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    Network Change and Configuration Management: Optimize ... Network Change and Configuration Management: Optimize ... Document Transcript

    • Network Change and Configuration Management: Optimize Reliability, Minimize Risk and Reduce Costs An ENTERPRISE MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATES® (EMA™) White Paper Prepared for CA March 2008
    • Table of Contents Executive Introduction.......................................................................................................................................................................1 Market Requirements are Taking IT Management to a Tipping Point .....................................................................................1 Governance, Management and Security ....................................................................................................................................3 Financial Accountability ...............................................................................................................................................................3 The Rise of Network Change and Configuration Management ..............................................................................................3 The Importance of Managing Change ......................................................................................................................................4 NCCM Key Requirements ...........................................................................................................................................................5 Understanding Marketplace Priorities ......................................................................................................................................6 OpEx and CapEx Benefits from NCCM Investments.....................................................................................................7 Technical Benefits from NCCM Solutions: What You Should Look For.....................................................................8 NCCM Marketplace Issues................................................................................................................................................................9 The CA SPECTRUM Network Configuration Manager (NCM) ............................................................................................9 CA SPECTRUM NCM: Overall Positioning ...........................................................................................................................9 A Product in Evolution .........................................................................................................................................................10 CA SPECTRUM NCM’s Architecture ....................................................................................................................................11 EMA’s Perspective .............................................................................................................................................................................11 About CA............................................................................................................................................................................................12
    • Network Change and Configuration Management: Optimize Reliability, Minimize Risk and Reduce Costs Executive Introduction Market Requirements are Taking One of the most dramatic innovations in the infrastruc- IT Management to a Tipping Point ture management marketplace in the last five years is the IT organizations that run as standalone overhead rise of Network Change and Configuration Management without clear business accountability are becoming a (NCCM) as a strategic requirement. In the past, network thing of the past. This is true across all markets – SMB configuration management had been relegated to a pure- through enterprise, public sector, and service provider. play element management approach associated with the The reasons for this have a great deal to do with mac- “care and feeding” of new network device assets. roeconomic trends and business competitiveness. IT However, NCCM in 2008 is helping to reshape infra- services can now contribute to business and operational structure management toward a more strategic, pro- efficiency and help businesses reach new markets, buy- cess-aligned discipline with a wide range of benefits. ers and partners. They can directly generate revenue and These include supporting service integrity and service so become a business service in and of themselves – and performance, minimizing risk, optimizing security and this accelerating trend goes far beyond Internet-centric compliance, managing network assets more holistically, businesses. IT services can even help to create new busi- and achieving what in the past were undreamed of new ness models and new ways of doing business. levels of operational efficiency. A look at macroeconomic and competitive pressures Moreover, recent EMA research and consulting dialog across each sector is worth mentioning: consistently reinforces the fact that NCCM solutions • Enterprises can enhance productivity, achieve new provide significant savings in capital expenditures revenue targets, reach new buyers and partners, (CapEx) and operating expenditures (OpEx), reduce and even create new business models by leveraging total-cost-of-ownership (TCO) due to operational gains their IT infrastructure and its services. In parallel, in managing network assets, and lead to a more cohe- many enterprise business environments are sive approach to lifecycle asset management. becoming more service