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Network Configuration Manager

17 Posts authored by: cvachovecj

SolarWinds Network Configuration Manager (NCM) 7.4.1 Hotfix 3

 

Hotfix 3 addresses the following issue:

  • NCM Cannot connect to Fortigate devices running FortiOS v5.2.5 and newer.

 

Notes:

  • This fix is applicable to NCM 7.4.1 only.

 

To install SolarWinds NCM 7.4.1 Hotfix 3:

  1. Stop all Orion services.
  2. Back up the existing files (wodKeys.dll and wodSSH.dll) from the C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\SolarWinds folder
  3. Replace C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\SolarWinds\wodKeys.dll and C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\SolarWinds\wodSSH.dll with the binary from the Hotfix zip package.
  4. Start the Orion services.
  5. Repeat these steps to install the Hotfix on all polling engines.

 

To uninstall SolarWinds NCM 7.4.1 Hotfix 3:

  1. Stop all Orion services.
  2. Replace C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\SolarWinds\wodKeys.dll and C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\SolarWinds\wodSSH.dll with the original wodKeys.dll and wodSSH.dll files from backup.
  3. Start the Orion services.
  4. Repeat these steps to uninstall the Hotfix on all polling engines.

SolarWinds Network Configuration Manager (NCM) 7.4.1 Hotfix 2

 

Hotfix 2 addresses the following issue:

  • Download config job may crash if config does not contain standard characters.

 

Notes:

  • This fix is applicable to NCM 7.4.1 only.

 

To install SolarWinds NCM 7.4.1 Hotfix 2:

  1. Stop all Orion services.
  2. Back up the original file: c:\Program Files (x86)\SolarWinds\Orion\NCM\SWConfigTransfer8.dll.
  3. Replace c:\Program Files (x86)\SolarWinds\Orion\NCM\SWConfigTransfer8.dll with the binary in the HotFix 2 zip package.
  4. Start Orion services.
  5. Repeat these steps on all polling engines.

 

To uninstall SolarWinds NCM 7.4.1 Hotfix 2:

  1. Stop all Orion services.
  2. Replace c:\Program Files (x86)\SolarWinds\Orion\NCM\SWConfigTransfer8.dll with the original SWConfigTransfer8.dll.
  3. Start Orion services.
  4. Repeat these steps on all polling engines.

We have been working hard to bring another bulk of enhancements to the Network Configuration Manager (NCM) and NCM 7.5 Beta is available. We have been working on:

  • Additional F5 LTM & GTM Support (Including Binary Config Support)
  • Compliance Reports (security best practices) for various vendors
  • Usability Improvements

 

To get access to the Beta, you need to be a customer on active maintenance for NCM and sign up here.

 

You can discuss your experience in the NCM Beta Forum.

 

As an added incentive, Beta users who submit feedback will receive 2,000 Thwack points to buy swag at the Thwack Store.

SolarWinds Network Configuration Manager (NCM) 7.4 Hotfix 2

 

Hotfix 2 addresses the following:

  • New device template for Allied Telesis devices.

 

Notes:

  • Hotfix 2 requires SolarWinds NCM 7.4.

 

To install SolarWinds NCM 7.4 Hotfix 2:

  1. Extract the file "Allied-Telesis-1.3.6.1.4.1.207.1.14.109.ConfigMgmt-Commands" from the Hotfix archive.
  2. Log in to Orion Web Console as a user with admin rights.
  3. Click Settings.
  4. Under Product Specific Settings, click NCM Settings.
  5. Under Advanced, click Device Templates.
  6. Click Import.
  7. Click Choose File, and select the extracted file "Allied-Telesis-1.3.6.1.4.1.207.1.14.109.ConfigMgmt-Commands."
  8. Click Submit.

 

To assign the new template:

  1. Select the Allied Telesis template in the grid.
  2. Click Assign to Nodes.
  3. Select the correct nodes, and click Submit.

SolarWinds Network Configuration Manager (NCM) 7.4 Hotfix 3

 

Hotfix 3 addresses the following:

  • New device template for Huawei Quidway S2700 devices.

 

Notes:

  • Hotfix 3 requires SolarWinds NCM 7.4.

 

To install SolarWinds NCM 7.4 Hotfix 3:

  1. Extract the file "Huawei Quidway S2700-1.3.6.1.4.1.2011.2.23.123.ConfigMgmt-Commands" from the Hotfix archive.
  2. Log in to Orion Web Console as a user with admin rights.
  3. Click Settings.
  4. Under Product Specific Settings, click NCM Settings.
  5. Under Advanced, click Device Templates.
  6. Click Import.
  7. Click Choose File, and select the extracted file "Huawei Quidway S2700-1.3.6.1.4.1.2011.2.23.123.ConfigMgmt-Commands".
  8. Click Submit.

