DeviceAuthority makes no configuration changes. Rather, it inventories, compares and reports on changes to your network infrastructure configuration. The product makes no attempt to normalize configuration data across different vendors or to control configuration access. If you need to monitor configuration changes or you want to compare how a configuration is different between like devices or earlier device configurations, DeviceAuthority is straightforward and useful.
More is Better
The beta version we tested supports Cisco, 3Com, Foundry and Allied Telesis. Cisco is the best covered, in part because of the various versions of IOS, but primarily because of its market share. AlterPoint claims that device support will be added in monthly increments for the foreseeable future and that upcoming support will cover F5 Networks, Nortel Networks (including Wellfleet and Bay Networks), Lucent Technologies, Extreme Networks, Dell Computer, NetScreen Technologies and Adtran. Support for Enterasys Networks reportedly is imminent.
DeviceAuthority comes on a Win32 server (NT4 and Win2k are supported) with a JSP-based console accessible via the included Apache Web server and MySQL database. Installation was easy. The inventory display shows each device by its name, address, model, category and status. DeviceAuthority manages devices by grouping them into user-definable categories. An SNMP OID category would be nice, though, so edge switches could be grouped easily.
Tracks multiple configurations for multiple infrastructure vendors.
Good reporting on changes with simple restore.
Solid performance, even for a beta.
Access control and group partitioning.
No syntax checking, so hide the bullets.
We added devices one at a time through a wizard, and it worked fine. Text file import is supported, but only after the device name and IP are entered. Via the wizard, grouping, access user ID and password are added later, which is tedious work. Because we tested a beta release, we weren't able to test it out. However, AlterPoint reps promised that the shipping product imports flat files and supports additional fields such as make, model, OS, user name and password.