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Geek Speak

12 Posts authored by: mungerman Employee

In Geek Speak(TM), THWACK(R) MVP Eric Hodeen raised the concern that networks are increasingly becoming vulnerable to outdated network devices like routers and firewalls, and even IoT devices now making their way into the workplace. (See Are Vulnerable Routers and IoT Devices the Achilles Heel of Your Network?) The reason, he writes, is that these devices are powered by lightweight and highly specialized operating systems that are not hardened and don’t always get patched when vulnerabilities are discovered. Eric then goes on to give several recommendations to defend against the risks these devices pose. In closing his article, Eric reminds us that security defenses rest on a combination of technical and procedural controls and that there is a direct correlation between configuration management and security management. He then makes the assertion that “perhaps one of the best security tools in your toolbox is your Network Configuration and Change Management software.” We couldn’t agree more. 

 

It’s for this very reason that Network Configuration Manager (NCM) continues to receive so many industry security awards. In late 2016, SolarWinds(R) NCM received two noteworthy awards for security management.

In November, SC Magazine recognized NCM as a 5-star “Best Buy” for Risk and Policy Management. In recognizing NCM, SC Magazine said:

 

“Simple to deploy, very clean to use, and SolarWinds’ decades of experience with internet-working devices—especially Cisco(R) —really shows.” 

 

  You can read the full article here

 

In December GSN recognized SolarWinds NCM as the Best Compliance/Vulnerability Assessment Solution as part of its 2016 Homeland Security Award. The GSN Awards are designed to recognize the most innovative, important technologies and strategies by U.S. and International IT and Cybersecurity companies, Physical Security companies, and Federal, State, County and Municipal Government Agencies. 

 

You can review all GSN award winners here

 

Network security and compliance is a never-ending job. Bad actors devise new hacks, new software mean new vulnerabilities, and network changes bring new security controls. Manually doing everything needed to make your network secure and compliant no longer works. This is where NCM can help you to: 

 

  • Standardize configurations based on policy
  • Immediately identify configuration changes
  • Create detailed vulnerability and compliance reports
  • Remediate vulnerabilities and policy violations

 

Using NCM is like having an experienced security engineer on staff.  So don’t just do the work of network security and compliance—automate it using NCM to get more done.  

To learn more or to try NCM for 30 days, please visit the NCM product page.

 

Do you use NCM to improve your network security and compliance?  Share your story below.

Earlier this year we conducted a survey and asked you what it’s like managing DHCP, DNS, and IP addresses. We received over 200 responses from the thwack community.  Among the many findings, we observed that on average you’re spending about 40 hrs. each month using rudimentary tools to manage roughly 2,000 IPs.

 

Let’s put this into perspective. The largest hospital in the US has beds to accommodate 2,272 patients. Does it seem rational that a hospital should use something as rudimentary as a spreadsheet to track its patients?  Imagine the many details—name, room, physician, illness, etc. Of course not, it’s unthinkable! The chaos resulting from this could be easily avoided. Well, why do we manage thousands of IP addresses and details with something as limited as a spreadsheet? 

 

Coming back to our survey, our respondents told us they spend most of their time managing DHCP and DNS configurations, troubleshooting IP-related problems, and maintaining documentation of IP addresses. Not surprisingly, they said they wanted these tasks to be less complex. This is where SolarWinds IP Address Manager (IPAM) can help because it’s designed to let you easily manage DHCP, DNS, and IP subnets and addresses by offering three primary functions:

 


Manage IP Address Blocks

IP address management begins with knowing what address blocks and addresses are available to use. SolarWinds IPAM makes this effortless by automatically discovering your subnets. SolarWinds IPAM will then look within each subnet to identify what IPv4 and IPv6 addresses are in use. It’s all automatic and very accurate. No more spreadsheets to maintain! With an accurate inventory, it’s now trivial to find open addresses or reclaim unused addresses. Say goodbye to IP conflicts or perpetually low address pools.

 


Manage DHCP and DNS

SolarWinds IPAM overlays your existing Microsoft, Cisco, and Internet Systems Consortium (ISC) DHCP and DNS servers and presents you with one consistent management interface. Plus, SolarWinds IPAM integrates many DHCP, DNS and IP address management tasks together. Now it’s trivial to find and assign a new server a reserved DHCP IP address and create the necessary DNS host records. Additionally, you have maximum flexibility to add, remove, replace or even consolidate DHCP and DNS services with minimal disruption and re-training. 

