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Adventures in Network Management

Level 8

Do you manage firewalls and other network devices? Does it sometimes seem that wrestling a two-headed python would be easier? Well, drop that snake. SolarWinds has the solution that will make you say, "This is so easy, I must be dreaming." Well, it is, and you're not. So, before you open that bag of Gummy Bears, check out Firewall Security Manager (FSM).

Did I Change That?

Your network is out-of-whack, maybe. You really don't know and you need to find out. A few changes here and there might make all the difference, but you can't experiment with your production gear. You need a way to tweak a few settings and see what happens without the risk of bringing the entire system down. This is where the FSM features, Impact Monitor, Change Modeling, Change Advisor really shine.

Impact Monitor helps you track changes in rule and object definitions. You can schedule monitoring, and send automatic notifications when FSM detects changes. Reports describe the changes, and tell you the effect on security and traffic flow.

What Happens if I Press this Red Button?

Change Modeling helps you determine the results of proposed changes to ACL, NAT, and route rules before you commit them to production. You can experiment with changes, share them with your team in an offline sandbox environment, and evaluate the security implications of the proposed changes. After you are satisfied with the proposed changes, you can generate scripts to automatically deploy the changes to production environments in a predictable, error-free way.

Change Advisor includes a method for non-technical users to enter firewall change requests. The Change Advisor Web form offers drag-and-drop entry to decrease host name and IP address errors. This eliminates fat-finger mistakes with critical parameters. Then you can automatically determine if the network already satisfies the change request. This eliminates unnecessary requests, and reduces the workload on network engineers. At your option, perform risk analysis of change requests, and enable your security/risk analyst to review security implications. To eliminate trial and error, FSM can automatically identify devices that require change, and provide network engineers with guidance regarding where the changes are required.

Don't miss the next in this series of blogs, titled "Your Name Here."

1 Comment
Level 15

Good information.