Strengths: Low cost and easy to deploy
Weaknesses: Documentation could be more detailed
Verdict: Excellent price point, even with the extra hardware needed; but weak in documentation for smaller organisations without a lot of technical resources
DeviceExpert from ManageEngine provides a comprehensive approach to network configuration and change and compliance management. It features the tools needed to analyse and monitor changes to the many devices in the environment, prevent unauthorised changes, define policy and validate that systems are meeting policy and compliance requirements.
It includes support for almost any switch, router or firewall, which ensures that all devices in the environment can be analysed from one easy-to-use console.
We found this solution to be an easy install overall. It comes as a simple executable package that can be installed on Microsoft Windows or Linux machines. We installed it on Windows Server 2008 and had no trouble getting it up and running quickly with the help of a short installation wizard. Overall, we found the web-based management interface to be easy to navigate and to have a clean layout. Adding devices and managing policy directly in the interface was fairly straightforward. For the initial configuration devices can be added in bulk using the device discovery feature, which makes deployment quick and easy.
Features and functionality were quite comprehensive and the first thing we noticed when we started using this product was its well-organised dashboard. The 'home' tab of the management interface features a dashboard that shows a well-detailed, bird's-eye view of the latest configurations, changes, policy violations and compliance overviews, among other charts and graphs. This dashboard provides a good starting place to bring the environment into compliance and manage risk. We also found it easy to view inventory and run compliance reports. This product also features a fair amount of configurable automation of tasks, such as deploying changes across multiple devices in the network using configuration templates.
Documentation provided includes a single help manual that was adequate in detail and included clear, step-by-step configuration instructions, but there are no screenshots or examples to help clarify configuration steps.
ManageEngine offers 24/7 phone and email support to all customers during the 30-day evaluation of the product. After evaluation, customers can purchase additional support through an annual package. Also available to customers is a large online aid area, which includes access to many resources, such as a knowledgebase, user forum, videos, tutorials and documentation.
With a price starting at £526 for a 10-device licence, we find this product to be excellent value for the money. While ManageEngine DeviceExpert does require extra hardware cost, its low price point for fewer devices makes it cost-effective for smaller organisations looking for solid network device policy management and compliance without the high cost of other options.