Not just network management: network orchestration with Men&Mice

Men&Mice helps you dynamically orchestrate across your network infrastructure, regardless of location, platform, or scale.

Jul 22nd, 2021

Enterprise networks tend to grow notoriously complex and diverse. Often that much is readily apparent: what used to be a single workstation can (and usually has) become 2 to 4 devices per employee on average, using various platforms. A smartphone here, a tablet there, and we’re still only talking about physical devices: add virtual machines to the equation, and we’re really off to the races.

But today we’re talking about a different type of complexity and diversity. One a lot harder to identify but no less challenging to manage: the complexity and diversity of network environments. Specifically of DNS and DHCP.

The challenges of diversity on a service level

Diversity among network endpoints (devices) is easy to see. Diversity of the network environment is not as much, and this lack of transparency makes managing highly heterogeneous networks a lot harder to manage. Because it isn’t readily apparent what platform the DHCP server your devices are connecting to is running. It’s not visible what DNS platform your corporate intranet is using or where.

In addition to this lack of visibility, which can quickly give way to infrastructure sprawl and shadow IT, the incompatibilities between platforms plague even the simplest heterogeneous network environments. Technology vendors have no incentive to improve how their product harmonizes with their competition. And even a lot of 3rd party platforms have become what they meant to solve, chaining their customers to their respective ecosystems with products that rely on static assets such as hardware appliances.

Not just management: orchestration

We at Men&Mice believe in a different approach. We offer solutions, through products like Micetro or our virtual appliances, that enable enterprise companies to:

  • regain lost visibility over and deeper into their network environments, eliminating shadow IT
  • facilitate interoperability between platforms, creating redundancy and agility
  • gather insight into network performance, enabling better decisions for IT and the business

We call what we do orchestration because we help you dynamically orchestrate across your network infrastructure, regardless of location, platform, or scale, instead of statically manage each with a slight improvement and a lot of overhead.

We work with what you have, just like you have to

Complex networks never start that way. The story always starts with a single platform. Then there are ‘complications.’ From a move to the cloud due to on-premise hardware procurement becoming debilitatingly expensive to integrating assets from mergers and acquisitions, the network of a business is transformed every day in a thousand different ways.

Companies end up with DNS scattered across

  • BIND,
  • Unbound,
  • AWS Route 53,
  • Akamai Fast DNS,
  • NS1,
  • Microsoft DNS,
  • and/or Azure DNS.

And that’s if you’re lucky enough to stick to the major ones only.

DHCP may look simpler in breadth, with major components in

  • Kea,
  • Cisco IOS,
  • and Microsoft DHCP.

But don’t let fewer options fool you. DHCP, by nature, is tied to the hardware that can be expensive to replace or upgrade, with few software-defined solutions available.

We at Men&Mice believe that diversity can be an asset to a business; and even diversity that comes by way of an external impact instead of a calculated decision can be made into one. We hold that companies should be in control of their network environments, morphing them as it suits their business objectives; and not technology vendors looking after their bottom line.

Our solutions are always software-defined and running in “overlay mode”: install or remove them at your convenience without risking outages. Micetro, our flagship DDI solution, pulls data from your existing components unobtrusively, making it a non-disruptive deployment.

In the coming weeks, we’ll be showcasing the power of our orchestration philosophy by visiting the different environments we support for DNS and DHCP. In addition to exploring deeper the particularities of each, we’ll also examine the value that Micetro’s unique orchestration approach brings to environments utilizing any, some, or all of them.