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Network Configuration Manager (NCM) 2020.2 is Now Generally Available

Welcome to 2020.2 Network Configuration Manager!


            It is my pleasure to announce that the NCM 2020.2 is now available in your customer portal.  

Version 2020.2 is the next release following NCM 2019.4 and is compatible with Orion Platform 2020.2

What's New?

Parallel firmware upgrade operations are now possible with 2020.2 NCM!  You asked and we listened  

Check it out on the live demo now!

NCM Firmware upgrade operations now can run in parallel instead of sequentially as it was before.

Upgrade on individual nodes in the scope of single operation still run sequentially. Running parallel upgrade is possible only if you create two or more separate operations.

How to use the feature

Create two or more Firmware upgrade operations with your own unique set of nodes for each one. These operations will run in parallel which will speed up the total time needed for an upgrade.




By default, NCM allows you to start 5 upgrade operations at the same time. This number can be changed on the Firmware Upgrade Settings page:


The upgrade operation can be executed in parallel only if you've selected a firmware upgrade template that supports a parallel upgrade.  Almost all of the default firmware upgrade templates were updated to support a parallel upgrade.  Only the EtherWAN template does not support it at this time.

If there is a firmware upgrade template that does not support a parallel upgrade the upgrade operation will wait for all other pending upgrades to finish and then run sequentially.  All custom firmware upgrade templates already created by customers (THWACK) do not support a parallel upgrade by default.

How to make a custom firmware template support parallel upgrade:

To make a firmware template support parallelism you'll need to update the upgrade, backup, and upgrade image commands to contain a subfolder name on TFTP/SCP server where to copy/take an image from instead of copying it into server root as it was before. This needs to be done to avoid file collision if devices from several upgrade operations will simultaneously start to upload or download the same image file to TFTP or SCP server.

Use ${SubFolder} macro for the backup and upgrade commands instead of hardcoding subfolder names. NCM will resolve that macro to a unique subfolder automatically as well as automatically create that subfolder on the TFTP server.

An example where to insert macro for Cisco devices:

copy ${TransferProtocol}://${StorageAddress}/${SubFolder}/${NewImageName} ${NewImageSlot}${CRLF}${CRLF}dir ${NewImageSlot} ${SuccessRegEx:${NewImageName}}

NCM detects parallel upgrade templates by checking for the presence of the ${SubFolder} macro for the backup and upload image commands. However, it's on you for the responsibility to put the above macro in the correct place inside the copy command. 


UI Improvement

We redesigned the Upgrade Operation Options wizard step to allow easier confirming of nodes. There's no longer a need to click on every node to confirm. (thank goodness right?)  You just select multiple nodes on the left side and click the confirm button:


Orion live demo showcase!

Security Changes

Previously only Orion Admins with NCM Administrator role were allowed to run Firmware upgrade operations. Now any NCM user with NCM WebUploader role or higher is able to run upgrade.  (Orion Admin rights with NCM Administrator role is still required to manage firmware upgrade templates.)

NCM Provides current End-of-Sale and End-of-Life data for Cisco Devices

The new formatting of the Cisco database has been adjusted within NCM to allow accurate EoS and EoL.

Take me to the demo!

NCM has been localized for German and Japanese languages.

Platform Awareness:

With the NCM, comes some fantastic new updates & enhancements to the Orion Platform which include: 

Watch the forum for updates, even if you're not able to install now. The product team will continue to release new documents detailing our deep dives of the mentioned features. If there's one you're particularly interested in, mention it in the comments!


What's Next

Looking for what we'll be working on next?  Don't see something you really need? Advocate for the features you want in NCM Feature Requests

  • Awesome UI improvement  - can't wait to implement.   I wish I could take advantage of the automated firmware upgrades.  Due to the nature of my business, 911, we have to be physically connected to what we are upgrading, with backup plan in hand.  

    I got wind of the available upgrade after I was able to THWACK again! (COVID interfered tremendously)

    This is the first time I have had a chance to actually read about the product upgrades, so thanks for the information!  

  •  glad you're back in THWACK land   Completely understand the physically connected while upgrading.  There are a lot of security protocols that require that.

  • upgrade was a piece of cake!  What meant more to me was a kind word from you .... you are a true Hero!  You inspire me!    Thanks for all the great information - I actually upgraded during one of Kevin's webinars!  The upgrade platform is unbelievable - great work everyone!!!  There will be no more scratch installs for me!  I took the oath to keep all my Solarwinds products up to date.

    Not to mention the improved performance in 2020.x.. like WOW!

    You don't know how much I am cheesing!!