Introduction


This series takes a fun and lighthearted look at the very serious topic of how to be a rock star on your team. We all want to be respected by our fellow geeks and we all know that rock stars drive fast cars and make lots of money.  Unfortunately, making a network configuration mistake is the wrong way to attract the wrong kind to attention!  But making these kinds of mistakes is all too easy to do.  Did you know there are over 17,000 Cisco IOS commands alone?  That’s why we have introduced these five best practices to help you manage network configurations like a rock star.

 

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Configuration Backup's are Essential


Today we’ll look at practice #3 which suggests that you should defend your device configurations from unwanted or harmful changes and we we’ll offer you some ideas and tips on how to do this.

Protecting you configurations makes sense for a number of reasons.  The foremost is that once you have everything running smoothly you want to keep it that way.  But there are other reasons like being able to quickly reverse a mistake or standing up a spare replacement device following a catastrophic failure.


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In order to reverse a mistake or quickly provision a spare, you need to have a copy of the most recent device configuration to restore.  Doing backups of device configurations is one of the most popular and compelling reasons why customers purchase SolarWinds Network Configuration Manager (NCM). From a central location you can automatically and remotely backup these configurations and restore them as the need arises.


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Suggestions 2-4 relate to monitoring active configurations so you can detect changes and determine if they are intended.  If they are not intended then you have the tools to reverse the change by restoring the most recent previous configuration.  In addition to simply knowing that a change has occurred you can also isolate the change and determine if the change is merited.



Summary


When you protect your working device configurations from change you save yourself a great deal of time and effort.  Whether an unintended change occurs or a device fails you will have the tools to easily assess what has happened and have the ability to quickly restore service.


Looking forward to our next post, we will review practice #4 which deals with auditing configurations for standards compliance. In the meantime, if you've joined this discussion in progress, you can visit the other posting which are part of this series.  You can also download your own fully-functional 30-day trial and start to put these practices to work in your own network.

 

You can also find and read past posts in this 7-part series here

 

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