 

To assign the new template:

  1. Select the Huawei Quidway S2700 template in the grid.
  2. Click Assign to Nodes.
  3. Select the correct nodes, and click Submit.

SolarWinds Network Configuration Manager (NCM) 7.4 Hotfix 1

 

Hotfix 1 addresses the following issues:

  • You do not receive real-time notification email messages after upgrading.
  • Your real-time notification rules no longer work.

 

Hotfix 1 modifies the following files on the SolarWinds NCM server:

  • %ProgramFiles%\SolarWinds\Orion\NCM\SolarWinds.Cirrus.BusinessLayer.dll
  • %ProgramFiles%\SolarWinds\Orion\Information Service\3.0\SolarWinds.Cirrus.BusinessLayer.dll

 

Notes:

  • Hotfix 1 requires SolarWinds NCM 7.4.
  • Install this hotfix on your primary NCM server and any NCM additional pollers.

 

To install Hotfix 1:

  1. Log on to the SolarWinds server hosting your NCM installation as an administrator.
  2. Use the Orion Service Manager to stop all SolarWinds services as follows:
    1. Start the Orion Service Manager in your SolarWinds Orion program folder (SolarWinds Orion > Advanced Features > Orion Service Manager).
    2. Click "Shutdown Everything".
  3. Make a backup of the following files:
    • %ProgramFiles%\SolarWinds\Orion\NCM\SolarWinds.Cirrus.BusinessLayer.dll
    • %ProgramFiles%\SolarWinds\Orion\Information Service\3.0\SolarWinds.Cirrus.BusinessLayer.dll
  4. Extract and copy SolarWinds.Cirrus.BusinessLayer.dll from the Hotfix archive to the following locations:
    • %ProgramFiles%\SolarWinds\Orion\NCM
    • %ProgramFiles%\SolarWinds\Orion\Information Service\3.0
  5. In the Orion Service Manager, click "Start Everything".

 

You should now receive real-time notification email messages and the real-time notification rules work as expected.

 

To rollback Hotfix 1:

  1. Use the Orion Service Manager to stop all SolarWinds services as follows:
    1. Start the Orion Service Manager in your SolarWinds Orion program folder (SolarWinds Orion > Advanced Features > Orion Service Manager).
    2. Click "Shutdown Everything".
  2. Replace the following files with the backups you created:
    • %ProgramFiles%\SolarWinds\Orion\NCM\SolarWinds.Cirrus.BusinessLayer.dll
    • %ProgramFiles%\SolarWinds\Orion\Information Service\3.0\SolarWinds.Cirrus.BusinessLayer.dll
  3. In the Orion Service Manager, click "Start Everything".

We are looking at extending NCM capabilities with support for automated workflows. This is a very broad topic and that's why I would like you to tell me about your needs. What tasks would you like to be automated? What is your motivation? Would you invest in product(s) that would really make a difference? Or, have you already invested in one?

 

Please share your thoughts and let me know if you are willing to discuss the details with me -- thwack points are waiting for you .

I am happy to announce General Availability (GA) of SolarWinds Network Configuration Manager (NCM) v7.4. This version includes the following new features and improvements:

 

  • Cisco IOS and ASA Vulnerability Reporting
    NCM uses Cisco IOS and ASA firmware and configuration vulnerability data from the National Vulnerability Database to record which nodes in NCM are vulnerable. This information is available in a new Firmware Vulnerability resource and as a report.
  • NCM Entirely Web-based
    The NCM desktop application is no longer available and all functionality has migrated to the SolarWinds Orion Web Console.
  • New Compliance Reports
    • You can run over 60 Defense Information Systems Agency Security Technical Implementation Guide (DISA STIG) policy reports, preconfigured with the necessary rules and policies.
    • You can run National Institute of Standards and Technology Federal Information Security Management Act (NIST FISMA) and Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) reports.
  • Device Template Wizard
    • Create and edit device templates using the new, web-based Device Template Wizard in the SolarWinds Orion Web Console.
    • All templates from previous versions of NCM are migrated to the SolarWinds Orion database during an upgrade.
    • Access templates that other SolarWinds users share through thwack directly in Device Template Management.
  • Enhanced Change Approval Workflow
    The NCM approval system allows three different workflows:
    • Use a one-tier approval workflow to submit configuration changes to an NCM administrator.
    • Use a non-privileged, two-tier approval workflow to require non-privileged users (any user with the WebUploader role) to submit configuration changes to two different approval groups.
    • Use an inclusive, two-tier approval workflow to require all users to submit configuration changes to two different approval groups.
  • Web-based Reports
    • Create and edit reports using new, web-based reports.
    • NCM now uses Orion Platform reports (HOME > Reports) instead of the NCM reporting pages (CONFIGS > Reports).
    • Previous reports are not migrated to the web-based reports system and can no longer be edited after an upgrade.
    • Schedule reports with the Orion Report Schedulers instead of the NCM Run Report job.
  • Policy Violation Remediation
    You can automatically remediate violations in a device configuration on multiple nodes using a script.
  • Web-based Alerts
    • Create and manage alerts using the web-based alerting engine.
    • Alerts created using the desktop-based alerting engine are automatically migrated to the web-based alerting engine.