provider-like themselves This white paper will focus on the strong values that – especially within industries such as healthcare and NCCM can bring to reliability, risk and cost manage- financial services, which increasingly depend on ment, as well as some of its powerful operational and centralized IT expertise to support new modes of lifecycle asset values. In doing so, this report will draw business operations. strongly from EMA research conducted in 2007 on real • Governmental IT services are changing the face world requirements and adoption patterns, as well as of how and where state agencies work interactively EMA’s ongoing research into available technologies and with each other, how they interact with federal products in the NCCM marketplace. agencies, and how and where the state reaches out This report will also introduce the CA SPECTRUM to new constituencies. Network Configuration Manager (NCM) as a dis- • Service providers are facing increasingly steeper tinctive leadership offering in the NCCM arena. CA competition for customer loyalty, and hence SPECTRUM NCM offers cohesive functionality for to demonstrate QoE (Quality of Experience) integrated service, fault and configuration management. as it is becoming increasingly easy to switch EMA will examine the implications and benefits of providers. Moreover, service providers are also such an integrated solution, while looking at some of facing new types of competition, such as from its broader advantages in the areas of risk management, cable companies and even Internet companies operational automation and asset management. Finally, like Google and Yahoo. And finally, if they don’t this assessment will place CA SPECTRUM NCM in in- want to be just one more component in someone dustry context – as an innovator with unique values for else’s solutions, service providers have to become network operations and IT as a whole. more varied and application centric in their service offerings, which in turn places extreme pressure ©2008 Enterprise Management Associates, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Page 
    • Network Change and Configuration Management: Optimize Reliability, Minimize Risk and Reduce Costs on them to manage their networks cohesively in A second factor underneath this involves new trends in support of the delivery of application and other application technology, in particular, Web-based applica- business services. tions, Web 2.0 and Web Services-based Service-Oriented Architectures (SOAs), that allow for business models and One factor behind this trend is the sheer growth in application design to be more and more tightly interwo- quantity and type of new IT services, such as Web ven. In recent EMA research, 40% of network planners Services, Web 2.0, VoIP and wireless. The volume and expect the move to SOA-based Web Services to impact heterogeneity of new services that depend increasingly their performance requirements significantly in the near on network transport is enough to put network manag- term (within one year). As these application architectures ers in all sectors in a state of alert. EMA research become more geographically dispersed, the pressures on (Figure 1) shows that most enterprise, public sector and network reliability and network-aware application capa- service provider environments expect to provide a wide bilities will force aggressive changes in how networks range of application services for their constituencies. and applications are managed across the industry. B usiness intelligenc e 65 C lient-S erver 91 C ustomer relationship management 68 E xternally -fac ing W eb-based applic ations 80 Ric h media suc h as imaging, video and audio 66 S ales forc e automation 50 S OA 58 S upply c hain management 50 V oIP 69 W eb S ervic es 94 W eb-based applic ations as a hosted servic e 81 W eb-based applic ations for internal c orporate use 97 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 Figure 1: Most IT environments enjoy and expect a wide range of application types (“Managing Application Performance Over the Network,” EMA, Q4 2006) More than 100 34.3% 51 to 100 5.9% 31 to 50 12.8% 10 to 30 9.8% Less than 10 32.4% D on't K now 4.9% 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35% 40% Figure 2: Branch offices are proliferating with nearly two thirds of all respondents indicating they have ten or more offices, creating opportunities to reach new customers and work differently, but placing strains upon the network (“Network Change and Configuration Management Adoption,” August, 2007) ©2008 Enterprise Management Associates, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Page 
    • Network Change and Configuration Management: Optimize Reliability, Minimize Risk and Reduce Costs A third and actually related factor is geographic sprawl. Financial Accountability Enterprise, public sector, and service provider orga- Finally, IT is at a tipping point because as an integral part nizations depend more and more on geographically of the business, increasingly prone to stringent business distributed and sometimes even global presence. This metrics, it must demonstrate its contributions in dollars- geographical dispersion has also been accelerated by and-cents more than ever. While this may not be new for business partnerships and supply-chain dynamics, which service providers, it has become a slow burning revolu- are increasingly geographically diverse. Such growth in tion for enterprises and public sector organizations that geographic sprawl is of course placing added stress upon are now required to measure themselves against mission the network, and adding to the size and complexity of objectives. The notion