“Make Life Simple!” Isn’t that the mantra for just about every network infrastructure administrator? They’re constantly fighting fires and responding to urgent calls—not only from end users, but also other members of the IT team that complain about the performance of a whole host of environments.
At the same time, network administrators are trying to set aside time to focus on strategic technology initiatives—the projects that will impress their boss and hopefully advance their careers. The last thing they need is to waste their time on common network management tasks. What’s needed is an easy way to monitor network device configurations and to be able to quickly diagnose and troubleshoot network issues.
Finding a way to efficiently manage network device configuration files is also critical to the business; the impact of unintended and malicious configuration changes can be significant. At a minimum, they can degrade network infrastructure performance and lower end-user productivity.
In the worst case, they can result in failure to comply with regulatory standards—like SOX, PCI, HIPAA, FISMA and GDPR—and result in significant fines. Configuration changes may also compromise network security, which leaves the company open to cyber threats. All of these scenarios create bad public relations for the business—for both its internal and external audiences.
7 Cool Network Configuration Management Capabilities
If the scenario above resonates with you, you will be glad to know that many network managers and administrators have found the answer to the “Make Life Simple!” challenge by turning to WhatsUp® Gold’s Configuration Management add-on from Ipswitch. The network configuration management solution automates device configurations and change management while providing network teams with seven cool capabilities:
- Automate Network Management Tasks: Set tasks to automate administration jobs like running configuration backups, adding/removing users, updating firmware, and changing SNMP strings. This not only saves you time that can be better spent on more important duties, but also eliminates errors that arise when humans undertake repetitive processes.
- Schedule Routine Backups: Routine backups are a mandatory best practice as today's high-risk cybercrime environment requires recent backups to always be available. If you are hacked and a network configuration is changed to facilitate an exploit, you can recover quickly.
- Automate Change Management: Receive traps from network devices when configuration changes occur and set up Slack, IFTTT, SMS or email notifications to know when things change. From there, you can set policies to back up new configurations or to run a change analysis that produces a text-based comparison of old and new configurations highlighting the differences.
- Define Configuration Policies: Assure policies are administered consistently across all device configurations such as <use password encryption>, and make sure that <public> is never set as an SNMP community string. You can also define your own configuration policies and automatically validate the compliance of new device configurations.
- Schedule Periodic Compliance Audits: Enforce best-practices for security and compliance with internal, industry and regulatory data security mandates—by utilizing complete out-of-the-box, best-practice configurations that are compliant with the major regulatory mandates. You can also schedule automated audits of all running configurations to document compliance with these and internal gold- standard configurations.
- Streamline New Network Devices Deployments: New devices that you add to the network map can be deployed simply via a download of an archived configuration. If there is a problem, the device can be restored to a known good configuration, which minimizes downtime. In both cases, this saves considerable time for the IT team compared to building configurations from scratch.
- Apply Bulk Configuration Changes: Schedule bulk configuration changes for multiple devices to run automatically. This comes in handy if, for example, you mandate monthly password changes to secure your network topology. You can force password changes all at once rather than one device at a time.
Also Simplifies the Cloud
If you support an IT environment that spans a mix of on-premises and cloud deployments, WhatsUp® Gold also gives you visibility into cloud resources. You can monitor Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and other cloud platforms, and receive alerts and reports on the status and performance of every resource in the cloud. You can also automatically discover and map each of your cloud environments. This gives visibility into all of your real-time network traffic—from a single dashboard that shows the up/down status of deployed machines.
WhatsUp® Gold also lets you store data to track long-term trends—well beyond the 60-90 day metrics that most cloud providers support. You can monitor billing rates with a pricing dashboard that tracks expenditures throughout each month. To help you stay within your budget, you can program alerts when you exceed your run-rate threshold on internet and cloud expenditures, and you can generate reports to justify internet and cloud expenditures to senior management.