinds IPAM Implementation

Know the full scope of what you will be installing. Solarwinds can be a very complex installation. IPAM is just one fairly simplistic piece.
Change management was minimal - The solarwinds upgrade process is not trivial. There is a recommended order and version requirement that is laborious, and if done improperly can cause issues or break the product. Make backups/snapshots at every step. Monitoring of solarwinds was managed by a secondary product during the upgrade.
  • Documentation is overly complex. The "quick installation" guide (for the whole suite) is 98 pages. Even when you strip out the legalese and marketing bs, it is still too wordy and needlessly complex
  • Solarwinds really needs MS-SQL standard or better. It works with express, but in most environments, you will be purchasing MS-SQL if you don't already have an instance.

SolarWinds IPAM Support

IPAM issues where simple to answer. However with more complex questions, there can be a tendency for Solarwinds to not dig deeply enough to give the full answer. I have heard "That can't be done" a couple of times only to figure out that the item in question can in fact be done, just not easily.
Quick Resolution
Good followup
Knowledgeable team
Problems get solved
Kept well informed
Support understands my problem
Quick Initial Response
No - Premium support is not offered at this time. We do pay for maintenance, which includes 24x7 support.

Using SolarWinds IPAM

IPAM is easy and fast to use. Although it is not as feature rich as other solarwinds modules, it nevertheless provides valuable data that is not easy to get any other way.
Like to use
Relatively simple
Easy to use
Technical support not required
Well integrated
Quick to learn
Feel confident using
  • Scanning of IP ranges automatically
  • Updating DNS with unresolved IP addresses directly from IPAM
  • Alerting on subnet overusage
  • IP specific alerting