Juniper this week introduced its Network and Security Manager 2008.1, a centralized network manager for its NetScreen Firewall, IDP appliance, M-Series routers, and EX-Series switches. NSM 2008.1 is the first step in unifying device management, policy deployment, and monitoring through a single management framework.
NSM 2008.1 software starts at $6,900 and the NSM appliance starts at $10,000. Both the software and appliance include a license for 25 devices. The upgrade to NSM 2008.1 is free to current NSM customers.
Following in the steps of vendors like Cisco and Hewlett-Packard, both of which have centralized network management systems, Juniper's NSM 2008.1 provides a single point of entry for a variety of management tasks including network inventory, image upgrades, and configuration management. Notably, NSM maintains an archive of all configuration changes, so rolling back to a previous configuration or tracking changes is simple.
NSM's flexible architecture scales upward in terms of number of devices supported to national and international organizations. A single deployment can use an NSM to manage their devices, and distributed environments can create a hierarchy of managers so that configuration and policy changes can be pushed globally while providing local administrative access.
Larger IT departments that have separate roles for network administrators, routing experts, firewall admins, and others can use NSM's role-based access control system to restrict administrators to the functions they require. Smaller IT shops can, of course, use looser access controls to give administrators access to more administrative functions.
NSM 2008.1 is a hardened appliance, which simplifies initial deployment. NSM uses the IETF Network Configuration Protocol, RFC 4741, to manage devices. NSM reports on device status and events, but it is not a replacement for Juniper's Security Threat and Response Manager, which is Juniper's security event manager and network behavior anomaly detection system.