that IT is providing a “service” most networks. The range of branch office requirements as its virtual “product,” and that all costs need to be can be seen in Figure 2 in a balanced sample of respon- measured against this concept, and “service” needs to dents that spans small and large businesses, public sector be measured in terms of business relevance and revenue service providers and organizations. impact – is just taking hold among IT shops. Such a next-generation model for IT financial accountability is Governance, Management and Security supported by new trends in best practices, such as in Pressures for compliance, accountability and security are the IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) v3’s definition of also impacting the way that enterprise IT, government “Service Lifecycle Management,” but it is still in its in- IT and service provider OSS/BSS must work. There is fancy within many IT organizations. Nonetheless, step- probably little in high technology more obvious than ping up to this model is inevitable, and it will require the fact that issues of corporate governance, manage- new levels of discipline and efficiency in how IT man- ment and security have become strategic IT initiatives. ages and plans for change. As more and more business is done online, more atten- tion is paid to every transaction that touches “tangible assets” of financial or competitive value and those that The Rise of Network Change and directly impact the well being of individuals, businesses Configuration Management and even nation states. The increasing exploitation of Spurred by the network build-out in the 1990s and a sig- personal information is too common today. Now, the nificant dependence on networks, NCCM has become network is a critical “door” to protect from ungoverned essential for IT organizations in enterprise, government access to information. and service provider environments. Element-specific, uni-brand solutions for existing configuration manage- The regulatory and compliance landscape provides an ment have been unable to keep pace with the need for equal challenge. There are corporate compliance re- scalability, operational efficiency and functionality that quirements such as Sarbanes-Oxley for corporate gover- characterize the current high requirements to support nance, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability geographically dispersed environments. Act (HIPAA) for patient privacy, Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA) for financial reporting, and Payment Card In general, element vendor solutions have been propri- Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) for account etary command line interface (CLI) in design and re- data security. There is also legislation that’s driven by quire a high level of device-specific expertise. In some national security, such as the Patriot Act. instances the knowledge required to effectively leverage element vendor solutions for configuration has been The challenge for IT is in managing appropriate access to so high as to render the software all but unusable. And information for businesses to compete effectively, while while it’s true that EMA has worked with some network at the same time protecting the privacy of individuals, administrators who prefer a CLI due to habit, in the end the security of company assets, and the audit trail that more facile and “sharable” technologies must win out supports regulatory requirements. But IT must address over more individualized and technically complex ap- these challenges in the face of larger, more complex, proaches for reasons of scalability and cost efficiency. more frequently changed networks. It’s something of a double whammy. ©2008 Enterprise Management Associates, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Page 
    • Network Change and Configuration Management: Optimize Reliability, Minimize Risk and Reduce Costs A TM 31 C able (C A TV ) 17 C irc uit S witc hed 35 DSL 41 E thernet 84 Frame Relay 41 H323 19 IP 90 MP LS 35 Optic al (Fiber) 58 RS V P 6 RTP 15 S IP /S C C P 25 V LA N 64 VPN 76 W IMA X 13 W ireless 70 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 Figure 3: Network transport technologies tend to aggregate as new capabilities surface and older transport capabilities linger on – adding to network complexity (“Network Change and Configuration Management Adoption,” August, 2007) The requirements for NCCM solutions have emerged • Cascading failures resulting from incorrect changes over the last seven years with solutions that are typically to device configurations is something that can keep demonstrating value in environments with 50 or more any network manager awake at night. A senior network devices. NOC director for a large enterprise confessed that 80% of the times he made a change to the The primary drivers for this are: network, he had to make additional changes to • The IT infrastructure is becoming more complex achieve a stable state of network performance, and and heterogeneous. Research ranging from that in 10% of those cases, he suffered what he late-2006 and throughout 2007 (Figure 3) has termed “catastrophic failures.” substantiated that network complexity is growing • Security threats that are “allowed in” through faulty in parallel with application complexity as a huge or non-compliant configurations are a growing number of transport technologies are often in play challenge. NCCM solutions can also govern, across a single organization led by IP and Ethernet, control and limit those who have access to change not surprisingly, and followed by VPN and wireless. network devices, and document how, where and • This growth in types of services