 


Monitoring and Troubleshooting

SolarWinds IPAM actively monitors critical IP resources and events so you don’t have to and only alerts you when potential problems occur. SolarWinds IPAM provides a customizable dashboard that summarizes information like IP conflicts, high utilization subnets and scopes, mismatched DNS entries, or other DHCP, DNS and IP configuration changes that occur. It's a great way to view your most significant static and dynamic subnets at a glance.  Plus SolarWinds IPAM helps troubleshoot and resolve problems quickly. 

 


Summary

Not surprisingly, our survey takers reported that a DDI solution is essential because it helps increase mean time between failures (MTTF) and improves mean time to recovery (MTTR). Purpose-built tools like SolarWinds IPAM can help you reduce the time and complexity required to manage DHCP, DNS and IP addresses.



Want to learn more?


 

Network outages due to configuration errors are common in a network. However, the readiness to tackle such instances and minimize network downtime depends on the administrator.

 

The critical need when an outage occurs is to identify, find, and correct configuration issues in a matter of minutes.  And, this is why SolarWinds Network Configuration Manager (NCM) integration with SolarWinds Network Performance Manager (NPM) is one of the compelling needs for disaster recovery preparedness. 


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NPM & NCM Duo Takes You From Problem to Resolution in Just 7 Clicks!



For example, consider the following scenario. NPM alerts you when a critical router interface is pegged at 90% utilization.


  1. You are in NCM where you instantly spot a config change alert (‘Config Change Notification’ must be pre-configured in NCM). 
  2. The ‘Main Node Details’ page reveals the exact problem that there was a config change made recently.
  3. ‘Compare Configs’ to check for changes between the ‘new’ and the ‘working’ config. Changes are highlighted in a block on the config code (changes could be - in the interface speed or QoS policy or anything else).
  4. Select the device from the ‘Configuration Management’ page to view configuration and node details.
  5. Click on the ‘Upload’ button to select the right configuration file revert changes made earlier
  6. Click ‘Upload’ to push the last-know-good config.
  7. Click ‘Transfer Status’ to view status of upload and problem solved!

 

Having all of your configurations stored, catalogued, and backed up allows you to recover from a hardware failure in minutes instead of hours of grueling work.  With NCM, it actually takes longer to physically rack and wire replacement network gear than it takes to get your device back to its pre-disaster status!


An NCM customer related the following story to us.


When we had a switch (Cisco Catalyst 4507R) fail in one of our larger offices it took down 240 ports on our network. This this included phones, computers, wireless devices, printers, etc. on an entire floor.  No wireless, no phones, no printing, no computer connections – nothing for an entire floor! It actually took us longer to remove and replace the physical hardware than it did for us to recover from our last known good configuration. Putting it down to numbers it’s something like this:


    • Time to drive replacement gear to office: 2 hrs
    • Time to remove and re-rack the replacement hardware: 1 hr
    • Time to get the switch back online with the proper configuration: 5 min
    • Time for the local team to plug all the network cables back into the switch: Not My Problem!


Integrated solutions are hard, but monitoring configuration changes and recording this information is extremely useful to determine if a configuration change is the cause of a network outage. So, instead of just collecting device configuration (backup) at a specific time each day, you can configure NCM to alert you every time there is a config change. This means you can immediately determine if a reported issue coincides with a configuration change and if it did, push the previous configuration to replace the new one and Bob’s your Uncle – the network is back!

 


In sum, you can’t always prevent network outages from happeningbut you can sure be proactive by following best practices and tackle incidents with least amount of network downtime. Take necessary steps for disaster recovery preparedness and when there is a network incident – you’re ready to roll!


What similar NPM/NCM stories do you have?  Please share them with us here!


Introduction


Today we conclude our seven part series discussing how to use a handful of overlooked best practices to improve network configuration management.  Over the course of these posts we have highlighted the difficulty involved in managing hundreds or even thousands of switches and managing complex configurations consisting of hundreds of command-line statements.  The probability for human error is high. Even the smallest of errors can adversely affect service. Therefore, every step must be taken to get it right.  This is where Network Configuration Manager (NCM) and our five overlooked best practices come into play.

