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Netcordia's NetMRI 1.5p1

NetCordia has improved NetMRI, its network configuration management software. Version 1.5p1 has an easier and more flexible policy engine to help companies maintain compliance with directives like Sarbanes-Oxley. The updated policy engine, which compares actual network device configurations to Configuration Policy Definition (CPD) files, now can check policy conformance by device groups.

NetMRI, which I tested at our Syracuse University Real-World Labs®, gathers, stores and compares data for Cisco and Juniper devices, providing daily alerts on changes in configurations or performance, and errors. NetCordia says it is continuing to add support for other vendors' networking hardware. NetMRI monitors over SNMP and CLI (telnet/SSH), and its reporting ranges from high-level health overviews to categorized lists of actionable problems and diagnostic suggestions. You don't get real-time notification of changes, though, and NetMRI is not tied to external service-desk applications for change control and workflow processes.

In a perfect world NetMRI would have all these operational functions and more extensive hardware support. As it is, the product's strengths are its improved policy engine, ease of use, and lower cost compared to many other network-configuration-management offerings. NetMRI runs from $25,000 for a few hundred managed devices to about $150,000 for a few thousand devices. That's reasonable, especially for big Cisco and Juniper installations.


• Flexible policy engine
• Low impact discovery

• Easy to use


• Needs multi-tenancy, more pre-built policy files
• Limited device support

• No backward compatibility for CPD files

NetMRI 1.5p1, starts at $25,000. Netcordia, (410) 266-6161.
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