NetConnect is a command line tool for automating the login process to routers, switches, or UNIX hosts and any intermediate devices or proxies in the path. It does this by using credentials supplied within a configuration file. It also allows users to run Perl based scripts on a single device or devices in parallel to automate tasks. Although it was originally designed around Cisco routers and switches, it can be extended to work with any CLI based device by specifying custom prompts that different devices use. It works well with Cisco routers and switches as the concepts around "enable" mode and the corresponding syntax of the prompt are contained within the source. Devices can be stored within your configuration file, so you are able to connect to devices using a portion of their name (using regular expressions) as opposed to having to remember IP addresses or full DNS names.
ns4 is a command line configuration management tool that runs on a Unix or Windows based operating system. It allows the automated backup of node (i.e. routers and switches) configurations to an FTP/SFTP server or local media on a daily basis to create configuration archives. It can run ad-hoc commands on multiple nodes as well as custom scripts for automating complex tasks. It uses Perl and allows you to manipulate the output of commands using regular expressions within scripts. Configuration based cartridges are used to specify new node types, allowing the user to extend its functionality in a simple and dynamic way.