is creating a when changes were made. greater density of volume running over the • Compliance initiatives, whether government or network, coupled with denser devices to support industry directed, depend on effective change and these services. Added device density alone – which configuration management. In some cases, NCCM in many cases is orders of magnitude what it solutions offer templates to support audits required was just five or ten years ago – means greater for Sarbanes-Oxley, GLBA, HIPAA or PCI DSS. challenges for configuration management. • Greater frequencies of change to network device The Importance of Managing Change configuration, including the growing pervasiveness Another driver for the increase in NCCM adoptions is of patch updates, is an order-of-magnitude shift the rising awareness and interest in managing change from ten years ago and a potentially disruptive across the infrastructure. This interest has stimulated a factor in an already complex and challenging growing commitment to follow best practices, and espe- networked universe. cially in ITIL. ©2008 Enterprise Management Associates, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Page 
    • Network Change and Configuration Management: Optimize Reliability, Minimize Risk and Reduce Costs ITIL 59 C OB IT 15 In-house best prac tic es 34 Other best prac tic es 9 (please spec ify ) 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 Figure 4: ITIL and “in-house” dominate best practice initiatives linked to NCCM deployments (“Network Change and Configuration Management Adoption,” EMA, August, 2007) EMA has tracked the rising interest in ITIL over the operational efficiency, compliance and other last several years (Figure 4). ITIL has rightfully educated infrastructure management tasks. IT that managing change effectively is at the very core • Providing a multi-vendor solution and broad of running an efficient service-oriented IT organiza- intra-vendor support. In interview after interview, tion. ITIL v3’s focus on Service Lifecycle Management IT managers shied away from brand lock-in further reinforces the importance of managing change. by hardware choice when it came to network The need to adopt a system that can technically support configuration management. a more consistent and collaborative process of work- ing is then paramount. NCCM solutions have profited • Easing deployment, use and maintenance – greatly from this interest. including easy-to-use interfaces and extensibility to new or different vendor devices. This is a growing Not surprisingly, EMA has seen dramatic improve- requirement, one with significant differences across ments once NCCM solutions are coupled with ITIL brands, that impacts both time to value and the process initiatives, in one case bringing 400% return scalability of the solution. on investment (ROI) from the cost of the software in terms of reduced downtime (mean time between • Scaling to support hundreds of thousands of failures, or MTBF) and mean time to repair (MTTR). networking devices from multiple providers, especially for large service provider environments. It should be stressed that technology and process improvements can unite to literally transform some IT • Documenting configuration changes, including organizations. Effective technology can support a more what the changes were, who made them, and when. consistent approach to change management, which This is imperative from a security and compliance naturally combines with and helps to enable a clear perspective, as well as essential in the support of commitment to process improvement in managing and problem and incident management. monitoring the impacts of change. • Providing not only monitoring and documentation, NCCM Key Requirements but actual policy enforcement for authorized access In understanding the rise of NCCM, it’s useful to sum- controls, which is critical to both compliance and marize key requirements that most NCCM solutions security. face: • Recovering from configuration change errors with • Accelerating operational requirements for frequent more automated tools to improve operational device configuration changes, directly impacting efficiency and minimize service downtime. ©2008 Enterprise Management Associates, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Page 
    • Network Change and Configuration Management: Optimize Reliability, Minimize Risk and Reduce Costs • Minimizing complexity by removing the need to these, a minor 1.3% outsourced NCCM completely. use element management systems associated with This underscores the strategic nature of NCCM multiple device types. adoption. Understanding Marketplace Priorities • Nonetheless, there remains a fairly high level of In August of 2007, EMA completed extensive research dissatisfaction with many NCCM investments. addressing adoptions of NCCM solutions (Network Of these 121 respondents, only 11.8% are very Change and Configuration Management (NCCM) Adoption satisfied, 35.5% are somewhat satisfied and the rest Report). Some of the highlights worth mentioning here, are neutral (27.6%), somewhat dissatisfied (17.1%) as they impact the growth and direction of the NCCM or very dissatisfied (7.9%). EMA believes this is market, are as follows: a testament to the relative newness of NCCM solutions. Complexity in deployments, the need to • Most network configuration is done in support integrations with a wide variety of other house, rather than by service providers or infrastructure management tools, and the fact that outsourcers. According to EMA data, 64.5% configuration management requires attention to of 121 respondents said they managed network process are likely to cause dissatisfaction