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SN blogs: Building your own IP address management tool

An analyst examines the impact of this year's Black Hat conference, while another one discusses the impact of activist investors.

PacketLife blogger and network engineer Jeremy Stretch discusses the shortage of what he considers robust IP address management (IPAM) applications. And, when faced with that challenge, Stretch wound up writing an IP address management tool himself.

Although he can't reveal the code -- it was written for his employer -- Stretch shares some of the tips he picked up while writing the IPAM program.

One piece of advice: Use a framework such as Django or Ruby on Rails. These platforms provide the boilerplate code necessary to support common functions, such as authentication and templating. "Frameworks allow you to produce a usable, barebones application in just a few hours," Stretch writes.

He also cites Python's netaddr library as an invaluable tool. Its objects include methods to manipulate IP addresses and to make complex calculations. By offering examples of the code he used and advice to treat IPv4 and IPv6 equally, Stretch provides an IPAM tutorial with plenty of valuable information.

Take a look at some of Stretch's code that he used to write his custom IPAM application.

Black Hat reflects changing security landscape

Black Hat 2015 has come and gone, and Jon Oltsik, senior analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group Inc. in Milford, Mass., says the malware-prevention landscape is as rocky and gnarly as ever. On the positive side, he writes that Black Hat organizers stressed cybersecurity recruiting and training, with an entire portion of the trade show floor devoted to helping the industry find the next generation of security engineers. On the other hand, he raised warning flags about the emerging trend among security researchers to talk to the press about software vulnerabilities they've unearthed before notifying affected vendors and government agencies. If such behavior continues, he writes, "a highly publicized vulnerability could put us all at risk."

Take a look at Oltsik's other observations about the meeting and why leaving a Black Hat conference usually leaves him "scared to death."

What to do if a hedge fund buys your supplier?

Andrew Lerner, research director at Gartner Inc. in Stamford, Conn., examines the growth of activist investors in the networking space and how that trend might affect organizations' relationships with their primary suppliers.

Private equity investors are attracted to networking companies for a variety of reasons, Lerner writes, adding that "many" Gartner clients are concerned about what their participation might mean.

If a hedge fund or equity investor does ultimately purchase a controlling stake in an enterprise's vendor, IT executives should plan accordingly. That means, among other attributes, these execs need to understand if the vendor's strategic direction remains in harmony, whether the vendor's product roadmaps are sustainable, and if the supplier's service and support can be maintained at a high level.

Equally as important, IT managers must do their homework and be prepared to counter suppliers' claims that everything will be business as usual after a takeover. Don't merely accept their story, Lerner says.

See what Lerner has to say about investors' interest in networking vendors.

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