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5 Posts authored by: jeff.stewart Expert

There has been a lot of focus on security lately in the news and rightfully soSeemingly each week there’s news of companies being hacked, data being stolen, and mass DDoS attacks.  With the amount of news on this topic I sometimes wonder if companies are actually taking the steps to protect themselves.  Granted, taking the proper steps to protect your network can be time consuming and tedious work, of which most engineers don’t have time for.  Well times are a-changing and now with SolarWinds Network Configuration Manager 7.6 and the new Firmware Upgrade feature---Everyone Has Time for That!

 

Before I start to dig into the new features of NCM 7.6, let’s back up and talk about a previous version of NCM (7.4) where SolarWinds introduced the Firmware Vulnerabilities feature.   This feature leverages the National Vulnerability Database to notify NCM users when they’re running firmware that potentially has a serious vulnerability.

Network Configuration Manager Vulnerability Summary

 

Vulnerability Details

 

 

I’ve received a lot of really positive feedback about this feature but the obvious question that always comes up after I show it to customers is; “Can SolarWinds fix this for me?”.  Historically I would have said, Yes, using the Network Configuration Manager and the amazing scripting technologies you can upgrade your firmware.  Well, now I’m pleased to say I can answer that question differently.  Using the new Firmware Upgrade Wizard in NCM 7.6 you can upgrade one or many of your Cisco IOS devices.

 

According to Cisco documentation there are 11 steps needed to complete a firmware upgrade on your Cisco IOS devices.  While 11 steps don’t sound too bad there are actually several sub-steps which drag this process out to over 40 tasks users must complete to upgrade a SINGLE device.  Seriously, who has time for that?  We here at SolarWinds decided we could save our users time and the misery of completing these upgrades by simplifying this process while adding a bit of automation.

 

 

 

NCM Firmware Upgrade Wizard

 

 

The new Firmware Upgrade feature in NCM contains a 3-step process of upgrading your devices.  During this process, we will collect a wealth of data about the devices you want to upgrade, including several important settings and of course we will ensure there is enough free space to successfully transfer your new image.  In addition, we will automatically backup running and startup configuration files and do a comparison after the upgrade has completed.  We’ve taken the necessary steps to make this process as smooth and safe as possible.  

 

 

 

After you’ve verified all of the settings and options you can then proceed to run the upgrade immediately or schedule it for a later date.  You can always keep track of the upgrade process on the Firmware Upgrade Operations page.  Hopefully you’ll agree that this is a much-improved process to the standard method of upgrading your Cisco IOS devices.  Ready to give this a try?  You can find the Release Candidate in your customer portal if you’re under active maintenance for NCM.  Otherwise you’ll have to wait until the official release of NCM 7.6.

 

Everyone Has Time for That!

No Lines, No Waiting, No Rainchecks - SolarWinds NCM 7.6 Beta 1 is now available!

 

The NCM Engineering team has been busy preparing this exclusive SolarWinds NCM beta ahead of Black Friday!  Packed with some amazing new functionality, this beta can be yours to test over the long holiday weekend.  If you were looking for that perfect reason to avoid the In-Laws, SolarWinds NCM has delivered.  I can't give away all of the details, but this beta includes some of the features listed here; What We Are Working On for NCM after v7.7 (Updated on September 19, 2017).

 

Click the link below to sign up.

button_solarwinds-ncm-7-6-beta-1.png
Must be under active maintenance for NCM to gain access.

 

 

 

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All active beta participates who provide feedback will be awarded 3,000 THWACK points!

We are pleased to announce the general availability of Netflow Traffic Analyzer 4.2.

 

This version includes the following enhancements:

 

Netflow Traffic Analyzer 4.2 is available for download in your customer portal for those customers under active Netflow Traffic Analyzer maintenance. 

 

You can view the full set of release notes, including problems that were resolved here.

We are pleased to announce the general availability of Network Configuration Manager 7.5.

 

This version includes the following enhancements:

 

Network Configuration Manager 7.5 is available for download in your customer portal for those customers under active Network Configuration Manager maintenance. 

 

You can view the full set of release notes, including problems that were resolved here.

We are pleased to announce the general availability of Kiwi CatTools 3.11.

 

This version includes the following enhancements:

  • IPv6 support
  • SSL/TLS email support
  • Variations for HP.Switch.2500, RedHat Linux, Checkpoint VPN & Huawei General
  • HP Procurve software updates
  • ARP report support for Checkpoint firewalls.

 

Kiwi CatTools 3.11 is available for download in your customer portal for those customers under active Kiwi CatTools maintenance.

 

You can view the full set of release notes, including problems that were resolved here.

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