The Importance of Keeping an Audit History
What is occurring on the cutting edge of network device configuration management?
“Is the configuration data that we have on hand up to date?” Not only is it common to hear these kinds of common questions, there are more and more demands to know the “who, what, when, where, and why” of configuration changes.
These concerns are not as common in a network managed by a single team, but it is becoming a trend in environments managed by multiple teams or vendors. It is seen especially often in the financial industry.
In a network where there are several vendors for each system, segment or branch, the primary vendor or the system manager within the company should manage the whole network. It can very hard for the controllers to monitor every single action of each vendor.
As they cannot thoroughly understand all the details the situation, it results creates a great deal of risk. For example, if a configuration on a network device is changed before someone was aware of it, or if there is a mismatch between device configurations, a network failure can result.
For those cases, if they have a system where they can centralize and manage all the interactions that each vendor did using TeraTerm against the device, it can make the controller’s job easier. There are some advantages using this thorough audit trail management:
1. When a failure occurs, you can immediately find when it happened and whose operation was the cause of the problem.
2. Since you can precisely trace the audit trail, you can clearly see who is responsible.
3. By reviewing the audit trail, you can find weak points in the daily management tasks.
4. It becomes easy to exchange opinions between different vendors using the same audit trails.
I can’t promise that you will get these advantages in all situations. However, nowadays, as normal performance of the network infrastructure is an essential condition, I think you can see the importance of using an audit trail system.