 

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Control Change


Today we’ll look at best practice #5 which advocates using a well-defined change control process for reviewing, approving and making changes to your device configurations and a process for tracking device end-of-life (EOL).  The reason why this practice is so powerful is because once you have spent a great deal of time and effort implementing and stabilizing your configurations, you want to maintain that stability even as your environment evolves.  Changes will be necessary so why not maintain them in a controlled fashion?

 

For this best practice, there are four activities we recommend you consider adding to your management regiment.  These four activities are:

 

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The first step is to create a baseline.  To baseline a configuration is to create an internal standard that allows you to measure other configurations and future changes by.  So it goes without saying that your baselines should be error-free and stable.  Once you designate a configuration baseline then you can detect changes and determine whether those changes followed your change control processes.

 

 

Which is a great segue into our next practice – creating a well-disciplined change control process.  Ideally you want to be able to review and approve all changes prior to implementing them in your production network.  This is useful if you have teams of admins or engineers doing work.  Using a change control process will help coordinate activities between teams.  Or you may have less experienced admins or engineers making changes.  Again, a formal change control process will allow you to review all changes and detect and fix errors before the change is made.

 

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Our next best practice suggests using automation to deploy configuration changes – especially if the change needs to be deployed across many systems.  Using automation can help ensure the change is made the very same way and error free.  Automation is your friend.

 

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The last recommendation deals with using change control to manage end-of-life (EOL) hardware devices.  You may be wondering why tracking EOL devices is so important.  We’ll it is and for the following reasons:

 

  • Excessive Support Costs. The primary driver for increasing support costs for EOL hardware is due to vendor end-of-sale and end-of-life policies.  As a device approaches end-of-life the support services can become both explicitly and implicitly more expensive. Failure to secure or renew a maintenance agreement before critical end-of-life dates expire will prevent you from receiving vendor technical support and maintenance upgrades.  Therefore you may be forced to develop or maintain more expensive in-house skills or contract externally for needed services.
  • Regulatory Non-compliance. Non-conformance costs will become an issue if the device is unable to achieve control objectives defined by your policies.  This may be due to a lack of technical capability or because the device is no longer able to receive updates that address security vulnerabilities.
  • Business Disruption. This risk often produces a broad spectrum of affects caused by catastrophic device failure and can lead to business disruption and accompanying lost revenue and/or brand damage.  These problems are amplified when remediation occurs with a legacy device that consumes even more time because spares cannot be located or the replacement device requires extensive install and configuration effort.
  • Diminished Productivity. IT technology is a significant business productivity driver.  Therefore when new IT technologies are not adopted and utilized then opportunity costs may negatively affect bottom-line financial performance.  This problem is also realized when the business wants to expand service only to discover that the underlying infrastructure won’t support the business requirements because it is no longer supported.  This discovery then forces unplanned expenditures and cost overruns.

 

By carefully tracking EOL hardware you can work to eliminate these problems.

 

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Summary

 

Experience informs us that when we follow these overlooked practices that you can eliminate network downtime.  And if you are the one who introduces your teams to these practices and are noticed for it, then you will likely find favor with your boss – which is always a good thing when you want to ask for a raise. 

 

Of course SolarWinds can help you with NCM v7.2.  SolarWinds Network Configuration Manager (NCM) is a network configuration management solution.  NCM is part of the SolarWinds Orion Management platform.  The Orion platform offers integrated network performance monitoring, systems and application monitoring, network configuration management, security event monitoring and more.  Using Network Configuration Manager, you can increase efficiency, reduce network downtime and manage configuration compliance by managing and automating major configuration management and change management tasks.

 

Why not try it today.  Click here to download your free 30-day trial!

 

 

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

 

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Introduction


This is part six of a seven part series discussing how to use a handful of overlooked best practices to improve network configuration management.  Why?  Human error is the leading cause of network downtime.  Eliminate the error with these overlooked practices and you not only improve network up-time but also prove to the boss you are a natural born leader!


Today we’ll look at best practice #4 which recommends auditing your configurations for standards compliance.

