Article

Software suite allows remote Windows configuration management

Meredith B. Derby, assistant news editor

Market newcomer BladeLogic, Inc. today announced a software suite that allows administrators to manage remote Windows, Unix and Linux machines via a single console.

BladeLogic Software Suite 4.0 promises to identify and fix configuration management issues in heterogeneous, remote environments, according to Vance Loiselle, vice president of product management at BladeLogic. "Our focus takes configuration management to the next level," he said. "Software Suite 4.0 monitors configurations but also makes them healthy again."

BladeLogic Network Shell, BladeLogic Audit and BladeLogic Configure are the suite's three core modules. BladeLogic Network Shell allows the actual administration of Windows from a Unix-like shell. "From the command line, you can do Unix-like commands on Windows machines," Loiselle said.

The new software's Java-based graphical user interface (GUI), called Server Center, gives administration a browser-based look and feel. Further, administrators can use their existing scripts by changing their naming conventions. Tasks can then be automated.

Real-time audits take place via BladeLogic Audit. Snapshots are taken of host machines and are then used to compare the configurations of up to 10 other servers in the same Web farm or cluster at a given time, said Loiselle. E-mail alerts can also be programmed to notify of any configuration changes.

BladeLogic Software Suite 4.0 can deliver specific information about remote

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system configurations. An administrator in the U.S., for example, can ask for and see applications running on servers in Germany. This was impossible in the past, said Loiselle, because Microsoft Management Console (MMC) doesn't allow for configuration management. MMC does allow IT managers to connect remotely to one machine at a time, however, he said.

BladeLogic Configure allows administrators to deploy the needed software, patches or hot-fixes to machines. If problems are seen during an audit, the appropriate configuration changes can be synced in real-time, Loiselle said. Or, the changes can be scheduled as jobs. So, servers can be updated simultaneously, he said.

The new suite is so easy to use that junior administrators can manage the configurations of multiple Windows environments remotely, according to Loiselle.

Software Suite 4.0 can manage an unlimited amount of servers, said Loiselle. "Some of our clients are managing over 1,000."

Lexington, MA-based BladeLogic expects to ship the suite mid-first quarter 2002. Beta testing will begin in mid-January. BladeLogic Software Suite 4.0 starts at $25,000 for 50 servers and scales upward.

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