 

More details can be found in the Release Notes and in the RC blog post: Network Configuration Manager v7.4 Release Candidate is Available!.

We have reached the Release Candidate (RC) status for Network Configuration Manager (NCM) 7.4. RC is the last step before general availability and is a chance for existing customers to get the newest functionality before it is available to everyone else.

 

Update: NCM v7.4 RC2 is available on customer portal. Please note that an NCM server host with SolarWinds NPM installed cannot install or upgrade to NCM 7.4 RC2 until the NPM is ugraded to NPM 11.5.2 RC1. More details can be found in NCM 7.4 RC2 is Available on Customer Portal.

 

  • Device Template Wizard
    Use the web-based wizard to create or edit a device template. NCM stores all device templates in the Orion Platform database instead of the NCM server's local file system.
  • Cisco Vulnerability Reports
    Receive alerts when the latest NIST data indicates a vulnerability in a version of Cisco device software (IOS or non-IOS) running on deployed switches, routers, and security appliances.
  • Compliance Reports
    DISA STIG, NIST FISMA, and PCI policy reports, with all necessary rules and policies already set-up, become available to run after installation.
  • Enhanced Change Approval
    Use a one tier approval workflow to allow any NCM user with the WebUploader role to submit device configuration changes to a single NCM Administrator. Use a two tier approval for non-privileged users to require two NCM Administrators to approve a device configuration change submitted by any NCM user with the WebUploader role. And use a two tier approval for all users to require two NCM Administrators to approve a device configuration change submitted by any NCM user.
  • Web-based Alerts and Reports
    Fully eliminating the NCM desktop application, NCM uses the Orion Platform alerts and reports systems, enhancing NCM's integration with other Orion Platform products.
  • Remediation of Policy Violation
    Automatically or manually remediate violations from within the Policy Report interface for all relevant blocks in a device configuration.
  • Configuration Change Auditing
    Syslog data forwarded from network devices as part of real-time change detection includes the name of the user associated with the change.

 

Extend and troubleshoot device templates easily

Device templates have been moved to the database. You can modify the templates in the Web UI and no longer have to replicate them accross your polling engines. Smooth thwack integration was a must!

In addition, we have integrated a wizard into NCM that helps you develop new templates or troubleshoot problems with the existing ones.

 

Device-Template-Management.PNG Device-Template-Wizard.PNG

 

Identify and manage firmware vulnerabilities

If network security is a concern in your organization, you should definitely use this new capability of NCM -- run a nightly vulnerability assessment based on recent CVE data provided by the National Vulnerability Database (by NIST). NCM will download and process the CVE data in a SCAP-compatible way and will notify you of potential vulnerabilities, provide detailed information and let you take an appropriate action. This security scan works even if your NCM server is not connected to the Internet -- you just have to download the datafiles manually. Complimentary reports are provided out of the box.

Note: Cisco IOS and ASA devices are supported as of now.

 

Vulnerability-Report.PNG

Vulnerability-Manage.PNG Vulnerability-Settings.PNG

 

Run your favourite regulatory compliance checks out of the box

Tired of importing the obligatory reports from thwack? No longer a problem! NCM now ships the latest DISA STIG, NIST FISMA, and PCI reports out of the box. The updates also include broader vendor coverage and more detailed checks.

 

Note: If you upgrade from NCM v7.2.x to v7.4 Release Candidate, these new reports will be missing. The workaround is to upgrade from 7.2.x to 7.3.2 first and then to 7.4 RC. The problem is related to upgrades from NCM 7.2.x only; upgrades from NCM 7.3.x and clean installations are not affected. We apologoize for incovenience and work on solution for the final NCM 7.4 release.

