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.

 

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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.

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

  • Fixes a bug that causes problems with scheduled jobs when config wizard was aborted.
  • Enables the user to add devices to an existing scheduled job.
    Note: The user interface for selecting individual nodes supports up to about 1,000 nodes.
  • Enhances the flexibility of device templates by providing the possibility to specify the "newline" character.

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

 

  • Upgrades the Job Engine to a new version (2.6.0.17).
  • Patches a memory leak that causes scheduled jobs to fail when the targeted node count is high (5K+).
  • Tunes jobs logging. The job results can be saved to a file.
  • Improves error messaging related to the NCM application failing to start or a database create/upgrade operation failing to complete.

 

Details can be found in the release notes.

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