Some of you have commented than NCM 7’s new architecture, leveraging Orion platform (aka Orion Core), changed a few important things, especially how they were integrating NCM with NPM and how they were adding nodes to NCM.

Our response to this, was in NCM 7.0.1 and is in NCM 7.0.2.

This blog post recaps most of these enhancements, especially those in 7.0.2 that was release today (Mar 6, 2012).

NCM 7.0.2 offers more granular control of the NCM-NPM integration:

If you are not familiar with NCM 7 deployment scenarios, we recommend to read NCM 7.0, 7.1, and 7.2 Architecture and Deployment before reading further

Some of you have commented that NCM 7.0 did not offer enough flexibility in regards to the integration of NCM and NPM. In particular:

 

  • When NCM 7.0 is installed on the same server as NPM 10.2, the NPM users now necessarily see NCM tabs and resources.

    With NCM 7.0.1 (included in 7.0.2),  it is possible to configure an Orion user account (e.g. an NPM user) in order to have no visibility of the NCM resources, by using the new NCM User Account setting NCM Role=None. See the NCM admin guide section “Setting User Account Access”, for more details.

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    Note that it is also possible to remove the NCM Configs tab by configuring your Orion user like this:

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  • NCM nodes imported into NPM/Core database are necessarily polled by Core (Node status and Statistics polling)

    To address this, we have made it possible in NCM v7.0.2, to slow down considerably the frequency of status and statistic polling for the nodes that are not supposed to be monitored, so they don’t generate any significant load on the system.

    These 2 parameter’s value can now be set to a maximum value of 32767, which means status polling performed every 9h and node statistic polling every 22 days:

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    One could think of setting the Polling method as “External Nodes” or “ICMP” to eliminate/lower the load, but the side effects are that these modes do not store SNMP credentials, which means that NCM will not be able to run Inventory reports effectively. Similarly, turning these nodes as “unmanaged”, will make it impossible for NCM to download configs or execute scripts.

     

    Usability of the NCM “Add or Manage Nodes” page has been improved

    We added “Edit Properties” and “Search” buttons as well as a more complete list of properties, usable to organize – “Group By” - the list of nodes (includes custom properties):

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    Orion‘s API has a new verb which makes it possible to programmatically insert news node into NCM 7.

    An example of a script leveraging this verb is described PowerShell script that exports Nodes from NPM and imports them into NCM (for Core 2011.2.x and before - NPM 10.2 and before) and covers the use case of extracting nodes from an Orion database (e.g. NPM nodes) and inserting them into NCM 7.0.2. This can be used to replace the scheduled job that was used before to perform similar operations.

     

    NCM 7.0.2 has a new Custom Property that identifies “NCM only nodes”

    When you have a large amount of nodes managed by NCM, that you don’t want to manage with NPM, it is helpful to be able to identify them, in order to mass-change one of their attributes (e.g. polling cycle, see above) or group them. To facilitate this, the NCM 7.0.2 synchronization creates and populates a custom property called “Imported_From_NCM”, for all nodes that were in the NCM database before the synchronization and were added to the Orion database because they did not exist in the Orion/NPM database. For these nodes, the property Imported_From_NCM is populated with the value “true”.

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    For more on 7.0.2, see the release notes