Any good IT manager knows that unplanned change is a leading cause of network downtime, not to mention security and compliance problems. Tripwire Enterprise 7 is the most recent addition to the host of tools available to help IT drive change management—not the other way around.. Tripwire 7 detects all change across the network and server infrastructure. Unlike many rivals, it detects and analyzes changes to countless elements on both network and server environments. Examples we tested include registry settings, application configuration files on servers, databases table structure, and Cisco IOS changes.
Tripwire allows for the development of acceptance workflow and criteria and provides the ability to alert and take action if a change is detected. The product also has a number of prebuilt policy templates available for download that are a great way to jumpstart installation.
In addition to monitoring for changes, Tripwire can resolve potential issues by reconciling changes within its own application or calling external processes from other change- or patch-management tools. If the change was expected, you can promote the associated change version to the baseline. If an unexpected change is detected in a configuration file, you may be able to restore the configuration from the baseline, or opt to use your existing element manager, such as CiscoWorks, to update the device.
On the downside, Tripwire doesn't provide much guidance for IT to assess the severity of a change, which could mean a considerable amount of upfront work when configuring alarms. Tripwire may also duplicate some functions of other server and network management tools.