One of the super snazzy new features you'll find in NCM 6 is Config Change Templates. The concept is something like the Config Generator Free Tool, but much more powerful - and integrated right into NCM so you can not only generate the CLI - you can push it right out to the devices in one easy flow. We envision this having lots of applications on the power-user side of the spectrum, in that you can create some really powerful templates, save them, share them, and re-apply them at will. We also see new users finding this feature very useful, as the wizard-like interface takes a lot of the complexity out of creating basic config change scripts.
How does it work? Well, let me show you. NCM 6.0 comes out of the box with a few config change templates, along with a base template to get your started if you'd like to write your own.
1. To get started - choose a template, and click "Define Variables and Run." That will start the wizard:
2. Next, you'll be asked which nodes to apply the changes to. Just check them off, and choose "Next."
3. Then, you'll be asked to define the variables. Depending on the config change template, the variables might be drop downs as above, or they might be text fields. Click next, and the CLI will generate.
4. Once the scripts are done, click on the + sign to preview the CLI in-line, or click the link to preview it in a new window. If everything looks good, click "Execute" to run the script against the selected nodes.
5. To import shared templates from Thwack - click the tab and you can preview what is available directly from within NCM. Check the boxes next to any of them you'd like to import, click import, and they are yours!
Again, we see lots of applications for all experience levels of users. Users without advanced scripting or CLI knowledge can leverage prepackaged and shared config change yemplates to execute config changes by simply filling out a few simple variables. At the same time, advanced users can create advanced Config Change Templates that allow retrieval of inventory data and use of logic (e.g. if/then/else) and variables to make decisions. You can also quickly define the user interface used for variable definition during config change template execution (more on that in a future post).
We're not far away from GA with NCM 6.0 - stay tuned - we're excited to get everyone's feedback on the new release.