 

DISA-STIG.PNG

 

Manage your NCM reports and alerts on the web

Were you looking forward to the day when you could customize your NCM reports in the web and combine them with information from other modules? The day has come! Not only have we migrated all the existing inventory reports to the Orion reporting engine, but we have also added a decent number of new ones. The same applies to alerts.

 

Web-Reports.PNG

Web-Alerts.PNG

 

Automatic Compliance Enforcement

Maintaining your configurations compliance has never been so easy. Just configure the remediation script to be executed automatically! Works for interfaces, too.

 

Automatic-Remediation.PNG

 

Ant that's not all -- check Network Configuration Manager v7.4 Beta2 is Available! for other improvements that cannot fit in this post.

 

RC builds are made available to existing customers prior to the formal release. These are used to get customer feedback in production environments and are fully supported. If you have any questions, I encourage you to leverage the NCM forum.

 

You will find the latest version on your customer portal in the Release Candidate section.

Update: NCM 7.4 Beta2 has been made available.

 

We have completed another bulk of the development effort and are now focused on testing the latest enhancements of Network Configuration Manager (NCM); NCM v7.4 Beta is available. This is your chance to install the latest version and provide feedback on the new features and fixes. Providing feedback during the beta is the best way to ensure that your feedback will be incorporated in to the release. To participate, simply fill out this survey and you will be sent the download links for the Beta. Remember, Betas are open to customers with valid maintenance contract, cannot be installed in production, and you cannot upgrade the Beta to any other future versions.

 

signup.png

 

New features in Beta2 (topics in alphabetical order):

  • Auditing Improvements
    • Track username of user who made a config change (for real-time change detection)
  • Compiance Reports and Remediation
    • Automatic remediation of policy violations (optional).
    • Execute remediation script for all blocks in violation (e.g. interfaces).
    • Use Config Change Templates for remediation.
  • Config Change Approval
    • Two-step approval (optional).
  • Device Lifecycle Management
    • New report listing End-of-Life devices
    • Automatically assign End-of-Life information based on part number.
  • Device Template Assistant integrated in Web UI
  • Miscellaneous Web UI and Usability Improvements
    • Update or cancel only selected inventory transfers.
    • A number of small usability improvements

 

Content of Beta1:

  • Web-based reporting
  • Web-based alerting
    • Enhancement: Execute the NCM action on a different node.
  • Miscellaneous Web UI and Usability Improvements
    • Be able to quickly add/remove a lot of nodes to/from NCM at the same time.
    • Add SWQL filtering for drill-down charts on NCM summary page.
    • Make grids match browser window size.
    • Export config file from Web UI.
    • Ability to re-execute items on transfer status page.
    • Keep history for the transfer status page.
    • Notify requestor when his/her request has been approved.
    • Option to exclude devices with no config changes from the config change report email notification
    • Improved EoL/EoS summary resource
  • Improvements of Compliance Reports
    • Better navigation when inspecting violations.
    • Config block not found does not mean policy violation.
    • Update only selected policy reports.
    • Disable a policy report.
    • Copy/duplicate a policy or rule.
    • Delete all policies and rules associated with a report at once.
    • Policy violations summary resource to be customizable.
    • Export violation details with the compliance report.
  • Security Improvements
    • Report vulnerabilities for Cisco IOS
    • The default NCM Role is None for a new Orion account.
  • New config change templates out of the box
  • Store device templates in the database

 

More information can be found in the twin post in the Product Blog: The specified item was not found..

You can find the installation packages in your customer portal. This service release:

 

  • Upgrades Orion Platform (2014.2.1):
    This version includes the latest Orion Platform features and versions of existing components.
  • Includes a Parameter for Specifying a Password Prompt in Device Templates:
    This version enables you to specify the password prompt issued by a device as part of the device template, in case NCM is having trouble recognizing the device's prompt (for example, due to unsupported characters).
  • Enhances Support for SWIS Connections:
    The version modifies NCM software to process SWIS connections to any poller.
  • Accounts for the SolarWinds Alerting Service V2:
    This version fixes a problem with the NCM installer not shutting down a specific Orion Platform service.
  • Restores Test Button:
    This version fixes an error with Test button in Edit Properties resource for a node.
  • Enforces Reserved Words:
    In this version NCM ignores custom property names that include reserved words.
  • Moves a Data Migration Module:
    This version fixes a bug related to the location of data migration code module.
  • Restores "Overall Policy Violations" Resource:
    This release resolves a problem that prevents this resource from displaying.
  • Supports SQL Server 2012 SP2:
    NCM now supports this version of SQL Server.

