Enterasys Overhauls Network Management Suite

By Paula Musich  |  Posted 2007-09-11 Print this article Print

Enterasys Networks is adding new ease of use features to its NetSight network management suite.

Enterasys Networks on Sept. 17 will launch a major overhaul and upgrade of its NetSight network management suite. Enterasys focused the re-architected suite, which manages both Enterasys secure network switches as well as third-party network devices, on lowering the cost of administering the tool as well as on improving security in the network.
The NetSight 3.0 Suite, which includes the base NetSight Console and plug-ins such as the Policy Manager, new Policy Control Console, Inventory Manager and Automated Security Manager, provides centralized visibility and control over network infrastructure.
The new Policy Control Console enables federated management of network infrastructure and policies for resource access. "The goal behind it is to allow control of infrastructure for business purposes without needing technical expertise. A non-technical person can control the policies you set up," said Eric Stinson, director of product management for software and security at Enterasys, based in Andover, MA. For example, in conference or training rooms where an instructor is teaching a class, the instructor can, through a Web-based interface, use a single click to disable Instant Messaging or peer-to-peer networking for the duration of the class in that room. To read more about Enterasys NAC products, click here. Network usage policies are pre-defined by network operators, who also pre-define authorization for access to policy controls. Enterasys also enhanced the NetSight Network Access Control Manager plug-in to enable Media Access Control address registration. That capability allows network operators to associate specific network machines with certain individuals, facilitating secured network access for guests without requiring the intervention of IT personnel. It requires that any new machine connecting on the network input the users identity on a Web page form before being given access to the network. "You may have a customer in for a visit and they may want to get on the network to get to e-mail," explained Stinson. "You can set it up so that when they register, it requires an employee (acting as a sponsor) to verify their name and that the information they are entering is accurate. Once the information is entered, anything sent based on that MAC [media access control] address is tied back to it," he added. That capability aids in compliance auditing and forensics. It is intended for enterprises that dont have back-end authentication and directory services deployed to manage such users. Enterasys in the enhanced NAC Manager also added new assisted remediation capabilities, allowing users who have been quarantined within a VLAN (virtual LAN) for a policy violation to implement a fast fix themselves. Should their computer be out of date in running the latest anti-virus signatures, patches or application updates, assisted remediation lets the users know their systems have been quarantined and why, and it allows them to remediate their systems without help desk intervention. IT operators control the content of the self-help Web page, and they can embed hyperlinks to configuration instructions, update locations or automated patch-management tools. Once the users machine is compliant with security policies, the user is automatically given access to the appropriate network resources. To read about howEnterasys has switched its speed security response, click here. "If the users operating system patch level isnt up to date, through the (NAC Manager) we can allow you to go out to the OS upgrades on Microsoft, but no where else on the Internet. So the user cant infect other systems on the network," said Stinson. Enterasys re-architected the suite to improve the level of integration and simplify administration of the tool through a common user interface. The intent is to reduce the amount of time and effort required to execute network management tasks. NetSight and its plug-ins are now installed a single implementation, where any plug-ins that have been licensed are automatically turned on. Enterasys, which was taken private a year and a half ago, recently completed its eighth consecutive quarterly profit increase, officials said. NetSight 3.0 is available now. < p>Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, views and analysis on servers, switches and networking protocols for the enterprise and small businesses.

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