Gold Wire improves its formula

FRAMINGHAM (09/29/2003) - Gold Wire Technology Inc. this week announced upgrades to its flagship configuration management appliance that the company says will help customers better track regulatory and standards compliance as well as manage Unix servers alongside network devices.

Gold Wire introduced new software modules to run on its network device configuration management hardware. Access Manager, Compliance Manager and Change Manager, the company's new Formulator Three software, works with Gold Wire's Formulator 200 and 200HA (high availability) appliances.

Gold Wire Excecutive Vice President of Product Operations Jonathan Wolf says the company expanded its device support, added Unix servers and offered software modules to help customers manage networks and data centers.

"We're seeing the product being used for more security now, and tracking compliance is a part of that," Wolf says.

In fact, according to research by Yankee Group and CompTIA more than one-third of outages are caused by human error, and human error accounted for about 63 percent of security breaches. The studies also show that 65 percent of organizations surveyed have no tracking of operator logons and configuration changes. And another 50 percent of companies experienced unauthorized configuration changes in the last year.

Compliance Manager provides customers with rules-based verification, notifications on rule violations, operating system version reporting and complete change history. The access module adds to Gold Wire's capabilities with access management for network devices and Unix servers.

The software also provides proxy mode, single sign on, password management and activity audit features. And the change management software tracks and archives changes for a faster restore process in the case of disasters. Change Management also offers users configuration staging, mass configuration changes, operating system version management and integration features.

The Formulator can be plugged into a network port and identify all nodes on a network, such as routers, switches, virtual private network gateways and firewalls. The box can be used in proxy mode, where all access to the configuration consoles is gained through the Formulator. This lets managers use single sign-on to access different types of equipment from various companies, instead of accessing boxes individually.

In addition to providing single sign-on, the appliance can track configuration changes made to network devices and issue alerts to other management applications, such as Hewlett-Packard Co. (HP) OpenView, if unauthorized network management changes are made. It also can log keystrokes, giving network executives a comprehensive view of how and when changes are made in networks. And it can integrate with network and enterprise management software from the likes of HP and Micromuse Inc.

Vendors offering similar software products that provide alerts of unauthorized management changes or consolidated equipment management include Intelliden's R-Series software suite.

The Formulator also can operate in passive mode, which includes logging and alerting features, but network devices are accessed individually.

The Formulator works with most switches, routers and security hardware from Cisco Systems Inc., Extreme Networks, Foundry Networks Inc., Juniper Networks Inc., NetScreen Technologies Inc., Nortel Networks Ltd. and Riverstone Networks Inc. While the company says the Formulator has been tested to work with these vendors' equipment, it says the product can work with most network gear accessible via a Telnet or SSH console.

The Formulator 200 system costs US$22,000 and is priced starting at $275 per user. The Formulator 200HA system costs $63,000 and is priced starting at $275 per user.

The Formulator software modules are priced starting at: $75 per device for Access Manager; $150 per device for Compliance Manager; and $150 per device for Change Manager.

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