Bell Labs spin-off to launch management appliance

At Interop, nSolutions will unveil its Network Ontology and Virtualization Appliance (NOVA) line, which manages device and software configurations across networks

Change and configuration management vendor nSolutions will launch a line of appliances Tuesday that the company says use automation to manage device and software configurations across heterogeneous environments. The appliances are based on technology developed at Bell Labs Research.

Spun out of Bell Labs Research in 2001, nSolutions is using Interop Las Vegas 2008 to launch its company and products. nSolutions' Network Ontology and Virtualization Appliance (NOVA) appliances collect configuration data from network devices like routers, switches, and firewalls as well as software components like servers, databases, and applications.

"The high frequency of change causes performance and security issues for IT. Administrators have a lack of visibility and control over these changes," says Harish Rao, CEO of nSolutions. "Add to that the silos of network, servers, applications, and storage, and network managers can't correlate data across the infrastructure, which makes it difficult to manage business services and support the business."

NOVA appliances install on the network, are assigned an authenticated IT address and feature a browser-based user interface as well as a repository that maintains a set of ideal configurations against which to compare the actual state of device and software configurations.

Competing with vendors like Tripwire, nSolutions differentiates its product line by putting the change and configuration data in the context of the business, Rao says. Because NOVA correlates data across the silos of IT, network managers can get a single view of the physical, logical and virtual infrastructure they manage.

"The process of correlating data across different silos is still done manually," Rao says. "NOVA appliances observe the network and provide continuous control and compliance with both operational and regulatory policies."

NOVA appliances, offered in two form factors for medium to large enterprises, start at $20,000.

This story, "Bell Labs spin-off to launch management appliance" was originally published by Network World.