Fundamental Keeps Watch on Configuration Settings

FRAMINGHAM (04/26/2000) - Developing and managing configurations on servers and desktops can be a time-intensive task, but it's one Fundamental Software Inc. is attempting to automate.

The company next week will release Version 3.0 of its Enterprise Configuration Management (ECM) platform, which is focused on Windows 2000 and NT. The software is built around a centralized Collector, which runs on Microsoft's SQL Server, and a series of agents deployed on any number of networked servers and desktops.

The agents are actually Distributed Common Object Model components that can be installed on machines automatically and lay inactive until they are called by the Collector to supply configuration data.

For IT managers faced with a growing number of networked computers, ECM provides a way to root out inconsistencies in configurations that can cause network errors or security breaches. The software also can monitor compliance to configuration standards and test readiness for rollouts of Win 2000 servers.

It also lets users automatically change local administrative passwords or service logons on any server from a central console.

"IT is interested in having more tasks like this automated because of the increase in complexity of their networks and limits in staffing," says Rich Ptak, an analyst with the Hurwitz Group in Framingham, Massachusetts. "The ability of this technology to deliver data in real time is important."

ECM 3.0 features Win 2000 Migration Reports, BackOffice compliance reports and support for Windows Management Instrumentation, which collects management data from hardware and software.

The migration reports are designed to evaluate NT hardware as business users move to Win 2000. With more than 30 reports, users can collect configuration data on such devices as network interface cards, memory and disk space.

Fundamental also has included the Win 2000 hardware compatibility list within the Collector so hardware compliance can be checked automatically. In addition, infrastructure reports can be run to check configurations for Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol, Domain Name System, Windows Internet Naming Service and TCP/IP settings.

The software also comes with a set of prebuilt compliance reports for assessing configuration compliance on SQL, Exchange and Internet Information Servers, including registry settings, service accounts and service packs. ECM features multiple compliance reports for each server.

ECM 3.0 is priced at $500 per server and $50 per desktop.


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