Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A Black Box for your network devices

Everyone knows what a “black box” is on an airplane – it’s the flight data recorder. These hardened devices mounted in the aircraft record key information about the status of the flight controls, pilot inputs, and the results of their actions. Some of the features of the Uplogix local management platform work like a black box for your network devices for improved auditing, change management and recovery from errors.

Audit & compliance reporting
Enterprises need complete reporting data to pass today’s stringent compliance audits. Often companies are penalized as a result of incomplete information, especially when outages have occurred. During these most vulnerable moments for a network, reporting data on who has accessed devices and what was done to those devices often goes unrecorded.

Uplogix logs all changes made by users and the results of these changes. This information is saved locally and then transmitted to a central location for analysis and long-term storage. Logging, recording and reporting are unaffected by the state of the network—Uplogix continues to satisfy compliance requirements even during downtime.

Enforcing IT policy
With business success increasingly dependent on network availability and performance, it is absolutely necessary to protect the underlying network and IT infrastructure from security threats. Traditional management protocols used today, such as SNMP and Telnet, fall short in securely managing remote networks, and require that the network is available to work.

Uplogix ensures that only the right users have the right access to devices and systems by providing very granular and customizable administrative access. Uplogix provides a secure management platform that meets the industry’s most stringent security, encryption and AAA requirements, ensuring that security and management policies are always enforced, even during a network outage.

Recovering from failed changes
According to market research firm Enterprise Management Associates, "60% of network downtime is caused by human error during device configuration..." There are just too many devices to manage and too many changes to make to those devices on a regular basis in enterprise environments to rely on manual, error-prone, one-at-a-time processes.

IT staff need to automate common configuration management tasks, reducing downtime by eliminating common errors introduced by the manual execution of tasks like OS upgrades, password updates, and all-important device configuration changes.

If a configuration change fails, Uplogix immediately rolls the device back to the last known good configuration using its unique SurgicalRollback™ feature, minimizing downtime that is impossible to avoid using in-band-only software solutions. This process restores the device to working order without affecting other device operations. Uplogix locally stores multiple configurations for each device under management to enable this powerful feature.

Put a Black Box in your network infrastructure
Knowing is half the battle, and with Uplogix deployed in your network, you will know who did what, and the impact of their actions. Going beyond the traditional expectations of a black box, Uplogix proactively helps you maintain a safe and secure network with features to enforce IT policy and recover from failed configurations. And unlike a black box on an aircraft, with independence from the network it’s helping manage, Uplogix also won’t go down if the network buys the farm (i.e. crashes!).