AlterPoint looks beyond configuration management

Network change and configuration management vendor shifts focus from device-centric monitoring to network management analysis

AlterPoint this week will release an expanded product suite that builds upon the company's network change and configuration management software to provide business analytics, compliance management and protection against security threats.

AlterPoint made its name as one of many niche vendors to deliver network device change and configuration management products, but now the company says it will release a set of products that show it can do more than manage configurations.

AlterPoint changed the name of its flagship software from DeviceAuthority to NetworkAuthority and added four applications to create a suite that addresses network configuration and devices in the context of the business, the company says.

"NetworkAuthority 6 marks our move from one product to a total of five that fall under one umbrella," says CEO Scott Harmon. "This release moves us from a niche market to providing network governance."

The company says customers can benefit from the integration of its products, all aimed at better managing network assets. For instance, NetworkAuthority Analytics provides charts, reports and graphs to help network managers plan for future capacity, determine the impact of configuration changes and speed troubleshooting times. The product also can be configured to deliver data to IT and line-of-business managers based on their role and level of access. "Analytics took a year of working on the code. It is a complex technology area involving data marts," Harmon says.

Also in the suite is NetworkAuthority Lifecycle, which tracks asset and configuration data to establish baselines and enable analytics related to equipment end-of-life and end-of-service. NetworkAuthority Compliance tracks compliance requirements across disparate network assets and performs regular audits. NetworkAuthority Security provides vulnerability management that can detect and remediate historical and new security threats, Harmon explains.

Lastly, NetworkAuthority CMDB is an upgrade of the company's existing configuration management database, which provides a repository of network assets, configurations and changes. The software discovers, collects, normalizes and synchronizes data from multiple disparate devices into one database, in which it can capture the relationships among the devices.

Competing in the past with vendors such as Voyence, Intelliden and Opnet, Harmon says the expanding product line makes automation vendor Opsware a direct competitor. Opsware acquired AlterPoint competitor Rendition Networks to augment its system software with network-centric configuration management tools.

"Our customers are looking for automation and analytics along with better governance of their networks," Harmon says.

A typical entry point price for the NetworkAuthority is US$100,000.

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