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Introducing the NCM 2020.2 Release Candidate

Welcome to our latest iteration of the Network Configuration Manager!

 

            It is my pleasure to announce that the NCM 2020.2 Release Candidate is now available in your customer portal.  Each release candidate is a fully tested and supported version of the product and you can upgrade current production servers while retaining your complete configuration and history.

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 😎  

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.

ncm1.png

 

 

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:

ncm3.png

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.

NCM has been localized for German and Japanese languages.

Platform Awareness:

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

  • Monitor up to 1,000,000 elements per Orion Platform instance.
    • For SAM components the limit is increased to be 550,000 components per SAM installation. 
  • An Orion Map to Success! - Orion Maps improvements, such as creating and customizing text boxes, labels, or layouts, incorporating custom icons, adding shapes, dynamic backgrounds, bulk administration, and all-new Time Travel.
  • Performance enhancements
  • Dashboards, Dashboards, Get Your Dashboards! All New Custom Summary Dashboards
  • A Gateway To Your Fastest Upgrade Ever! - Upgrade improvements, such as pre-staging upgrades, upgrade plan reports, automating upgrades via Orion SDK
  • Enhanced volume status
  • 3rd Party Language Pack Support - scripts to extract UI texts from the Orion Web Console

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!


Your Feedback Counts!

The team is incredibly interested in your feedback, and when you participate by downloading and installing the RC, you'll receive THWACK points. More importantly - your feedback shapes our products. Post your thoughts, questions, and concerns into the  NCM Release Candidate Area, and not only will you be able to get some SolarWinds swag, but we'll be watching for input to continuously drive product improvements. In addition, sometimes you'll come up with brand new feature ideas that we would want to consider for a future release. Visit our NCM Feature Requests area to tell us what you'd like to see.

@Dez 

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question: where can I report possilbe problem's with 2020.2 rc (NCM - firemwareupdates)

You can report them through a support case as you would regularly.  You can also email dau@solarwinds.com with your case number also!

 

Please let me know if you need further assistance.

~Dez~

I know this isnt the place, but Feature req- Backup jobs when emailed give the option to JUST email PDF. Unless im missing something this is the only way to send the change report and when we make a lot of changes it crashes our email. 

other question: as I run the firmewarupdate wirh 2020.2RC the parallel process is not easy to handle!

you should consider to make the parallel upgrade process global, not with some hack‘s like $SubFolder variable in some designated felds...

and next, very imported, as you choose lets assume 100 router to upgrade, if the second router fails, the rest of the process will stop working in this job! this is not usable... how can I change the process of error handling in a firmeware update process??

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Last update:
‎04-30-2020 08:40 PM
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