among configuration changes entirely in house. Another those adopters seeking to purchase a “quick fix.” 21.1% outsourced about 25% of their NCCM requirements. Less than 15% said they outsourced • NCCM adopters stressed the importance of 50% or more of their NCCM requirements. Of integration with other management systems. As can be seen in Figure 5, a striking total of nearly V ery Important 45.9% S omewhat Important 33.8% S omewhat Unimportant 9.5% Neither Unimportant Nor 8.1% Important Unimportant 2.7% 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35% 40% 45% 50% Figure 5: NCCM adopters stress integration with other management systems (“Network Change and Configuration Management Adoption,” EMA, August, 2007) T op 5 M etrics (% of respondents) Reduc tions in number of 69% trouble tic kets S uc c essful versus 58% unsuc c esful c hanges Reduc tions in mean time 53% to repair (MTTR) C omplianc e audit 51% effic ienc y Inc rease in performanc e 47% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% Figure 6: Reducing trouble tickets is the dominant metric for measuring NCCM investments (Note: Many respondents don’t have defined metrics) ©2008 Enterprise Management Associates, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Page 
    • Network Change and Configuration Management: Optimize Reliability, Minimize Risk and Reduce Costs 80% thought integration with other management groundbreaking research from Q4 of 2006, (“Managing solutions was either very important or somewhat Application Performance Over the Network”), EMA important. learned that the effective monitoring of configuration changes was the number one diagnostic associated with • And given the wide variety of benefits associated troubleshooting application performance issues across with NCCM deployments, it is interesting that distributed infrastructures (Figure 7). With a respondent a reduction in the number of trouble tickets base that was about 60% from the NOC and 40% from was the number one metric associated with the data center, network configuration changes came in gauging NCCM success (Figure 6). This would as top priority, followed by system configuration and ap- indicate that while managing change is in itself plication configuration monitoring. critical, deployments that integrate tightly with event correlation, root-cause analysis and fault OpEx and CapEx Benefits from remediation tools will remain a dominant phase NCCM Investments one priority for at least the near term. Also taken from the August research was an examina- In association with this, EMA gained some striking in- tion of benefits expected from network change and sights into the growing maturity of IT adopters in terms configuration capabilities (Figure 8). These tend to un- of diagnosing problems directly related to managing derscore some of the observations already stated about application performance over the network. In some the importance of integration with other systems, and C ritical A nomaly detec tion 23 A pplic ation c onfiguration 35 D eep pac ket analy sis for troubleshooting 21 D y namic baselining 11 E vent-based information 31 Flow-based traffic analy sis 16 Forensic session rec onstruc tion 17 Network c onfiguration 41 P ac ket header inspec tion for 24x7 monitoring 21 S y stems c onfiguration 39 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 Figure 7: Network Configuration Changes are the single most desired diagnostic for troubleshooting application performance issues over the network T op 5 B enefits (Average, 0-5 S cale) Openness / integration with management sy stems 4.38 Resolve performanc e and downtime issues 4.38 Improved operational effic ienc y 4.35 A sset and Inventory for Network D evic es 4.24 Multi-vendor management 4.21 Most “very important” responses: 4.1 4.15 4.2 4.25 4.3 4.35 4.4 . security . compliance Figure 8: Openness plus reduction plus resolving performance and downtime issues are paramount for NCCM adopters ©2008 Enterprise Management Associates, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Page 
    • Network Change and Configuration Management: Optimize Reliability, Minimize Risk and Reduce Costs the importance of NCCM as part of an integrated pack- cies in managing change. Most of EMA respondents age with systems that can effectively manage the health either weren’t sure (28.4%) or took a conservative set and reliability of network services. of expectations of one to two years (29.7%) in assess- ing full ROI. However, more than 20% were neverthe- Interestingly enough, many of EMA’s interviews re- less comfortable committing to demonstrable ROI vealed that the perceived ROI for NCCM deployments within six months or less. can be dramatic. For instance, in a number of customer environments, uptime improved between 99.3% and Technical Benefits from NCCM Solutions: 99.9%! More commonly, outages due to performance What You Should Look For and security issues that resulted from misapplied con- The following checklist is designed to help IT profes- figurations were reduced from 90% of the problems sionals assess the technical attributes of NCCM solu- to a mere 10% of the problems. In some cases, with tions they may be evaluating. Most address a meaningful strong process initiatives, configuration errors dropped subset of the following: to nearly 0%. • Remove the need to know several command Similarly, time to assess the inadvertent impact of syntaxes change and fix it on the network could be reduced from multiple hours to less than five minutes. And • Reduce the high rate of human-introduced operational advantages might enable updates, such configuration errors as patches, to be performed with a dramatic rise in • Provide operational efficiency through remote efficiency – from 20 an hour to up to 10,000 an hour. access to full infrastructure via a console or These findings demonstrate that NCCM solutions can browser-enabled device provide significant savings in capex and opex, reduce • Enable mass multiple updates of device the total cost of ownership (TCO) due to operational configurations gains in managing network assets and lead to a more cohesive approach to lifecycle asset management. • Support advanced root cause and event management by tracking network configurations across the full infrastructure More commonly, outages due to performance • Support enhanced service management by reducing and security issues that resulted from inadvertent degradations due to misconfigurations misapplied configurations were reduced • Store device configuration changes histograms for from 90% of the problems to a mere failure analysis and disaster recovery 10% of the problems. In some cases, with • Alert on changes that are non-compliant with strong process initiatives, configuration IT policy errors dropped to nearly 0%. Similarly, • Provide more consistent access control and time to assess the inadvertent impact of audits that support both security and compliance initiatives change and fix it could be reduced from multiple hours to less than five minutes. • Increase control of configuration change process through multiple, role-based user access authorizations Nonetheless, complete and formalized ROI assess- • Perform discovery and support inventory asset ments remain problematic for NCCM given the many management through integrations with other data different kinds of benefits associated with NCCM sources deployments combined with the need for effective poli- • Enable monitoring of the TCO for specific devices ©2008 Enterprise Management Associates, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Page 
    • Network Change and Configuration Management: Optimize Reliability, Minimize Risk and Reduce Costs • Provide better customer services through more service management efficiencies, help develop individ- efficient resource utilization ual professional skills, and enable broad organizational process improvements. For these more executive buy- • Support multiple roles in reporting – e.g., network ers, NCCM provides both a powerhouse for support- admin, security, executive, etc. ing superior service management with implications far • Enable integrations with other infrastructure beyond the reliability of the network, while offering a management solutions, such as Help Desk, Asset catalyst for organizational transformation in support of Management and Security more collaborative, more efficient and more account- able processes for managing change. • Support event and workflow integration to enable the integration of event correlation and root cause analysis through a dynamic awareness of network The CA SPECTRUM Network configuration changes Configuration Manager (NCM) • Support management across a heterogeneous When CA acquired Concord Communications in network with features available to integrate data for June of 2005, it not only gained Concord eHealth unsupported devices Network Performance Manager but also SPECTRUM Network Fault Manager under development by Aprisma • Support the never-ending tools consolidation Management Technologies, which Concord had acquired initiatives that are typically present in a modern day earlier in 2005. With the acquisition of eHealth and organization SPECTRUM, CA made a bold step forward in becom- ing a leading network management provider, as well as a NCCM Marketplace Issues strong player in systems management, service desk, asset The above list represents a stunning testament to the management and a number of related technologies in- potential value of NCCM solutions and the likelihood cluding storage management and security. CA’s network this market could be destined to take off like a rocket. management initiative had in fact been building over The very recent (Q3/Q4 2007) spate of acquisitions of the five years before the Concord/Aprisma acquisition, NCCM vendors would seem to support this idea. But partially based on partnerships with OPNET and Fluke most industry observers have been more perplexed by Networks, but it was the Concord acquisition that fully the relatively slow growth for such a new and suppos- enabled CA to become a formidable solution for man- edly dynamic market. aging both enterprise and service provider networks. Probably the dominant reason for this is that NCCM is Within this portfolio of chiefly CA eHealth and CA a strategic set of technologies that evolved largely out of SPECTRUM, SPECTRUM had already demonstrated small technical innovators. Three to five years ago, initial unique advantages over much of its competition through sales were often directed at tactical buyers focused on the adaptive intelligence of its inference-based modeling just one problem set out of the many problem sets that and its robust capabilities for capturing complex device a robust NCCM solution can resolve. Moreover, most and network interdependencies. CA SPECTRUM’s deployments were complex and challenging because modeling had also become a point of integration for they ultimately required some process expertise as well a number of partners – including those in systems and as significant integration efforts. application management – who understood the value of its intelligence in correlating beyond purely network This market adoption picture was beginning to change problems to resolving reliability and availability issues even before the acquisition mania of late 2007. But across domains. EMA believes that NCCM will find its true footing as a strongly integrated set of capabilities with more plat- CA SPECTRUM NCM: Overall Positioning form-like capabilities. More complete offerings will ben- All of this is important in understanding the role of the efit vendors capable of targeting more executive buyers new CA SPECTRUM Network Configuration Manager who will place a high value on solutions that enhance (NCM) as an integrated function within SPECTRUM. ©2008 Enterprise Management Associates, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Page 
