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A solution to multi-context config download with NCM (Cisco ASA, FWSM...)

NCM 7.x has several node management improvements (common with Orion Core/NPM, new Discovery Sonar…).
Due to these changes, NCM 7.x has stricter rules related to node uniqueness and duplicate nodes are not allowed anymore in NCM 7.0 (because NCM nodes are being handled by Orion Core, which does not support duplicate nodes).

This NCM 6.x capability was sometimes used to deal with devices such as the Cisco ASA, which require management of multiple contexts.

The solution in NCM 7.x (can work in NCM 6.1 as well) uses multiple Config Types:


1.       In Win32 NCM application, add a new Config Type for each context (for example Context1, Context2).

2.       Specify in your device template, how to switch to each context (see example below).

3.       Include the ${ConfigType} macro in the Reset Command.

4.       Make sure to specify the RegEx value in the Reset command. Depending on your prompt settings, the value should be '#', '>', ']', etc.

5.       Avoid using ${ConfigType} macro in the DownloadConfig command. Make sure the command is the right one, e.g. "show running-config".

Device Template Example:

<Command Name="RESET" Value="${ConfigType}" RegEx="#" />

<Command Name="Context1" Value="command to switch to Context1"  />

<Command Name="Context2" Value="command to switch to Context2 "/>

<Command Name="DownloadConfig" Value="show running-config"/>


When NCM downloads a configuration, the first command issued is the ‘Reset’ command defined in the device template.

The ${ConfigType} macros will be replaced by the appropriate switch context command, based on the config type selected for the dowload.

The context will be dynamically switched before the download command is executed.

When the context is changed, so is the prompt. In order to recognize the prompt, a regular expression (RegEx) must be used to ignore the variable part of the prompt.


Let’s assume the command mode prompt after login is : Tex-3750#

-          After switching to Context1, the command mode prompt becomes Tex-3750-Context1#.

-          After switching to Context2, the command mode prompt becomes Tex-3750-Context2#.

The RegEx to use in the reset command should match the common portion of the prompt in both contexts. In this example this could be RegEx="#".

An NCM user shared the result of his work (FWSM on NCM 6.1):

Should work the same in NCM 7.0. Thanks

Message was edited by: Jiri Cvachovec

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