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What are IPAM requirements in Windows Server 2012 R2?

A standalone server is necessary to install an IPAM server on Windows Server 2012 R2.

IPAM generally requires installation on a standalone server. The system recommendations are moderate, including...

a quad-core 2.66 GHz processor, 4 GB of RAM and 80 GB of storage. System architects note that locating the IPAM database on fast storage (such a high-performance SAS or solid state drive) can vastly improve IP address management (IPAM) performance. Network bandwidth needs are modest, but the IPAM server must have network connectivity to all of the devices that fall within its scope of management -- IPAM can't discover or manage devices are aren't on the LAN.

IT administrators should remember that server requirements will increase as the number of managed devices increases, so be sure to monitor performance with the IPAM server to avoid service degradation over time. Capacity planning practices may be needed to ensure that the IPAM server can be upgraded or replaced as IP address management demands grow beyond the system's limitations.

The IPAM server must have access to the DNS server and domain controller (where it is included in an Active Directory domain). However, an IPAM server should always be a standalone installation -- do not install IPAM on the same server that provides DNS, DHCP. This ensures that IPAM can utilize the maximum amount of server resources, and that a failure on the IPAM server does not also disable critical enterprise network functionality like DNS, DHCP or Active Directory (which are normally spread out across different physical servers as a best practice).

IPAM infrastructures are typically deployed in three ways. In a distributed deployment, an IPAM server is placed at each physical site (data center) in the enterprise. For example, one IPAM server may be in the Massachusetts office, a second IPAM server may be located in the California office and a third IPAM server could be located in the Toronto office. In this approach, each IPAM server uses its own database and maintains a different scope or domain.

In a centralized deployment, there is only one IPAM server (and one IPAM database) used for all locations across the enterprise. This approach requires additional network connectivity along with stronger data protection and IPAM server availability considerations to avoid an enterprise-wide IP management failure if troubles occur with the IPAM server.

Finally, IPAM servers can be deployed in a hybrid approach, using a centralized IPAM server along with supplemental IPAM servers deployed at each data center site. This provides centralized control, yet localizes database behavior and ensures continuity if a server goes offline. For example, if a central IPAM server fails, the remote IPAM servers can maintain operations until the central IPAM server is restored and resynchronized. If a remote IPAM server fails, the central server can provide support for the remote site until the remote server is restored.

This was last published in April 2015

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