NEI Introduces ACE Smart Services to Solve ISV&aposs Appliance Management Problems

Powerful Combination of OS and Element Management Software with Automated Health, Monitoring, Remote Updates and Backups Accelerates Appliance Deployments for Independent Software Vendors (ISVs)

CANTON, Mass., Oct. 2 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ NEI (Nasdaq: NENG), a leading provider of application deployment platforms, appliances and services for storage, security, carrier-class and enterprise communications applications, today announced the general availability of ACE Smart Services, innovative software and services used to fully automate and improve appliance deployment management. The availability of ACE Smart Services is a key component of NEI's holistic approach to appliance solution design, integration, support, management and value-add services which allows ISVs and service providers to better meet specific market needs through focus on innovating the application – not its form factor, delivery mechanisms, interoperability, backbone OS, or updates and patches.

ACE Smart Services, the company's appliance lifecycle management solution, solves the many complexities that ISVs and their customers experience when attempting to securely and reliably update, monitor, track and back-up appliances. These Smart Services can be enabled or disabled and scaled across products to deliver specific market features and drive new service revenues for the ISV. ACE Smart Services also enables the ability to lock-down the appliance operating system (OS) for greater application integrity, improved overall performance and enhanced end-user experience. This powerful combination allows ACE Smart Services customers to accelerate time to value with greater management control and more marketable features. Using ACE as an appliance management agent, ISVs and service providers can better develop and innovate next-generation enterprise and telecom applications.

ACE Smart Services comprises the automated access, controls, and functional tools required to remotely, effectively and efficiently manage appliances deployed throughout the network. ISVs and their customers report the use of appliances in the enterprise ecosystem as being most cost effective when a single interface manages the system. ACE expands on this concept by enabling the application developer to manage the software as well as the appliance on which it resides, so customers do not bear the cost or complexity of managing an open server. Furthermore, its centralized management capabilities help ISVs gain a competitive advantage by consolidating engineering resources, exploiting technology synergies and creating turnkey, integration-ready solutions.

"More and more ISVs are using appliances as a way to accelerate time to value and extend functional features to the end enterprise," said L. Frank Kenney, research director, Gartner, Inc. "Through trial and error, they soon learn that the complexity and cost of building a highly managed deployment scenario exceeds their core skills and expertise. Integration complexities and post-deployment maintenance challenges can be mitigated by working with a partner who understands the intricacies of building plug-and-play platforms and effectively managing their lifecycle."

Intellitactics, a leading provider of innovative enterprise security management software and appliances, recently developed its new SAFE(TM) line of products using ACE Smart Services. "Effective security and event management requires an appliance that automates frequent updates and adapts to changing event formats by reconfiguring critical tables, rules, regulations and other requirements. Trying to accomplish this manually would be far too time consuming and operationally inefficient," explained Intellitactics' Chief Technology Officer, Sunil Bhagarva. "Associated data must be constantly and efficiently updated within the application to be of ongoing value to our customers. ACE Smart Services permits us to deliver on our promise of security know-how in the box."

The ACE Smart Services package is comprised of the following:

— Element Manager – ensures higher availability by enabling the remote monitoring and automated health management of deployed appliances. ACE element manager routinely audits the operational condition of core appliance elements, including CPUs, power supplies and disk drives. In the event of hardware or software malfunctions, crashes, runtime errors and system boot failure, ACE phones home and automatically generates a maintenance request. The use of standards-based mechanisms such as SNMP and Syslog ensures full integration with today's network management systems and provides a unified view of system-wide functionality. ACE Element manager uniquely manages the appliance software as an image and not just a collection of software parts. Update manager provides secure comprehensive updates for the OS and all applications. Other features include advanced image backup management to automate the backup of the full software partition of appliances. These features are uniquely integrated together such that prior to updates, an image backup is created automatically. So should the appliance fail, it can be rolled back to a pre-failure image and quickly restored for proper operation.

— Update Services – to automate the process and management of delivering updates, patches and other upgrades to appliances deployed in field. This includes the operating system and all related applications. The update service provides a secure phone home point for delivering encrypted manifests and patches to appliances in the field. In addition, the update service provides compressed and encrypted updates for dark sites.

— OS Hardening – a process key that locks down (i.e., disables, removes and/or obscures features and services in) the underlying operating system to reduce the footprint, improve performance and reduce the vulnerability exposure of the appliance. ACE provides either Windows hardening or Linux package management to help ISVs create a highly optimized OS instance.

"When ISVs take advantage of our ACE Smart Services, the real winner is the end user, who can experience a sustained return on investment," explained Mike Slattery, director of product development, NEI. "ACE gives an ISV's customers the ability to deliver a better purpose-built appliance architecture and easily scale Smart Services to meet precise user needs."


Please contact an NEI sales representative for ACE pricing and product demonstrations.

About NEI

NEI, the partner of choice for software developers, OEMs and service providers worldwide, is a leading developer of comprehensive platforms, appliances and support services deployed to reduce time to market, development time and total lifecycle costs. Founded in 1997, NEI is headquartered in Canton, Massachusetts and trades on the NASDAQ exchange under the symbol NENG. For more information about NEI's products and services, visit www.nei.com.

NEI and the NEI logo are trademarks of Network Engines, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective holders.

Lisa Cliver Rob Morton NEI Davies Murphy Group 972-633-3491 781-418-2460 Lisa.cliver@nei.com rmorton@daviesmurphy.com


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