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Cloud IPAM with Azure

Mutlicloud IP Address Management with Microsoft Azure

Make the most of Azure with Micetro by Men&Mice, the only Microsoft-preferred solution for DNS, DHCP, and IPAM on the Azure Marketplace.

Who Needs Multicloud IP Address Management

Both humans and machines use names and labels to find and access resources. When crossing from the physical to the digital realm, each element or entity requires a label or address for it to be accessed or used. Internal and external networks have boundaries. They are architected using a range of topologies and then grouped depending upon their characteristics, function, and risk level. Profiles and policies are then applied to these network zones and enclaves to facilitate sharing or enforce segregation.

Once an organization consumes services from any external cloud outside of its own fully managed network, it could effectively be thought of as engaging in a form of multicloud architecture. As Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Software as a Service (SaaS) extend our organizational footprints into new territories, there is no escaping basic Asset Management for foundational services such as DDI (DNS, DHCP, and IPAM). As footprints inevitably grow and change, multicloud IP Address Management (IPAM) and DNS administration become even more crucial for the digital assets you name and control. Each new edge, network, or cloud-based resource increases the burden of operational responsibility. Unified DDI management and orchestration become table stakes to keep the packets flowing.

DDI Automation, Orchestration, and Management

Digital borders are defined by IP addresses, prefixes, and virtual policy enforcement points. IP flows initiate and terminate on interfaces using addresses resolved from records in namespaces. Tracking, allocating, and assuring ourselves that our fundamental building blocks are sound is an arduous undertaking though it should be painless and easy.

In a world of increasingly automated service provisioning and consumption, DDI operations must be timely, concise, and correct. The challenge accelerates when embracing IaC (Infrastructure as Code) and programmatic access to dynamic digital resources. We now begin to more deeply realize that DNS is one of the most, if not the most important, active assets and directories. It facilitates resource location, defines service endpoints, and uncovers paths to dependencies across public and private clouds.

Using a single authoritative UI (User Interface) and API, an OTT(Over The Top) DDI solution enables simple integration while streamlining interactions across silos without displacing them. This DDI solution then becomes the one trusted System of Record (SoR). When your perspective shifts to view DNS as the beating heart of a digital footprint, it’s not just operations and security teams that demand effective and efficient Change Management and record management; it also heavily impacts project and product team delivery.

Migrate workloads to Microsoft Azure.
Micetro provides enterprise-grade DNS and IP management that scales with Azure and leverages all network investments.

    Supported Platforms and Endpoints

    It’s imperative that a DDI solution can meet your current needs, but it also must be able to evolve with your organization’s changing needs. By selecting a DDI platform that doesn’t involve a rip-and-replace methodology, you free yourself to embrace the best-in-breed DNS and DHCP solutions. Avoiding redesign, migrations, and friction is easy with an OTT (Over The Top) management and orchestration solution. This is how smart teams preserve their existing investments in infrastructure, workflows, and expertise. A new unified and trusted authoritative layer can then meet and exceed the demands of the present and even the future.

    By providing support for commonly used services such as Windows DNS, BIND, Unbound, PowerDNS, Akamai Fast DNS, Azure DNS, Amazon Route 53, NS1, and Dyn, to name a few, means accelerated time-to-value without any rework. And once your footprint extends outwards from your home cloud to other cloud providers, multicloud data management becomes ever more crucial for development, staging, and production environments.

    Azure and the Micetro REST API

    In addition to Micetro’s powerful UI, its fully-featured API also facilitates Virtual Network actions. The Micetro API acts as a single broker to unlock and enable greater extensibility and automation across home and remote clouds. By providing a single-layer API that abstracts DDI tasks across multiple providers, teams are empowered to enhance their own workflows, build productivity-enhancing integrations, and create custom solutions.

    The downstream Azure complexity and glue are fully abstracted away and common tasks are then initiated from Micetro as a single authoritative source. This enables local and remote teams to be more efficient, make smarter decisions, and collaborate across project or team boundaries. APIs and automation open up a world of previously unrealized innovation.

