Extreme launches switch management software

Extreme Networks Inc. this week launched a version of its network management software that promises more automation of repetitive management tasks, a more intuitive user interface, and support for larger networks.

Epicenter 4.0 from Extreme could help network managers with bulk-configuration tools to configure large numbers of Extreme hardware products, such as the BlackDiamond, Alpine and Summit lines of Ethernet and Gigabit Ethernet LAN boxes. The new Epicenter can also support more devices than previous versions, and includes an improved user interface, the company says.

Tools for bulk device configuration and scriptable Telnet macros could save network managers from having to access individual switches on a network in order to change settings, such as VLAN groupings or security polices. Configuration changes can also be scheduled through the software for regularly-repeated tasks, such as software patch or firmware updates.

The software also features a new topology management tool which can display and manage up to 2,000 devices, as well as physical and logical maps of the network - such as switch-to-switch links, and virtual LAN (VLAN) information. The software also includes an IP address and media access control (MAC) address finding tool for discovering and mapping all nodes on a network.

Epicenter 4.0's new interface brings all of the previous Epicenter components into a single window. This gives users the ability to quickly tab through screens, such as network topology maps, end-user access lists, and inventory management screens, the company says. System alerts and events generated from SNMP and Syslog traps - such as spikes in dropped packets or unauthorized protocols on the network - can be consolidated into a single view as well.

The software runs on a Microsoft Corp. Windows NT or 2000 server, and can be accessed via client software and/or a Web-based client. Epicenter 4.0 is available now for US$7,000.

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