Opsware NAS (network automation system), formerly Rendition TrueControl, originally served as a sort of Star Trek Universal Language Translator for network devices, providing a single interface for configuring switches and routers from virtually any vendor across a large network. Today automation is still the watchword, but the emphasis has shifted to policy compliance and control: Mass configurability is nice, but preventing unauthorized changes is necessary.
Opsware NAS 6, released last week at Interop, addresses the need for rigorous change controls with a proxy system that ensures that all changes flow through NAS, according to standard procedures, and screens changes against policies. Thwarting unauthorized changes is enabled by a new data model that contains asset and configuration information for each device, as well as the associated policies, user roles, and permissions.
This repository also includes interrelationships among devices, fueling another new feature in NAS 6 called the Visual Analyzer. Drawing on configuration data, not SNMP scans, Visual Analyzer creates real-time Layer 2 and Layer 3 diagrams that allow admins to view the interdependencies among devices before making changes. This week Opsware is announcing a richer, stand-alone version of Visual Analyzer that incorporates network devices, servers, and applications, and that shows both network and logical views of the whole environment.
NAS 6 also introduces a security service called the Opsware Network that provides vulnerability alerts for network devices, and a new hub and spoke architecture that is likely to ease global management. Borrowed from Opsware’s Server Automation System, the Multimaster hub and Satellites promise to ease global policy distribution and speed up disaster recovery by enabling quick re-creation of configurations across locations.
Opsware Network Automation System 6
Cost: Starts at $20,000 for 100 nodes
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