    • Network Change and Configuration Management: Optimize Reliability, Minimize Risk and Reduce Costs Unlike virtually every other NCCM offering in the mar- • A history of compliant and non-policy compliant ket, CA SPECTRUM NCM offers IT infrastructure changes managers seamless integration with a broader set of • Automated insights into “running” versus capabilities for service and fault management. As CA “startup” configurations SPECTRUM’s object-based modeling and correlative intelligence already extends beyond purely network re- • A report flagging all changes in configured quirements to address critical IT services such as VoIP, devices and showing the delta between the new multicast and MPLS technologies, CA SPECTRUM configuration and the prior configuration NCM can natively align with problem resolution across • On-demand (real-time) reports to examine the full distributed network fabric. configuration changes relevant to problem and This seamlessness in integration and common user incident management troubleshooting interface has other advantages in terms of deploying CA SPECTRUM NCM leverages the OneClick admin- NCCM. First, it’s easier to implement; CA estimates it istrator interface (as can be seen in Figure 9) and vis- can be less than one week for setup including most pol- ibility access rights can be defined based on any number icy definitions. Even more importantly, full integration of logical roles. means network and service management professionals at various levels can navigate and assess reports relating A Product in Evolution configuration change histories to service performance It should be pointed out that earlier CA SPECTRUM and service health. There are no ‘mushy” integrations functionality for NCCM, formerly known as CA between separate consoles, but a single set of integrated SPECTRUM Configuration Manager (introduced in the workflows, navigational choices and reports. mid 1990s), is itself the oldest, most mature entrant in Some of the existing reports from CA SPECTRUM the NCCM market. Its recent iteration as a full-fledged NCM target the following overall areas: competitor across the NCCM space dates from CA Figure 9: Screenshot showing contextual role navigation for configuration changes across the network ©2008 Enterprise Management Associates, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Page 0
    • Network Change and Configuration Management: Optimize Reliability, Minimize Risk and Reduce Costs SPECTRUM 8.1, released in June of 2007. As such, it SPECTRUM NCM strongly as a future contributor to is very much a product in evolution – uniquely mature CA’s Configuration Management Database (CMDB). in its diagnostic strengths, but evolving in other areas For example, the CA SPECTRUM Modeling Gateway such as operational automation and detailed compli- delivers the ability to export CA SPECTRUM’s topol- ance and security related reports. For instance, while CA ogy and connectivity information, as well as service SPECTRUM NCM can actively restore an altered con- definitions and service relationships for contribution to figuration to a policy-compliant configuration state, its CMDBs; this gateway also provides the ability to import ability to support operational automation more broadly information from CMDBs or service provider OSS pro- is still very much evolving. In its current state, it is op- visioning systems and databases. timized to restore prior state configurations to resolve It should be noted that CA SPECTRUM NCM discov- problems on a device by device basis but not directed at ery follows SPECTRUM’s overall autodiscovery capa- supporting pre-scheduled mass, multiple updates across bilities. Data is stored in a knowledgebase and can be the infrastructure. CA is aware of and forthcoming exported to XML or flat files; alternatively, the knowl- about this limitation and is introducing much improved edgebase can be accessed using CA SPECTRUM’s CLI operational automation over the course of 2008. EMA or programmatic APIs. CA SPECTRUM NCM uses also expects other integrations across the CA portfo- what CA calls “Global Collections” to monitor con- lio (and possibly third-party platforms) to improve CA figuration change. These “Global Collections” can be SPECTRUM NCM’s support for lifecycle asset manage- set up with dynamic search criteria in accordance with ment, capacity planning and service provisioning more established policies. broadly, as linkages between application interdependen- cies, on the one hand, and device asset information, on the other hand, become more explicit. EMA’s Perspective While many in the industry perceive CA SPECTRUM Another current limitation is the breadth of devices sup- NCM as a new entrant, it is actually a mature and stable ported by CA SPECTRUM NCM. As of January, 2008, product with a long history. CA’s wisdom in reinvesting these include Cisco, Juniper, Nortel, Enterasys, Foundry in network configuration management is already being and Extreme. However this limitation should largely be borne out by customer eagerness and demand – some addressed during the first half of 2008, with the CA of which follows