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

 

Let's take a look at the most important benefits of this release in detail.

 

Making Life Easier with a Single Database

  1. Simpler node management -- You don't have to manage your NCM nodes in two different places; all you need is now covered by the NPM/Core node management page.

    Node-Management.png

  2. Easier product configuration -- There is only one (Orion) configuration wizard now. You don't have to enter two different database credentials in two different configuration tools.
  3. Account limitations applied to jobs -- Not only are the limitations respected by NCM jobs; you are no longer required to have full Orion admin permissions to manage NCM scheduled jobs. All you need is NCM Administrator or Engineer roles. The job uses permissions and limitations of the user account that modified it last.

    Jobs-Summary.PNG
  4. Subviews -- Using a single database schema allows NCM to efficiently support subviews. You can easily switch between information about the same device from different Orion modules.

    Node-Details.png

Smoother Config Management Workflows

Do you want to perform a series of actions on the same set of devices? Are you missing the node tree from the Win32 NCM application in the Web Console? Or do you find the current Configuration Management page in the Web Console a bit cumbersome?

If you have answered "Yes" at least once, you are going to love our brand new Configuration Management UI:

 

Config-Management.PNG

 

Compare-Configs.PNG

 

With this new UI you can:

  • Group the nodes according up to three criteria including node properties, custom properties, device status etc.
  • Cover complex scenario with the same set of nodes. The node selection is persistant -- you can switch between groups of nodes, check transfer status, take different actions -- and the selection stays the same.
  • Proceed with your workflow without interruption -- most of the actions are performed in popup windows.
  • Save your scripts and re-use them later.

 

More Efficient End-of-Life Management (now with color coding!)

We have extended the EoL data with product part numbers for Cisco, in this release. Therefore, NCM is able to find the EoL information for your devices much more easily; all you have to do for this procedure to work is update inventory. Then you will see highly reliable data (marked green).

 

EoL-green.PNG

 

As a bonus, you will get Replacement Part Number and End of Software Maintenance information.