5 key features to check for before you choose an IP scanner

From checking an IP’s status to drilling down to the networking attributes of the MAC it is associated with, IP scanners help network admins gain complete insight into their managed IP addresses. As a go-to tool for effectively managing the network address space and in ensuring uninterrupted network connectivity, IP scanners play an indispensable part in network management. This makes it crucial for you to choose an IP scanner that’s reliable and effective.

There are plenty of options to choose from in the IP scanner market. How do you choose the IP scanner that works best for you? To help you make the right choice, here’s a list of five key features you need to check for before choosing an IP scanner for your network.

  1. Network compatibility: Can it handle your complex IT infrastructure?

It’s no news that networks have outgrown their sole reliability on IPv4 addresses and static IP addressing. With the advent of IPv6, advanced DHCP servers with effective resource allocation techniques, and modern technologies, network address spaces have become much more complex. Techniques like route aggregation with supernets, subnets with overlapping IP addresses, and multiple DHCP servers handling dynamic addressing have added to the complexity.

To tackle these challenges and to ensure seamless IP address management, it’s important to choose advanced IP scanning solutions. Advanced IP scanners help you achieve complete coverage of your network address space. The IP scanner you choose should maintain IP hierarchies and offer a global search feature. This helps you track your IPs based on their groupings and hierarchies, such as the supernets or subnets they belong to, and on their networking attributes, such as their MAC address and device type.

  1. Management efficiency: Does the IP scanner simplify your IP management tasks?

IP address management can be tedious. Traditionally, network admins have to constantly check their IP address space for changes and then update these changes manually in their IP address management tool. But what good is spending on a new tool if you still have to do all the manual work yourself?

Ensure that the IP scanner you choose can automatically scan your entire network address space and update its status. An effective IP address scanner should scan different network components such as DNS scopes and your router’s ARP table entries to ensure data consistency.

It’s also important to keep track of your organisation’s IP resource utilization. Choosing an IP scanner that can automatically log and generate different IP utilization reports is essential—this not only tells you about your network’s resource usage but also enhances capacity planning.

  1. Alerting mechanisms: Does the IP scanner help you stay ahead of network issues?

The last thing you want when managing an IP address space is your end user reporting a network connectivity issue before you’re aware of it. However, this scenario can be inevitable if you’re still relying on traditional IP address management techniques such as spreadsheet and CLI queries.

Choosing an IP scanner that offers proactive alerting can help you avert this challenge. A reliable IP scanner should continually monitor your network address space and alert you before an IP issue can cascade into costly network downtime. For instance, enterprise-level IP scanners like OpUtils help you stay ahead of IP conflicts by not only alerting you about the IP and MACs in conflict, but also by helping you inspect the conflicting MACs in depth with its network tool set. With this, you can easily avoid IP issues and ensure that you’re aptly equipped to quickly troubleshoot in case an issue occurs.

  1. Scalability: How easily can your IP scanner scale with your network?

Organisational networks tend to scale continually. With new devices being added to support networking and business needs, your IP address space grows. In order for your IP scanners to start scanning these new IPs, you need to add them to your IP scanning solution. This makes it important for the IP scanner you choose to offer a flexible discovery option. Whether you’re just getting started with an IP scanner or migrating from an old IP scanner to a new one, the tool you choose should be able to easily discover your IP address space.

Along with discovery, automated IP grouping is also important. For instance, if you’ve created IP subnet groups in your network, it’s important that the IPs you add to your IP scanning tool are automatically mapped to their groups in the console. This helps you scan and track the status of your IPs exactly as they are in your physical network.

You also need a cost-effective IP scanner to ensure productive and efficient network scaling. Understand the licensing models of different options available, and choose the IP scanner that offers a transparent and cost-effective licensing model. This ensures that you don’t end up spending more than you should on scaling your address space.

  1. Security: How secure is the IP scanning solution?

With multiple IT admins accessing and making changes to your network resources, it’s important to have control over who has what access to which network resource. With IP scanning providing in-depth insights into the scanned IPs and their associated devices, role-based access control and audits have become a priority.

Choose an IP scanning solution that allows you to authorize access to different subnets only for specific network admins. This way, you can ensure that your network admins can scan all the IPs needed to carry out their network management tasks while preventing them from scanning unauthorized IPs. This adds an additional layer of security to your network.

Looking for an IP scanner that offers all the key features mentioned above? Try out ManageEngine OpUtils. This comprehensive IP address management solution offers an advanced IP scanner with real-time tracking and monitoring. Its centralized, intuitive web console ensures you have all the data you need to manage your IPs right at your work desk. It eliminates most manual IP address management tasks and significantly reduces the chances of human error. Also, its built-in troubleshooting tool set makes network resource monitoring all the more simple.

Get started with OpUtils today! Book a free demo.

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