The multivendor automated configuration management software, renamed Network Automation System, is not yet integrated with Opsware Inc.s data center automation software. But Release 4.0 of the software brings significant new functionality to the table, according to Eric Johnson, vice president of engineering and a Rendition Networks Inc. cofounder in Redmond, Wash.
"The new release brings automation and enforcement of processes. In the new version we have a much richer compliance model to help bring IT in compliance with regulations, policies and standards frameworks like ITIL," Johnson said.
"We can report on that, along with risk factors in the network. We have an integrated compliance center in the product to see documentation that supports [Sarbanes-Oxley], HIPAA [Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act] and COBIT," he said.
In developing the new Compliance Center in NAS 4.0, Opsware (Rendition) worked with Deloitte & Touche to address auditors requirements and bridge the gap between auditors and technical operations personnel. The Compliance Center allows users to understand what it means at the network level to be compliant with regulations such as Sarbanes-Oxley or HIPAA.
"For each regulation we provide a status dashboard that shows statistics backing up compliance," Johnson said.
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.
"If you dont have visibility into whats changing and why, and you dont have automation, you have misconfiguration errors. And if you have no automated control over access to devices, you dont have a secure network," said Johnson.
But beyond the release of NAS 4.0 on March 21, Opsware has developed an integration roadmap for NAS and its flagship Opsware data center automation software. Beginning in the second 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. Next year Opsware in its third integration phase will provide a unified programming model and address business service management.