    How to Integrate Micetro with Microsoft Azure

    Micetro is an overlay and orchestration solution for DDI (DNS, DHCP, and IPAM) environments, including on-premises and cloud-based assets. Two of Microsoft Azure’s pivotal services are Azure DNS and Virtual Networks, and with Micetro you can take advantage of a unified and consolidated System of Record (SoR) that encompasses all your DNS footprints (and their associated Sources of Truth (SoT)).

    Micetro also provides workflows, reporting, and a fully-featured API layer. This simplifies all DNS, DHCP, and IPAM operations within a unified platform, integrating heterogeneous environments rather than replacing them. Micetro uses an OTT (Over The Top) architecture to minimize upheaval, maximize efficiency, and reduce stress.

    How to Add Microsoft Azure as a Cloud Service in The Console

    In the Men&Mice Console, go to “Cloud Services”, and with a right-click, select “New Cloud Service” (or once “Cloud Services” is highlighted use the green plus symbol).

    1_new_cloud_service.png

    Here we can then select the type of cloud service required:

    2_select_azure_configure_cloud_account.png

    Once Azure is selected, we then want to Name our connection, enter a specific Tenant ID, its specific Subscription ID, and then both the Client ID and Client Secret (Value). The configured tenant ID (from the “App registration”) must have the correct role assignment and requisite permissions for the Subscription ID (as previously mentioned).

    3_azure_ids_cloud_account.png

    Note: The “Client Secret” entered above in Figure 3.0 is the Secret “Value” and not the Secret ID.

    Micetro will retrieve the data from the cloud provider, save the account information, and then you must select the services required.

    4_azure_select_services_nets_and_zones.png

    Micetro will then synchronize with Microsoft Azure (every 900 seconds) and perform actions on demand. We are now ready for a range of common tasks and workflows including the use of Micetro’s single-layer API to drive automation across our whole DNS namespace and IP footprint.

    Note: All sensitive data required for communication with Azure such as IDs and secret values are encrypted both at rest and in transit.

    Access Management and RBAC

    Within Micetro, Role-Based Access Control (RBAC) can be applied to more than just macro-level services like DNS, DHCP, IPAM, or reporting. RBAC is also applicable to specific and individual assets managed by Micetro. This allows for exceptionally fine-grained controls at an individual network, container, or zone level (if so desired).

    Additionally, roles for Micetro’s own general administration and access can be configured and applied if the extensive range of default groups do not suffice.

    You can use default out-of-the-box groups and roles, build on them, or start from scratch to create custom roles. You can be coarse with some groups or extremely pedantic with others. There’s also a range of primitives including but not limited to; create, add, read, list, edit, delete, use, enable, and release that can be applied to objects (and their sub-objects) to create roles to govern:

    • DNS servers
    • DNS servers rs
    • DNS zones
    • Ranges and DHCP scopes
    • Address spaces
    • Cloud Networks
    • Cloud Services
    • ISC DHCP groups

    How To Create a Virtual Networks (VNet) in Azure

    Creating VNets (Virtual Networks)

    Micetro makes creating VNets easy and will also automatically track our IP allocations via the IPAM. Let’s create a VNet in the “europewest” Azure region using the CIDR block of “10.0.4.0/22,” from which we will allocate two separate subnets of “10.0.4.0/24” and “10.0.5.0/24” from the lower /23.

    Note: Currently, we use the Men&Mice Console to create VNets in Azure, but shortly this will become available in the web application, including being applicable for the Workflow module.

    From the Console, select the appropriate cloud service and then use the green plus (or Ctrl+n) to add a new Cloud Network:

    10_mnm_console_add_vnet_plus.png

    Enter the Name, Resource Group, Location, and Address Blocks required and click Add:

    11_mnm_console_add_vnet_cloud.png

    And we can now see our new Demo-VNet listed in Micetro:

    12_mnm_console_vnet_created.png

    But we can also see Demo-VNet is now available and ready for action in Azure:

    13_azure_demo_vnet_created.png

    We will now create two subnets inside our newly formed Demo-VNet. We use the green plus button (or Ctrl+n) again to add the details we want for each of the new subnets using the details below:

