Ecora adding Solaris, Cisco to management product

Configuration management software vendor Ecora is adding support for Sun Microsystems Solaris servers and Cisco Systems routers to its stable of modules that automate the collection of system settings.

The company Tuesday released Documentor for Solaris, a module that plugs into Ecora's MyEcora server. The module reports on such settings as installation data, versions of patches, file system permissions, and user and group identifications.

"The focus is on key configuration settings that have to do with security and recovery," Ecora CEO Alex Bakman says.

MyEcora automatically generates plain-English documents detailing configuration settings on servers and databases. IT managers can use the information for disaster recovery, troubleshooting, migrations, or standardization efforts. Reports can be printed in PDF or Word formats or produced in HTML for posting to a company intranet.

The Documentor for Cisco module, which will ship at the end of this month, is compatible with routers that run IOS Version 11 or 12. The module documents settings on access control lists, chain commands, routing tables, security settings and passwords.

"Our original goal was to provide [software] for 80 percent of the solutions used by IT," Bakman says. Currently, Ecora has Documentor modules for Windows NT and 2000, Microsoft Exchange, Oracle 7.x through 8i databases and Lotus Domino 4.6 and higher.

Configuration management is typically a manual task that rarely gets done by busy IT staffs who then wish they had configuration information when something goes wrong.

Documentor modules use an Active X control that works with a browser. The control runs a discovery application that gathers configuration data from network servers and feeds the data to the MyEcora server, where the documentation is written. Agents do not need to be installed on every server or router where data is collected.

The Active X control creates a Windows Explorer-like interface that is used to select servers that users want to document. Ecora officials claim Documentor can document a server with thousands of settings in 5 minutes.

Pricing for Documentor for Solaris, which is now available, is US$1,000 per server. Pricing for the Cisco module has not been set.

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