ZOHO ManageEngine DeviceExpert v5.3
Strengths: Good device support for network equipment vendors; nice task automation tools; really can save IT staff a substantial amount of time.
Weaknesses: Compliance reporting is only conducted against enterprise policy; does not have industry compliance canned reports.
Verdict: Great tool for auditing and managing network equipment.
SummaryDeviceExpert is a web-based, multivendor network configuration, change and compliance management (NCCCM) solution for network devices. It helps manage configurations, monitor and control changes, prevent unauthorized changes, define standard practices and policies and automatically validates configurations for compliance.
The product loads on a Microsoft server and uses MySQL as its backend database. Once loaded, users can discover devices on their network using either an IP discovery or simple network management protocol (SNMP) discovery scan. There is a pretty complete pulldown menu containing vendors for labeling devices. Once the devices are discovered, they can be managed. Management can be accomplished over both insecure and secure protocols, such as Telnet, TFTP and SSH. The first action we performed was to backup the configuration. Configurations are stored in the database in encrypted form. The user interface can be used to audit, compare, upload, backup and validate configurations. The main purpose of the product is to automate repetitive configuration tasks and to give a complete record of the "who, what and when" of configuration changes.
It was pretty easy to create rules and then to apply those rules to audit the configurations of the devices under management. Templates allow users to customize to specific requirements. Users can associate a single rule/policy with a single device or a group of devices, as well as create policies to scan devices for a newly released exploit and get a picture of risk. The risk level is presented using a color-coded severity scale, making it easy to navigate or filter to the high-risk items. The admin function allowed for some custom scripting capabilities. The one we were demoed automatically changed thousands of passwords per a password change policy, when scheduled, without intervention required.
The DeviceExpert product was very simple to use and it performed as advertised.