    14_mnm_console_add_subnet.png

    Details (subnet 1): -Subnet: 10.0.4.0/24 -Title: Untrusted-DMZ-Tier -Description: This is our example initial DMZ tier within the VNet. -Cloud Network: Demo-VNet

    Address Range: Reserve Network and Broadcast Address

    Details (subnet 2): -Subnet: 10.0.5.0/24 -Title: Trusted-DB-Tier -Description: This is our example trusted DB tier within the VNet. -Cloud Network: Demo-VNet -Address Range: Reserve Network and Broadcast Address

    This results in our subnets also going live in Azure:

    15_azure_subnets_live.png

    Meanwhile, we can see that our subnets are also being tracked in our unified Micetro IPAM:

    16_mnm_web_tracking_ipam.png

    Example API Call(s)

    You can test the Micetro REST API using cURL with the appropriate user credentials to administer and access objects.

    Tip: When using methods other than the default HTTP GET, remember to supply the header Content-Type of “application/json”. We will use cURL to demo some API calls. cURL is available by default in macOS and most Linux distributions, but it is also available as a binary for Windows if you’re using Windows and don’t want to use Powershell.

    Let’s use the Micetro API to look up the earlier IPAM record (17.17.17.17) we created (when we added an A record to the “aws.menandmice.cloud.” zone):

    Using macOS/Linux:

    curl -silent --user <user>:<password> -X GET \ "https://<your_host>/mmws/api/IPAMrecords/17.17.17.17"

    Using Windows Powershell:

    $cred = Get-Credential Invoke-RestMethod -Method GET -Cred $cred -Uri "https://<your_host>/mmws/api/IPAMrecords/17.17.17.17" | ConvertTo-Json -Depth 5

    Which results in the following JSON blob response containing all the associated data for the IP record (including its DNS records and DHCP information if applicable):

    { 
      "result": { 
        "ipamRecord": { 
          "addrRef": "IPAMRecords/36", 
          "address": "17.17.17.17", 
          "claimed": false, 
          "dnsHosts": [ 
            { 
              "dnsRecord": { 
                "ref": "DNSRecords/64", 
                "name": "aeuw1-w0017.azure.menandmice.cloud. [mnm-azure-dns]", 
                "type": "A", 
                "ttl": "600", 
                "data": "17.17.17.17", 
                "comment": "", 
                "enabled": true, 
                "dnsZoneRef": "DNSZones/12", 
                "customProperties": {} 
              }, 
              "ptrStatus": "Unknown", 
              "relatedRecords": [] 
            } 
          ], 
          "dhcpReservations": [], 
          "dhcpLeases": [], 
          "discoveryType": "None", 
          "lastSeenDate": "", 
          "lastDiscoveryDate": "", 
          "lastKnownClientIdentifier": "", 
          "device": "", 
          "interface": "", 
          "ptrStatus": "Unknown", 
          "extraneousPTR": false, 
          "customProperties": {}, 
          "state": "Assigned", 
          "usage": 4 
        } 
      } 
    } 

    Now, let’s look for the related A record in DNS by specifying the zone and only using a partial search term:

    Using MacOS/Linux:

    curl -silent --user <user>:<password> -X GET \ "https://<your_host>/mmws/api/DNSZones/azure.menandmice.cloud./DNSRecords?filter=type=A AND name=@aeu"

    Or Windows Powershell:

    $cred = Get-Credential Invoke-RestMethod -Method GET -Cred $cred -Uri "https://<your_host>/mmws/api/DNSZones/azure.menandmice.cloud./DNSRecords?filter=type=A AND name=@aeu" | ConvertTo-Json -Depth 5

    Which finds (1) record returned:

    { 
      "result": { 
        "dnsRecords": [ 
          { 
            "ref": "DNSRecords/64", 
            "name": "aeuw1-w0017", 
            "type": "A", 
            "ttl": "600", 
            "data": "17.17.17.17", 
            "comment": "", 
            "enabled": true, 
            "dnsZoneRef": "DNSZones/12", 
            "customProperties": {} 
          } 
        ], 
        "totalResults": 1 
      } 
    } 

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