OpenNetAdmin is a system for tracking basic IP network attributes in a database. A web interface is provided to administer the data as well several backend processes for building DHCP, DNS, router configuration, etc.
This framework’s most fundamental strength is in the tracking of network elements. This data storage is the foundation for all other tasks and functions. Once the appropriate data has been entered into the system you are then able to start managing an enterprise-wide DNS and DHCP infrastructure or choose to run localized services that are synchronized to the central database.
You will also be able to create templates that allow for the staging and deployment of a common set of configurations for each network element being installed to a location. This allows for the hand-off of repeatable tasks to an operations group. They will then be able to deploy complex sites that have been pre-engineered and defined as a standard by simply executing a few modules. These modules and procedures can be easily tailored for your needs. Whether it is a new remote office or a newly acquired business unit, you can define standard procedures and configurations that can be built with very little effort.
Once a site has been installed, this system also aides in the daily moves, adds and changes. Things such as changing passwords or adding a new VLAN can be automated and pushed to each site. Those configuration changes will then be archived which allows you to view “diffs” of configurations.
An open-source solution such as this excels in the ability to be configured and customized for specific environments. Any modules that are developed can then be shared back to the community and potentially enable functionality for your environment that you would not otherwise have built yourself. It is common to find home grown solutions in large organizations because most off-the-shelf products are either far too complex or fill only a small set of needs and still must be integrated into other systems and processes. Corporations resort to building task-specific tools to get a job done but generally lack an appropriate framework to create a large system that works well.