• United States
Neal Weinberg
Contributing writer, Foundry

Contivity VPN gear

Dec 02, 20032 mins
Network SecurityNetworkingSecurity

* Contivity Configuration Manager Version 2

If you have any familiarity with Nortel’s Contivity VPN gear, you know it hasn’t been the greatest product since sliced bread. But with the release of Contivity Configuration Manager Version 2, Nortel has simplified configuration and control of multiple Contivity devices.

CCM has a simple, client/server architecture, with a small database and configuration server running on Windows or Solaris servers and a Java-based client configuration tool. We installed CCM on a Windows 2000 Server and used a second Windows system to run the client configuration tool. We pointed CCM at our Contivity 2600 and 1100 systems, imported their existing configurations and easily started managing them.

If you’re familiar with Contivity’s built-in Web-based user interface, CCM will be easy to learn and use. CCM exposes an almost-identical series of screens that display the Contivity configuration data and lets you change it. This is a strength and a weakness of CCM. VPN managers will be able to pick up and use CCM almost instantly. However, CCM doesn’t extend the object-oriented configuration model of Contivity across multiple units.

For example, you can’t group Contivity devices and apply settings to them. CCM does have a multi-device configuration tool, but the tool is really just a way of speeding the process of manually changing a setting across multiple devices.

This product is a step forward because not having to individually log on to each device to make changes saves time and reduces the potential for errors. Once you make changes to a device in CCM, it’s a simple task to push those changes out to the device. Some multi-device capabilities, such as license management, software upgrades, configuration backups and archiving, also help make the case for buying CCM.

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