AlterPoint’s DeviceAuthority

* The Reviewmeister tests configuration management tools

The Reviewmeister is always on the lookout for tools that make network configuration management easier. This week we test AlterPoint's DeviceAuthority Suite.

The suite includes DeviceAuthority Server 2.0, DeviceAuthority Audit Module 2.0 and DeviceAuthority Update Module 1.0. The server is the most important piece of the suite and provides services such as user credential management, device version control and backup, scheduling, reporting and notification to the DeviceAuthority Audit and Update Modules.

It incorporates multi-vendor support and a repository of network configuration information that can be integrated with external network management systems and updated in real time based on changes received from TACACS+, RADIUS  and the syslog.

The Audit Module provides visibility into network devices and gives an administrator hardware, software and configuration details in real time or on a scheduled basis. Reporting, change notification and comparison, and configuration recovery are the key features of this module. Five predefined reports or custom reports based on one of seven report templates can be scheduled or generated on demand in a variety of output formats. Notifications and reports also can be sent via SMTP on a scheduled or incident-triggered basis.

The Update Module is geared to the needs of network engineers and focuses on managing change in network components. AlterPoint lets each customer build an Integrated Network Environment that incorporates existing network tools and provides an actionable inventory that allows the execution of scripts based on this inventory. Key features of the module include the ability to schedule changes, generate scripts and perform validation of changes and search functions. Similar to TrueControl, the Update Module lets scripts be created by recording commands you issue to a device.

Inventory lists can be populated by importing device information from a file or by manually adding entries. An auto-discovery wizard is also included. In adding a device to the inventory, credentials are specified and applied to each device. Shared credentials can be applied to multiple devices for networks in which devices all share common logon information.

DeviceAuthority auto-discovered each device on our network and had no problem correctly identifying and backing up configurations from the more mainstream Cisco devices.

For the full report, go to http://www.nwfusion.com/reviews/2004/0419rev.html

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Copyright © 2004 IDG Communications, Inc.

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