Enterasys sets sights on net control

In an effort to bridge the gap in the network management space between enterprise players and vendor-class products, Enterasys Networks last month announced a new addition to its NetSight product family, one that the company said is designed around customer requests.

The Portsmouth, N.H.-based company has launched NetSight Atlas, a set of system-level management tools that offer better control of network administration and operation, which allows enterprise networks to align more closely with business needs.

According to Enterasys’ Steve Pettit, general manager of the software business unit in Chicago, the NetSight Atlas product suite includes plug-in applications that use shared capabilities that exist in the Atlas application including discover, event and alarm logging, device tree, maps, graphing and virtual LAN (VLAN) management. The plug-in applications include NetSight Atlas Inventory Manager, Policy Manager and Access Control List (ACL) Manager.

“These (plug-ins) all deliver system-level control,” Pettit said. “There has been a real big problem in our customer base and within the industry in that if a customer wanted to do two similar or identical things to more than one device, they would have to have independent sessions with those devices. What we wanted to do with software was to say that if the rule is the same, create the rule once and provide one button that allows (customers) to deploy that rule to fifty devices. That is the idea of system-level control.”

The idea for NetSight Atlas came directly from Enterasys’ own customers, Pettit explained. He said the network management market is divided into two primary categories: the high-end enterprise network management platforms, and traditional single element manager applications.

“This product is designed for our enterprise customers,” Pettit noted. “We are really trying to create a product that scales to the high-end to solve the problems that that our biggest customers are facing, while still being a useful utility to the smaller customers. That was a challenge because there are so many capabilities on our network infrastructure components that we wanted to provide an interface that was easy enough for the lighter deployments, yet scalable enough to handle large networks. NetSight Atlas does that.”

And, for two NetSight users in Oberlin, Ohio, NetSight Atlas is next on the IT purchase list. Oberlin College Network Administrators Art Ripley and Robin Cannon said the college network is very computing-intensive. Having been Enterasys customers as far back as its Cabletron days, Ripley and Cannon said that NetSight Atlas will likely replace some of the current NetSight products the college has implemented.

“We will certainly look at (NetSight Atlas) because it is from Enterasys,” Cannon said. “The nice thing about the Enterasys network management software is that it is SMTP-based so they will automatically discover all of our existing Enterasys gear and because it is standards-based. If for example, we had a 3Com switch or other vendor products, we can manage those as well.”

NetSight Atlas is available now and is priced at US$5,995. ACL Manager lists at US$3,595; Inventory Manager is available for US$4,950 and Policy Manager is available for US$9,995. For details visit the company on the Web at www.enterasys.com.