Welcome back for another episode of the ABC's of NSM.  What's NSM you say?  We'll go with Network and System Management, but you could throw Security in there as well.  We'll work our way through the alphabet over the next several weeks looking at tools and concepts along the way for all the administrators out there.  By the way, you can thank Joe for the format & Don for the title (I abc_2 couldn't for the life of me come up with one.)

Today's letter E is for Enterprise Manager, F5's own home-grown appliance for managing the Big-IP product line.  The platform continues to mature with yesterday's General Availability Announcement of version 1.7!  Product Manager Dan Kim relayed that "the major theme for this release is visibility.  Visibility of not only device performance and health, but also into the application traffic flowing through it."  The target features for this release center around the device and traffic views, making capacity planning and historical analysis more effective from a central console.  Extended thresholds and alerts can be configured on trends so administrators are kept apprised of potential failures or error situations.  These excellent new features build on the device management features introduced in earlier versions, such as certificate management, configuration archiving, software version library for upgrades and patches, and configuration templates, to name a few.  Well done team!


Security tool shout out: Ettercap

This LAN man-in-the-middle attack suite utilizing weaknesses in the arp protocol.  Once established, Ettercap is able to discover passwords in protocols such as FTP, telnet, HTTP, etc, as well as manipulate any data in the connections.  It is also a very useful tool in putting to rest the "vlan = secured" theory.  Remember arpwatch?  Handy tool to watch for/alert on this behavior.



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