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What is DDI? and why it is important to manage it

What is DDI? DDI is a collective reference term that covers domain name system (DNS), dynamic host configuration protocol (DHCP), and IP address management (IPAM). DNS assures the association of host names and IP addresses. It enables access routing to almost all applications and services to keep HTTP web traffic and network traffic flowing. DHCP provides dynamic IP address assignment for nodes logging into the network, together with configuration capability automatically inherited from the address plan tree. IPAM supports these critical technologies by enabling efficient management of IP addresses across the network. Together they make up DDI.

Key For Automating Management of Multi-Cloud

DDI has become a key networking technology for every IT organization. It is now more prominent than ever due to multicloud and multi-device proliferation, and also because of ever-evolving security threats that conventional network security offerings find hard to combat. An integrated DDI solution helps simplify and automate management of the interactions between DNS, DHCP, and IPAM. These capabilities enable organizations to effectively cope with ever-increasing volumes of IP addresses and business dependency on core network services. The relevance of DDI is also significant regarding next-generation network technologies like SDN – a new approach to network architecture which facilitates an enterprise’s move to the cloud by focusing on automated provisioning and integration with cloud orchestration systems.

Maturity Levels of DDI Implemented Within Companies

DDI Maturity Levels
SolutionSpreadsheetsNon-integrated IPAM Tool,
Integrated DDI +
DNS Security
UsesManual allocation & tracking of IP addresses via spreadsheets. IPAM solution to assign & track IP addresses.Automate IP resources provisioning/ deprovisioning in centralized and standardized manner for the whole lifecycle.
OutcomeNo DNS/DHCP management.

Challenging for administrators to update and sync lists in timely manner.
High risk of configuration errors.
Lack of consistency control.
Consistent management of IP plan.

No integration with DNS/DHCP (no consistency control).

No configuration automation or synchronization of data.

No integration to cloud orchestration.

No single pane of glass for holistic view of IP resources.
Industrialization of unified & automated IP resource management across the entire network (on-prem & cloud).
Instant-start service deployment across hybrid infrastructures.
Always-on, centralized, synced, and backed up repository that automatically caters to the IP plan, preventing inconsistencies between live data and the plan.
Large, complex data automatically synchronized between services and viewed in real time from a single interface.

DDI Deployment Models

  1. Integrated deployments: a suite of DNS, DHCP and IPAM software is provided by a single vendor, designed to operate as one unit
  2. Overlay deployments: the IPAM is designed to act as a management plane across a collection of DNS and DHCP services perhaps already in place
  3. Managed DDI: normally a packaged solution accompanied by a professional services team who remotely manage the solution

Criticality of DDI for Cloud Service Provisioning

IPAM is an important requirement for globally automating network provisioning, VM provisioning and service provisioning. While CMDB is seen as a great tool for configuration management, it can be difficult to achieve, whereas IPAM solutions can be more rapidly deployed to bring required level of visibility and automation over infrastructure resources. This automation is critical in today’s networks where traffic is created not just between client and application but also between different components of the application itself, created in a mesh-like microservices architecture. To keep applications available and performant, ensuring secure and dynamic connectivity between components and error-free configurations is imperative, making IPAM extremely critical. Deprovisioning of IP addresses and their related IP resources also becomes easier. Without IPAM, this is often ignored or neglected due to the complexity of manually decommissioning them, leading to an increased risk of network vulnerabilities.

For cloud service provisioning, a centralized and cloud-agnostic IP address management process can bring IP address plan consistency across all of the company’s various providers. It offers the IT team a central repository and central management of the IP address system. Many of the challenges related to multi-cloud security are also overcome thanks to having end-to-end visibility, a single interface to manage DDI across the full stack, and policy-based automation of DNS, DHCP, and IPAM services. Automation and orchestration of DDI can undoubtedly help enterprises mature in multi-cloud network management.

DDI solutions are increasingly in the spotlight because of the huge growing demand for new IP addresses brought by the proliferation of IoT devices connected to enterprise networks, the transition from IPv4 to IPv6, and the uptake of virtualization and public cloud. In addition, IoT’s dependence on network applications is increasing demand for DDI to minimize network downtime plus automate routine processes such as troubleshooting and network provisioning. Analysts are convinced that this trend will continue to grow with edge computing and IoT going mainstream, multi-cloud strategies becoming the norm, and containers proliferating across enterprise IT landscapes.