Voyence Raises Bar on Network Configuration Management

The revamped Voyance Control software automates configuration management and tracks changes to networking devices from a variety of vendors.

Voyence on Feb. 13 is aiming set a new standard for multivendor network configuration and change management when it introduced a revamped version of its Voyence Control software.

Voyence Control Next Generation addresses the full life cycle of network configuration and change management, touching on design, change and compliance elements.

The software, which competes with similar offerings from Opsware and Alterpoint automates configuration management and tracks changes to networking devices from a range of vendors.

The Richardson, Texas company rearchitected the tool to more closely align with ITIL (IT Infrastructure Library) best practices for change management.

The growing adoption of ITIL service management methodologies along with regulatory compliance initiatives are "driving" greater interest in configuration management offerings from Voyence, according to Darren Orzechowski, vice president of marketing.

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"We see tremendous value in [such tools] in terms of operational savings, service availability and the whole compliance issue where you need a clear audit across the infrastructure," said industry analyst Dennis Drogseth at Enterprise Management Associates in Portsmouth, N.H.

Voyence Control NG adds a new Virtual Design Workspace that allows operators to virtually model the configuration and connectivity of network devices in software—independent of their physical availability.

The multiuser tool, which includes role-based security, allows several network operators to collaborate in the virtual design space.

That helps insure that corporate change processes are followed and documented, and that created designs and configurations comply with corporate policies and regulatory requirements before deployment.

In addition, a new zero touch install function can verify hardware identity, update operating system images, push out defined configurations, run diagnostics to insure proper operation and report the results of the diagnostics to assigned personnel.

Together the two new design and change features make it possible to have equipment shipped directly from the vendor to intended sites, eliminating the requirement to pre-stage devices and then ship them.

"Its like bare metal provisioning. You can directly ship the product without concern that firmware, OS or other configurations for the device is at the level youd like it to be," described Bill Nelson, senior director of product marketing.

"Voyence Control discovers the device, does a three-way bind, pushes the configuration out from the Virtual Design Workspace, runs diagnostics, notifies individuals of the results, and if it is configured properly, it will notify that the device is ready for service activation." "We streamlined it and eliminated a huge amount of cost for enterprises and service providers," Nelson added.

Voyence also added a new adapter to integrate Control with BMC Software Inc.s Atrium CMDB (Configuration Management Database) and Remedy help desk software.

Voyence Control already integrates with CAs Unicenter and Spectrum system and network management software, Cisco Systems CiscoWorks, EMCs |Smarts, Hewlett-Packards OpenView and IBMs Tivoli and Micromuse systems and network management software.

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"Sixty to 80 percent of outages are caused by change. It doesnt break until you change it. Weve added context launch, so that from within a fault or performance management system, you can click on the device thats having a problem and pull up the change history on that device. It allows you to eliminate a huge amount of manually tracking down why a device has changed, what the approval process was and so on," Nelson said.

In the compliance stage of configuration and change management, Voyence beefed up the tools reporting capability with new ad-hoc reporting, Web-based access to reports and enhanced graphics to better suit reports to different readers.

New role-based reports also address the needs of network engineers, security analysts, auditors and IT executives.

New compliance packs also automatically map network device configurations to compliance standards for Sarbanes-Oxley Act and others.

Voyence NG is due in 30 days and starts at $15,000 for 150 network devices.

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