IP Address Management (IPAM) (Windows Server 2012)

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Let me ask you a question. You’re an IT pro, how do you keep track of all the IP addresses on your network?

We don’t mean how you distribute them, but how do you keep track of the static addresses? How do you report on them? Maybe you have them all itemized on an Excel spreadsheet. Does everyone in your shop keep track as diligently as you? Is it up to date?

Now you don’t have to. IPAM to the rescue. It’s part of the new functionalities included in Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012 R2.

IPAM in Windows Server 2012 is a new built-in framework for discovering, monitoring, auditing, and managing the IP address space used on your network. IT includes components for:

  • Automatic IP address infrastructure discovery: IPAM discovers domain controllers, DHCP servers, and DNS servers in the domains you choose.
  • You can enable or disable management of these servers by IPAM.
  • Custom IP address space display, reporting, and management: The display of IP addresses is highly customizable and detailed tracking and utilization data is available. IPv4 and IPv6 address space is organized into IP address blocks, IP address ranges, and individual IP addresses.
  • IP addresses are assigned built-in or user-defined fields that can be used to further organize IP address space into hierarchical, logical groups.
  • Audit of server configuration changes and tracking of IP address usage: Operational events are displayed for the IPAM server and managed DHCP servers.
  • IPAM also enables IP address tracking using DHCP lease events and user logon events collected from Network Policy Server (NPS), domain controllers, and DHCP servers. Tracking is available by IP address, client ID, host name, or user name.
  • Monitoring and management of DHCP and DNS services: IPAM enables automated service availability monitoring for Microsoft DHCP and DNS servers across the forest. DNS zone health is displayed, and detailed DHCP server and scope management is available using the IPAM console.

It can be a huge help for you to be able to automatically manage your DNS, DHCP and all the monitoring and auditing. Here’s how we do it.

Install IPAM

IPAM is a feature of and it need to be installed using Server Manager or PowerShell.

Install-WindowsFeature IPAM –IncludeManagementTools

Whichever you’re most familiar with.

Choose an IPAM Provisioning Method

Once installed you need to choose your provisioning method. The provisioning method is the process of enabling required permissions, files shares, and access settings on managed servers so that the IPAM server can communicate with them. You can choose either the Manual or Group Policy Based method. Pick the one that’s best for you and remember, you can’t change it later.

  • Manual: Typically used when the number of managed servers is small. If you choose the manual provisioning method, access settings must be configured individually on each managed server. Settings must also be removed manually if the server becomes unmanaged. You can use Group Policy to apply settings to managed servers even if the manual provisioning method is chosen, but you must apply and remove GPOs manually.
    The Manual provisioning method is not preferred because it is more complex and less consistent than the Group Policy Based method.
  • Group Policy Based: The Group Policy based method is preferred because it is simpler and less prone to errors. If you choose the Group Policy based provisioning method, GPOs are applied automatically to servers when they are assigned a status of managed in the IPAM console. GPOs are also removed automatically if the status of a server changes from managed to unmanaged.

If you chose the Group Policy based method, you must also provide a GPO name prefix in the provisioning wizard. After providing a GPO name prefix, the wizard will display the GPO names that must be created in domains that will be managed by IPAM. The following role-based GPOs are required in each domain that contains managed servers. The wizard does not create these GPOs.

  • <gpo -prefix>_DHCP: This GPO is used to apply settings that allow IPAM to monitor, manage, and collect information from managed DHCP servers on the network.
  • <gpo -prefix>_DNS: This GPO is used to apply settings that allow IPAM to monitor and collect information from managed DNS servers on the network.
  • <gpo -prefix>_DC_NPS: This GPO is used to apply settings that allow IPAM to collect information from managed domain controllers and network policy servers (NPS) on the network for IP address tracking purposes.

In our case we will use the Group Policy method:

In Server Manager, in the IPAM section. Select Provision the IPAM server, and go through the provisioning wizard.

We’ll create the GPOs later. Next we need to configure the Server discovery.

Configure Server Discovery

When you configure server discovery, you are defining the domains that the IPAM server can monitor and manage (also called the scope of discovery). An IPAM server can monitor and manage multiple domains as long as they are part of the same Active Directory forest as the IPAM server.

