Network configuration control vendor Rendition Networks Inc. on Monday launched the second release of its TrueControl software, which focuses on greater extensibility and ease of administration.
The tool, which allows users to track and better control configuration changes in routers, switches, firewalls and load balancers in large enterprise networks, can automatically detect when configuration changes are made and notify appropriate network operators of those changes.
TrueControl, which works across multiple vendors networking equipment, is intended to help reduce the mean time to repair when outages—most frequently caused by configuration errors—occur in more complex networks.
"TrueControl gives you the ability to reduce mean time to repair through real-time change detection and notification," said Jim Ni, director of product marketing at the Redmond, Wash., company. "You have to know the instant that someone made a change to a device somewhere on a network," he added.
Other competitive offerings from AlterPoint Inc. for example, rely on polling devices to determine whether a configuration change has been made. But with polling intervals as long as an hour, detection can take time and cost money, according to Raghav Kher, president and CEO of Rendition Networks.
The instability of networks in a time of tight IT budgets is causing greater attention to be focused on ways to reduce operational costs, and automation is a key mechanism to help reduce those costs, believes Peter Christy, principal at Netsedge Research Group in Los Altos, Calif.
"The network as a whole is an unreliable system. Now whats important is that networks become better and cheaper to operate, and automation is a key element to making that happen," he said.
TrueControl can track who made configuration changes, what device was changed, when a change was made and the effects of changes. It serves as a repository of syslog information that includes comments from network engineers about why they made certain changes. When a change results in an outage, TrueControl can be used to return the network to an earlier, stable configuration. The tool includes a rich user authorization scheme, Kher added.
TrueControl version 2.0 is more extensible, adding the ability to integrate with Hewlett-Packard Co.s OpenView Network Node Manager. TrueControl can be launched from within an OpenView console. Rendition is also planning to integrate with tools from NetIQ Inc., BMC Softwares Remedy Action Request System and Computer Associates International Inc.s Unicenter.
The new release also adds a Software Development Kit for adding new drivers that allow users to add other networking equipment not currently supported.
Other enhancements include simplified administration, a more granular permissions model, and improved diagnostic functions. The new release is available today, and the tool starts at $29,990 for 75 managed nodes.
Search for more stories by Paula Musich.