the “How do I get beyond CiscoWorks SPECTRUM introduction of the CA SPECTRUM to a more strategic solution?” category. EMA expects NCM Extension Utility, which is designed to extend to see many of CA’s competitors surprised at the rapid support to unrepresented devices. assimilation and evolution of CA SPECTRUM NCM to become a credible across-the-board NCCM contender. CA SPECTRUM NCM’s Architecture As mentioned, CA SPECTRUM NCM has a long his- tory, but its newly enriched functionality with release 8.1 fully leverages CA SPECTRUM’s rich object-based EMA expects to see many of CA’s modeling for capturing interdependencies, as well as competitors surprised at the rapid years of evolution in support of Layers 2 and 3 network assimilation and evolution of CA discovery. These linkages, including a common database for network service, fault and configuration manage- SPECTRUM NCM to become a credible ment, position CA SPECTRUM NCM exceedingly well across-the-board NCCM contender. for higher levels of automated diagnostics. Tight integration also positions CA SPECTRUM NCM This is especially true given the fact that CA SPECTRUM well for more cohesive insights into network configura- NCM already has a unique footprint and a natural starter tions as an extended part of the broader network to- market across its full CA SPECTRUM base. This link- pology in all of its contexts. Finally, such a strongly age positions CA with clear advantages, but of course cohesive architecture up front should support CA places a strong limitation on CA SPECTRUM NCM – it ©2008 Enterprise Management Associates, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Page 
    • Network Change and Configuration Management: Optimize Reliability, Minimize Risk and Reduce Costs is not designed for integrations outside of those that About CA CA SPECTRUM itself has with other solutions. It is, CA, Inc. (NYSE:CA), positions itself as one of the in effect, an extension of CA SPECTRUM, and so in world’s largest management software companies. It de- this respect qualitatively different than virtually all of its livers software and services across operations, security, other competitors. storage, life cycle, and service management, to help or- But for CA SPECTRUM users and IT organizations ganizations optimize the performance, reliability, and ef- looking to consolidate multiple infrastructure manage- ficiency of their enterprise IT environments. Founded in ment tools, CA SPECTRUM NCM should quickly be- 1976, CA is headquartered in Islandia, N.Y., has 14,500 come a natural first choice. EMA expects CA to honor employees, operates in more than 100 countries, and has or even accelerate its promise to broaden NCM’s func- achieved ISO 9001:2000 certification. tionality aggressively in the areas of operational auto- CA SPECTRUM is an important part of CA’s overall mation and more extensive device support (through the approach to transforming IT management. With its NCM Extension Utility), and to continue to enhance the unique capabilities, CA can help IT organizations unify breadth of its reports with added templates to support and simplify IT management across the enterprise compliance-related issues. Also, within the relatively near for greater business results. The CA Enterprise IT future, EMA expects to see CA deliver CA SPECTRUM Management vision, proven capability solutions and NCM with its CMDB system, with support for critical expertise help customers govern, manage and secure areas such as application dependency mapping, lifecycle IT. Customers gain the ability to manage risk, improve asset management across networks and systems, and in- service, manage costs and align IT investments with the tegrated process support for change management across needs of the business. the entire infrastructure. As is often the case in the IT management industry, IT adopters face a choice between broad functional benefits on the one hand, and solutions that are easy to use and administer on the other hand. CA SPECTRUM NCM solution is an encouraging instance of a balanced initial footprint with a rich range of benefits combined with strong ease of use, deployment and administration. As CA builds from this initial footprint, EMA expects this laudable balance to continue. ©2008 Enterprise Management Associates, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Page 
    • About Enterprise Management Associates, Inc. Enterprise Management Associates is an advisory and research firm providing market insight to solution providers and technology guidance to Fortune 1000 companies. The EMA™ team is composed of industry respected analysts who deliver strategic awareness about computing and communications infrastructure. Coupling this team of experts with an ever-expanding knowledge repository gives EMA clients an unparalleled advantage against their competition. The firm has published hundreds of articles and books on technology management topics and is frequently requested to share their observations at management forums worldwide. This report in whole or in part may not be duplicated, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or retransmitted without prior written permission of Enterprise Management Associates. All opinions and estimates herein constitute our judgement as of this date and are subject to change without notice. Product names mentioned herein may be trademarks and/or registered trademarks of their respective companies. ©2008 Enterprise Management Associates, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Corporate Headquarters: 5777 Central Avenue, Suite 105 Boulder, CO 80301 Phone: +1 303.543.9500 Fax: +1 303.543.7687 www.enterprisemanagement.com 1542.022708