We have reached the Release Candidate (RC) status for Network Configuration Manager (NCM) 7.4. RC is the last step before general availability and is a chance for existing customers to get the newest functionality before it is available to everyone else.

 

Update: NCM v7.4 RC2 is available on customer portal. Please note that an NCM server host with SolarWinds NPM installed cannot install or upgrade to NCM 7.4 RC2 until the NPM is ugraded to NPM 11.5.2 RC1. More details can be found in NCM 7.4 RC2 is Available on Customer Portal.

 

  • Device Template Wizard
    Use the web-based wizard to create or edit a device template. NCM stores all device templates in the Orion Platform database instead of the NCM server's local file system.
  • Cisco Vulnerability Reports
    Receive alerts when the latest NIST data indicates a vulnerability in a version of Cisco device software (IOS or non-IOS) running on deployed switches, routers, and security appliances.
  • Compliance Reports
    DISA STIG, NIST FISMA, and PCI policy reports, with all necessary rules and policies already set-up, become available to run after installation.
  • Enhanced Change Approval
    Use a one tier approval workflow to allow any NCM user with the WebUploader role to submit device configuration changes to a single NCM Administrator. Use a two tier approval for non-privileged users to require two NCM Administrators to approve a device configuration change submitted by any NCM user with the WebUploader role. And use a two tier approval for all users to require two NCM Administrators to approve a device configuration change submitted by any NCM user.
  • Web-based Alerts and Reports
    Fully eliminating the NCM desktop application, NCM uses the Orion Platform alerts and reports systems, enhancing NCM's integration with other Orion Platform products.
  • Remediation of Policy Violation
    Automatically or manually remediate violations from within the Policy Report interface for all relevant blocks in a device configuration.
  • Configuration Change Auditing
    Syslog data forwarded from network devices as part of real-time change detection includes the name of the user associated with the change.

 

Extend and troubleshoot device templates easily

Device templates have been moved to the database. You can modify the templates in the Web UI and no longer have to replicate them accross your polling engines. Smooth thwack integration was a must!

In addition, we have integrated a wizard into NCM that helps you develop new templates or troubleshoot problems with the existing ones.

 

Device-Template-Management.PNG Device-Template-Wizard.PNG

 

Identify and manage firmware vulnerabilities

If network security is a concern in your organization, you should definitely use this new capability of NCM -- run a nightly vulnerability assessment based on recent CVE data provided by the National Vulnerability Database (by NIST). NCM will download and process the CVE data in a SCAP-compatible way and will notify you of potential vulnerabilities, provide detailed information and let you take an appropriate action. This security scan works even if your NCM server is not connected to the Internet -- you just have to download the datafiles manually. Complimentary reports are provided out of the box.

Note: Cisco IOS and ASA devices are supported as of now.

 

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Vulnerability-Manage.PNG Vulnerability-Settings.PNG

 

Run your favourite regulatory compliance checks out of the box

Tired of importing the obligatory reports from thwack? No longer a problem! NCM now ships the latest DISA STIG, NIST FISMA, and PCI reports out of the box. The updates also include broader vendor coverage and more detailed checks.

 

Note: If you upgrade from NCM v7.2.x to v7.4 Release Candidate, these new reports will be missing. The workaround is to upgrade from 7.2.x to 7.3.2 first and then to 7.4 RC. The problem is related to upgrades from NCM 7.2.x only; upgrades from NCM 7.3.x and clean installations are not affected. We apologoize for incovenience and work on solution for the final NCM 7.4 release.

 

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Manage your NCM reports and alerts on the web

Were you looking forward to the day when you could customize your NCM reports in the web and combine them with information from other modules? The day has come! Not only have we migrated all the existing inventory reports to the Orion reporting engine, but we have also added a decent number of new ones. The same applies to alerts.

 

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Automatic Compliance Enforcement

Maintaining your configurations compliance has never been so easy. Just configure the remediation script to be executed automatically! Works for interfaces, too.

 

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Ant that's not all -- check Network Configuration Manager v7.4 Beta2 is Available! for other improvements that cannot fit in this post.

 

RC builds are made available to existing customers prior to the formal release. These are used to get customer feedback in production environments and are fully supported. If you have any questions, I encourage you to leverage the NCM forum.

 

You will find the latest version on your customer portal in the Release Candidate section.