On the IPAM Overview page, click Configure server discovery. Choose each domain that you will manage with the current IPAM server by selecting it from the drop-down list and then clicking Add.

IP Address Management (IPAM) (Windows Server 2012)

To remove a domain from the scope of discovery, click the domain and then click Remove.

By default all server roles are enabled in the domains you select. To remove a server role from the scope of discovery for a specific domain, de-select the checkbox under the appropriate server role.

Click OK when you have finished.

Discover Servers on the Network

Domain controllers, DHCP servers, and DNS servers can be discovered on the network, provided they are running Windows Server® 2008 or a later operating system. Computers running NPS must be added manually to the server inventory.

Since this is the first time we are discovering servers, we will discover servers by running the server discovery task. This task also runs regularly on the IPAM server with a default frequency of once per day, and will discover new servers automatically provided that they meet the conditions for discovery.

Conditions for discovery depend on the type of role services that are installed and running on managed servers. For example, a DHCP server will not be discovered if it is not authorized in Active Directory or does not have any DHCP scopes configured. DHCP scopes do not need to be active to be discovered. A DNS server will not be discovered unless it is authoritative for an Active Directory domain configured in the scope of discovery

  • On the IPAM Overview page, click Start server discovery. This will start the IPAM ServerDiscovery task. Alternatively, you can click Manage on the IPAM console menu, and then click Start Server Discovery.
  • Wait for the task to complete. You can click the notification flag to view status of the ServerDiscovery task if desired.
  • When the task has completed running, view the Server inventory page to display the list of discovered servers.

If the list of discovered servers is incomplete, verify that the correct node is selected in the lower navigation pane. By default, IPv4 is selected. You can click Refresh to ensure the view is current.

Create IPAM Provisioning GPOs

When we picked the Provisioning method. We picked the GPO method, however the wizard did not actually create the group policies. All it did is configure and assign the names for them.

There are 3 policies that need to be created. The GPO Prefix we selected in step 2 is IPAM. So our 3 policies will be:

  • IPAM_DHCP: For managed DHCP servers.
  • IPAM_DNS: For managed DNS servers.
  • IPAM_DC_NPS: For managed domain controllers and NPS servers.

They will created by running the following PowerShell script.

Invoke-IpamGpoProvisioning –Domain contoso.com –GpoPrefixName IPAM –IpamServerFqdn dc1.contoso.com

IP Address Management (IPAM) (Windows Server 2012)

Choose Managed Servers

So far we:

  • Installed IPAM Server
  • Chose an IPAM Provisioning Method
  • Configured Server Discovery
  • Discovered Servers on the Network
  • Created IPAM Provisioning GPOs

Now we need to choose our managed servers.

Choosing a managed server is done by assigning manageability status. In our case since we chose the GPO method, a manageability status of Managed means that the server will automatically be added to security filtering in the appropriate IPAM GPO.

Membership in the Administrators group, or equivalent, is the minimum required to complete this procedure.

In the upper IPAM navigation tree, click SERVER INVENTORY. The list of servers that have been discovered or manually added is displayed. Right-click the server or servers that you are selecting and then click Edit Server.
In the Add or Edit Server dialog box next to Manageability status, select Managed from the drop-down list if the server will be managed by the current IPAM server.

IP Address Management (IPAM) (Windows Server 2012)

Retrieve Data from Managed Servers

After you have verified the IPAM server has access to managed servers, you can retrieve data from managed servers to begin populating the IPAM database. You might also want to retrieve server data after a configuration change or just to obtain updated information. You do not have to manually retrieve data from managed servers because scheduled tasks on the IPAM server will perform this task automatically

  • In the upper IPAM navigation tree, click SERVER INVENTORY.
  • Select the managed servers from which you want to collect data. Press and hold CTRL or SHIFT to select multiple servers.
  • Right-click the servers that are selected, and then click Retrieve All Server Data.
  • The following data collection tasks will run immediately on the selected servers: AddressExpiry, AddressUtilization, Audit, ServerAvailability, ServiceMonitoring, ServerConfiguration.
  • Wait for the data collection tasks to complete.

You’re environment is now set to discover, monitor, auditi, and manage the IP address space used your network.