 

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How Configuration Compliance Can Help

 

Our objective with an audit is to ensure compliance to all applicable policy standards.  There are a variety of security policies and standards that each organization may chose to follow.  Most all of these are designed to protect the confidentiality, integrity and availability of company systems, data and other resources. 

 

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Many of the standards we implement are based on industry requirements, internal risk mitigation measures and other “best practices”.  These standards are expressed as controls which are implemented as configuration settings.  Therefore, by auditing selected configuration settings you can determine your compliance to those standards you follow.


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Summary

 

Audits are notoriously unpleasant.  They are time consuming and often reveal shortcomings that can reflect poorly on managers and administrators alike.  However, for many they are a fact of life.  By regularly reviewing your own audit reporting you can discover problems before they are noted by the auditor.  Therefore, when proactively finding and correcting violations you can dramatically reduce risk and receive higher scores.


Looking forward to our review of the remaining post, we will take a look at practice #5 which deals with using change controls to manage changing business requirements and configuration updates. In the meantime, if you've joined this discussion in progress, you can visit our earlier postings.  You can also learn what new in our recently releases NCM v7.2 or 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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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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Introduction


We began this series by describing network configuration management as “hours of boredom punctuated by moments of terror” -- meaning that manually configuring hundreds or even thousands of routers and switches can be sheer boredom.  But make a single mistake and that boredom suddenly turns into frantic search to find out what went wrong!  But what’s even potentially worse is having to own the mistake.  Which brings us to the reasons for this series.  You can turn disaster into opportunity by showing your peers how to avoid these all-to-common problems.  Which is why we introduced five best practices and why discusses the first of these last week.

 

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How Standardization Can Help


Today we’ll look at practice #2 which deals with standardizing your configurations.  The reason why you want to standardize your configurations is because you want to improve uniformity which reduces potential error.  To achieve this objective, here a three ideas you can start with.


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The first recommendation looks at how you remotely access your devices and standardize those methods which include the device login information, communication protocol and IP service ports.  By standardizing how you remotely access devices you can accomplish the following:


  • Make sure all devices are accessed using a secure communication protocol
  • Make sure all devices are not using vendor supplied ID’s and passwords and that all passwords are strong and conform to your security policy
  • Make sure all account ID’s and passwords are synchronized and easily and routinely updated


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The second and third recommendations calls for using script-based templates to standardize and automate complex configuration changes. Using templates is an excellent way to reduce error because you can spend time developing and testing the template and then consistently applying it to a number of network devices.  You can use templates to perform routine tasks like changing VLAN memberships by port, configure device interfaces and enable a variety services like IPSLA, NetFlow and more. In addition to building a template, you can also schedule their execution to perform ongoing changes.  By using templates you are able to improve configuration management in the following ways:


  • Reduce hundreds of command statements into a single script that can be tested and consistently applied error-free to as many devices as required
  • Perform repetitive tasks with consistency


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Summary


To summarize, when you standardize your management of device configurations you introduce uniformity which is key when working with hundreds or thousands of devices and hundreds of unique configuration commands per device.  This standardization will help drive down human error and result in more network up-time.


Next post, we will look at practice #3 which deals with ways to protect your device configurations from harmful changes.  In the meantime, have you taken the opportunity to play with the interactive online NCM demo?  Try it here.  You can also download a 30-day trial that is fully-functional and start implementing these recommendations right now.


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

 

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Introduction


In our last post we talked about a couple of key points.  First, because many of us live in a “ready, fire, aim” world we often don’t have the time to plan what we do before we act.  This is a problem that can be corrected by improving some of our management processes.  Second, because of this we suggested reviewing a governance framework, like ITIL, to capture some ideas on where and how to improve IT management processes. And finally, we introduced our “overlooked” network configuration practices.  These practices complement our improved processes, by taking a more holistic approach to network configuration management.  

 

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Today we will dive into the first of these best practices – to inventory and profile network systems. This best practice is further divided in these activities:

 

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How Network Inventory Can Help

 

Our objective for this first practice is to identify all devices under management.  With hundreds of network devices on your network its important to know about each device.  To make this a realistic task, you need tools that will perform an automatic discovery scan of your network and build a database of devices.  From here you will want to organize these devices (by vendor, location or some other way) and begin to collect and manage useful details about each device. 

