Fresh off the close of its Rendition Networks Inc. acquisition, Opsware Inc. last week launched the next major release of its Network Automation System configuration management software.
The multivendor, automated configuration management software, which incorporates Renditions TrueControl tools, is not yet integrated with Opswares data center automation software. But the release of NAS Version 4.0 brings significant new functionality to the table, according to Eric Johnson, Opswares vice president of engineering, in Redmond, Wash.
"The new release brings automation and enforcement of processes," said Johnson. "In the new version, we have a much richer compliance model to help bring IT in compliance with regulations, policies and standards frameworks such as IT Infrastructure Library. We can report on that, along with risk factors in the network."
In developing the new Compliance Center in NAS 4.0, Opsware worked with Deloitte & Touche USA LLP to address auditors requirements and bridge the gap between auditors and technical personnel. The Compliance Center allows users to understand at the network level how to comply with regulations such as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act). "For each regulation, we provide a status dashboard that shows statistics backing up compliance," said Johnson.
To support larger IT operations, the new release also automates processes that span different IT groups and systems. New custom and out-of-box reporting provides visibility into a variety of change management actions.
New features aside, user Chad Uretsky, lead network and security engineer at NetIQ Corp., in Houston, said he "had some concern" about whether Opswares acquisition of Rendition would change the good relationship he has with the Rendition support team.
Beyond the release of NAS 4.0, Opsware has developed an integration road map for NAS and its flagship Opsware data center automation software. Starting next quarter, Opsware will provide automated discovery of servers, software and network devices as well as unified reporting on assets, operations and compliance.
In the second integration phase in the fourth quarter, Opsware will add an integrated workflow to control changes across servers and network devices; a central data warehouse of asset data, configurations and change history; links between user interfaces in each console; and a topology map of the application environment.
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