Enterprise Configuration Manager
$995 per server, $30 per workstation
Very comprehensive functionality; flexibility.
Might prove a little too complex for some.
A potentially powerful auditing tool providing in-depth analysis.
Auditing software requirements will naturally vary between organizations. In many cases, a relatively straightforward approach will be all that is necessary. But sometimes you might want a higher level of analysis and control.
In this case, ECM (Enterprise Configuration Manager) might find favor, although this higher level of analysis and control will need more time invested in planning, configuration and even using the chosen software.
Similarly, it is likely that the hardware and software requirements for running it might be more complex and exacting.
ECM provides specific advice on software and hardware requirements, and aligns them to a specific usage profile. This is commendable and allows system administrators to consider their requirements in advance.
The product relies heavily on SQL Server for database duties. Much thought has clearly gone into this, including in areas of database sizing and performance which, depending on the specifics of implementation, might play a large part in perceived performance and system resources. This attention to detail extends to using an auxiliary database to collect raw data prior to processing, in order to mitigate fragmentation.
Given the scope of ECM 4.5, you might accumulate a vast amount of data, and you will doubtless rely heavily on reports in order to present this data in meaningful ways. The ECM Console facilitates this with a wide range of preconfigured reports, plus the ability to customize as appropriate. ECM also features "dashboards" created with Crystal Reports to cover key areas such as antivirus, change management and most heavily used programs. Automated alerts are also catered for, as are rules templates which may be logically grouped together.
The overall functionality and granularity of detail offered by ECM 4.5 is as broad as anyone could reasonably require. This is a double-edged sword, as it entails a greater level of complexity and attention to detail in order. This is not an application for anyone wanting a plug-and-play solution. But for anyone committed to enterprise network monitoring and configuration, it offers unparalleled flexibility coupled to well-conceived functionality.