 

Further details and list of fixed issues can be found in the release notes.

You can find the installation packages in your customer portal. This service release:

 

  • Upgrades Orion Platform:
    This version includes the latest Orion Platform features and versions of existing components.
  • Enables Storing of Config Archives on Network Share:
    This version more effectively enables storing your growing archive of device configs on a permissioned network share.
  • Maintains Job Logs:
    The database maintenance job now remove job logs of a specified size and age.
  • Removes Unnecessary Node Information:
    Orion Platform nodes no longer have a Configs subview under Node Details.

 

Further details and list of fixed issues can be found in the release notes.

I am happy to announce General Availability (GA) of SolarWinds Network Configuration Manager (NCM) v7.3. Above all, I would like to draw your attention to the major architectural improvement that we have implemented in this version: NCM and Core/NPM databases have been merged. This improvement:

  • Considerably simplifies installation, upgrade, and maintenance;
  • Represents one further step towards full integration with other Orion modules;
  • Is a prerequisite to the following enhancements:
    • Account limitations applied to NCM jobs.
    • Core node management page is used to add/remove devices from NCM.
    • Node sync is gone. (No more issues with NPM and NCM databases containing contradicting data.)
    • Subviews are fully supported.

In addition to the database merge, we have implemented the following improvements:

  • A completely new version of the Configuration Management page
  • EoL/EoS feature enhancements
    • Improved matching reliability for EoL/EoS.
    • EoL/EoS data includes more information.
  • Admins can clear transfers for other users.
  • Better support of Huawei devices.
  • Jobs Summary table can be sorted according to any column.
  • SWISv3 support

 

More details can be found in Network Configuration Manager v7.3 is Now GA!.

We have reached the Release Candidate (RC) status for Network Configuration Manager 7.3. RC is the last step before general availability and is a chance for existing customers to get the newest functionality before it is available to everyone else.

 

Here is the content of this RC version:

  • NCM and NPM databases become merged
    Streamlined node management: Using a single database enables NCM to manage its nodes, adding and removing them, on the Orion Platform HOME page.
    Optimized reading and writing: Merging the NCM into the Orion Platform database, and using a single database schema, facilitates the NCM software’s use of SQL statements to efficiently manage the insertion, retrieval, and modification of data.
    Account limitations applied to jobs: Using a single database enables NCM to apply Orion Platform account limitations in creating and managing jobs.
    Subviews: Using a single database schema allows NCM to efficiently support subviews.
  • Enhanced Configuration Management
    This version introduces a much more flexible user interface for doing your configuration management work.
  • Enhanced EOL/EOS data and data management.
    NCM offers additional EOL/EOS inofrmation and higher granularity for tracking the reliability of the data.
  • Enhanced Web Console
    • Admins can clear all transfers for all users from the Transfer Status resource.
    • Jobs Summary sorts by any column in the table.
    • Users can preview the list of nodes assigned to a job when the criterion is "Dynamic".
    • NCM uses SWISv3 to manage the web console’s database transactions.


More details and screenshots can be found in Beta2 for Network Configuration Manager v7.3 is Available!

 

RC builds are made available to existing customers prior to the formal release. These are used to get customer feedback in production environments and are fully supported. If you have any questions, I encourage you to leverage the NCM RC forum.


You will find the latest version on your customer portal in the Release Candidate section.

We have completed the bulk of the development effort and are now focused on testing the latest release of Network Configuration Manager (NCM); NCM v7.3 has reached Beta status. This is your chance to install the latest version and provide feedback on the new features and fixes. Providing feedback during the beta is the best way to ensure that your feedback will be incorporated in to the release. To participate, simply fill out this survey and you will be sent the download links for the Beta. Remember, Betas cannot be installed in production and you cannot upgrade the Beta to any other future versions.

 

The following enhancement have been added to NCM so far:

  • NCM and NPM databases merged
    • Optimized DB schema
    • Account limitations are applied to NCM jobs.
    • Core node management page is used to add/remove devices from NCM.
    • In the discovery wizard, users can choose whether to import newly discovered nodes into NCM.
    • Node Sync is gone!
    • Subviews are fully supported.
  • A completely new version of the Configuration Management page
  • EoL/EoS info on (NCM) node details page
  • Admins can now clear all transfers for all users from the Transfer Status page in the Web UI.
  • Limit policy reports for individual accounts
  • Jobs Summary table can be sorted according to any column.
  • NCM supports SWISv3 now.

 

I will be updating this blog post with more information and screenshots continuously.

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