 

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For example, what is the device serial number?  Where is it located, Who is the primary point of contact, when will it no longer be vendor supported?  Has budget been secured for a replacement?

 

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Its very helpful to have this information saved as part of the device profile.  This makes it easier to maintain one authoritative source and share it with others throughout the organization.  If this information is incomplete or managed external to the device profile (perhaps using a spreadsheet) then extra work is required to keep it current and to protect the integrity of the data from becoming out of sync due to multiple document versions.

 

Consider the following examples:

 

  • Firmware upgrade.  Being able to easily identify which devices need and are compatible with the upgrade and which devices were successfully upgraded.
  • Maintenance Audit.  Easily determine if there is agreement between devices installed and devices covered under the maintenance agreement.
  • End of Service.  Easily identify which devices are no longer vendor supported and should be replaced.  Has budget been requested and approved?  Have resources been scheduled to retire the device?

 

Summary

 

By following this best practice, you are taking a first important step to holistically manage network configuration by creating a sound foundation that can serve to make informed decisions.   Of course by doing this, you will look like a genius and in the process being to start driving down the human error that leads to network downtime.  Both of which are really great things to be recognized for and certainly will help getting that next great job promotion.

 

In our next post we will explore  the best practice of deploying standardized device configurations. In the meantime, review past posts on this topic (Part 1, 2) or download give NCM a try.

 

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

 

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Introduction


In our last post we talked about how muffing a device configuration could be one of those dreaded career limiting moves.  It’s easy to do. There are over 17,000 Cisco IOS commands.  How’s your average network admin to know the difference between Clock Rate vs. Bandwidth and Process-ID vs. ASN?   Well fortunately, there’s a better way if you’re willing to learn a few new skills.

 

How Best Practices Can Help


Many of us, we live in a “ready, fire, aim” world.  We are under tremendous under pressure to get things done fast -- so fast that we don’t have time to aim first and then fire!  What does this have to do with network configuration? This – most technical problems aren’t solved using technology alone. Resilient solutions take a combination of technology and process.  While others are firing and missing, use this opportunity to step forward and propose some meaningful changes to your process.  A good place to look for process ideas is an IT governance framework like ITIL.  Most teams recognize the need for improvement and you’ll be well regarded for making needed recommendations.

 

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Another helpful perspective is to adopt a holistic approach to solving the problem. Take a broader approach. Which leads us to our overlooked network configuration practices.

 

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Summary


These practices support good process and will allow you to take an effective comprehensive approach helping you to 1) identify devices and protect working configurations, 2) know what changed and when, 3) know when device configurations are out of compliance with standards and practices, and finally 4) recover from harmful changes or catastrophic failure quickly.  In summary these practices will help you reduce human error, be more productive and improve network availability – the stuff great promotions are made of.

 

In our next post we will explore each of these practices in more detail and talk not only about specific objectives, but also specific actions to take to achieve these objectives.

 

In the meantime, if you missed our first post, you can catch up by reading it here or take an hour and install and evaluate the newest release of NCM 7.2 here.


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

 

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Introduction

 

Network configuration management could be described as “hours of boredom punctuated by moments of terror.” Certainly it’s no fun to remote into a couple hundred routers or switches and manually enter config commands. And it’s absolutely terrifying to watch one of those teeny-tiny changes ripple into a full-blown network disaster! But it can happen all too easily. Unfortunately getting fingered for having fat fingers doesn't improve your career prospects either. But rest easy. This doesn't have to happen to you.


This seven-part series will explore frequently overlooked, yet proven and highly effective, network configuration practices that will help keep your network humming, users happy, and possibly make you the stuff of which career fast-track legends are made of.


The Problem


Today we’ll start by talking about why network configuration errors are the leading cause of network downtime. Next week we’ll explore what needs to be done, and in the remaining posts we’ll dive into the specific practices that too many network engineers and admins overlook at their own peril. So let’s begin.


It’s a well-publicized fact that the number one cause of network failure is human error – the kind of error that results in device misconfiguration and produces 80% of network downtime. One thing this statistic makes certain is that we all need to eliminate human error.

 

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You might be asking yourself, “What’s the big deal if the network is down for 5 minutes here and 10 minutes there?” Simply put, all of those many small outages add up to one huge expense.


If you've been working to improve network availability, then you know how difficult it can be achieve 100% network uptime. While an annual uptime of 99.9% is good, it still represents about nine hours of network downtime a year.  And with downtime costs ranging from $100K to $300K per hour, this represents $900 thousand to $2.7 million a year in unnecessary expense. Not exactly packet change. 

 

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If network availability is so important, then why can’t more organizations achieve 100% uptime?


There are three primary reasons why: lack of standardization, sheer quantity and diversity of devices, and the complexity of the configuration command set.


Today’s networks are large, very complex, and may utilize thousands of network devices including firewalls, routers, switches and more. To make things even more complicated, network devices can come from a variety of vendors and each has its own unique rule set. Furthermore, many devices use a remote command line interface (CLI) where each command must be entered separately. On top of that, many devices use hundreds of complex command statements. (Did you know there are roughly 17,000 Cisco® IOS commands?) Finally, there is no end-to-end view.  Each device is administered separately without any insight into how a change to a firewall can affect a down-line router or switch.


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Summary


Like an intricate mosaic, your network has many tiny pieces which all must fit and work together perfectly.  There is no margin for error.  If everything doesn’t work just right, then your network breaks and when it does the business is also broken.


What has been your experience? Leave a comment and add to the discussion. In our next post, we’ll talk about what the ideal solution is and introduce often overlooked best practices that can help improve network availability.


In the meantime, check out this video showing how a Cisco network engineer uses SolarWinds Network Configuration Manager (NCM) to make complex network changes easily and accurately or Download and evaluate a 30-day fully functioning version of NCM today.




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

 

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If you've been working to improve network availability (MTBF and MTTR) then you know how difficult it can be.  While an annual up-time of 99.9% is stellar, it nevertheless equals nearly nine hours of network downtime.  And with downtime costs ranging from $100K to $300K per hour this represents $900 thousand to $2.7 million a year in unnecessary expense.  Not exactly packet change. So whether you’re striving for “four nines” (99.99%) or looking for high impact ways to improve efficiency, it can really pay to learn how configuration management can help.

 

Next Tuesday, August 20, at 10am CDT, Francois Caron, Product Management Director at SolarWinds and Edward Bender, Head Federal Systems Engineer at SolarWinds, will be presenting a webinar packed with valuable tips and insights entitled Network Configuration Manager: Working to Eliminate the #1 Cause of Network Down-time. Here they will talk about the best practices we've identified to help improve network availability using network configuration management.

 

Here are just a few of topics they’ll be covering


  1. How to build a great profile inventory of network devices networ
  2. Why standardization can help reduce configuration errors and improve maintainability
  3. What can be done to protect configurations from unwanted changes
  4. Ways to bring out-of-service devices back into service quickly
  5. How to automate device updates, changes and end-of-life tasks
  6. How to more easily create compliance reports
  7. Ideas on how to tune-up your change control processes

 

If you've ever wanted to improve network availability or better manage device configurations, then this event will give you the insights you need.  This is a free webinar.  Please plan to join us Tuesday, August 20th at 10am CDT by registering now.

What is the value of network configuration management and change control?  Perhaps it depends on who you ask. Senior managers will cite reliability, compliance and performance benefits.  Network administrators will talk about how easy it makes their jobs. The reality is that managing device configurations in a complex, heterogeneous network can be like the hamster wheel of pain: Every network change = network risk and the cycle is never ending.  It’s hard to mitigate this risk without a best practices framework, which is why it should come as no surprise that the #1 cause of network downtime is actually due to configuration errors!

 

Remember your old networking 101 classes?  BYOD, Virtualization, Cloud Computing and SDN have certainly changed the way we manage networks today, but the reality is that errors resulting from routine configuration changes are still the most common and costly reliability problem with networks today.  Fortunately, it is possible to easily prevent these errors by adopting a few universal best practices based on familiar IT governance frameworks like ITIL.

 

In this video, Dex Manley, Product Manager at SolarWinds, offers five best practices for maintaining a high availability network. We hope you find it to be a helpful guide and reminder for ways to make your configuration management process smoother and more efficient overall.

 

 

In this video you’ll also get a intro to the NEW SolarWinds Network Configuration Manager V7.2.  Make sure to take a look at cool new features like EOL too!

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