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Beta2 for Network Configuration Manager v7.3 is Available!

Level 18

We have completed another bulk of the development effort and are now focused on testing the latest release of Network Configuration Manager (NCM); We have Beta2 for NCM v7.3 available. This is your chance to install the latest version and provide feedback on the new features and fixes. Providing feedback during the beta is the best way to ensure that your feedback will be incorporated in to the release. To participate, simply fill out this survey and you will be sent the download links for the Beta. Remember, Betas cannot be installed in production and you cannot upgrade the Beta to any other future versions.

The following enhancement have been added to NCM so far:

  • NCM and NPM databases merged
    • Optimized DB schema
    • Account limitations are applied to NCM jobs.
    • Core node management page is used to add/remove devices from NCM.
    • In the discovery wizard, users can choose whether to import newly discovered nodes into NCM.
    • Node Sync is gone!
    • Subviews are fully supported.
  • A completely new version of the Configuration Management page
  • EoL/EoS info on (NCM) node details page
  • Admins can now clear all transfers for all users from the Transfer Status page in the Web UI.
  • Limit policy reports for individual accounts
  • Jobs Summary table can be sorted according to any column.
  • NCM supports SWISv3 now.

Benefits of the Merged Databases

The merge of NCM and NPM databases enable NCM users to take advantage of certain features of the Orion Platform (Core) that were not possible to use before.

Improved Node Management

As there is no concept of "NCM Node" anymore, "Licensed by NCM" has become just a flag for Orion nodes. What does it mean? You can manage all NCM properties using the Core none management infrastructure:

Node-Management.png

Node-Properties.png

Improved Node Details

The merged DB made it possible to use sub-views -- you can easily review NCM node details next to information from other Orion modules.

Node-Details.png

New Configuration Management UI

This is a great improvement in usability of the NCM Web UI in this release. Unlike the old UI, the new one is much more node-centric to make the workflows much smoother: First you select the devices and then perform an action. The new UI enables you to accomplish a chain of tasks efficiently as you can work with the same set of nodes repeatedly.

  • You can group your devices by up to three parameters.
  • The node selection is persistant; even if you switch to another group of nodes or another page, your selection is preserved.

New-Config-UI.PNG

44 Comments
Level 13

Great news on the DB merge!!!  Great work SWI!

Level 9

Oooohhh!!  Tell me more...  

MVP
MVP

Good news regarding the databases!

Level 11

Going to install this today, lets hope there's no huge performance hit

Level 18

Just sent you the bits.

Jiri

Level 11

The lists in NCM are still limited to 25 per page and you have to scroll within a window that is not resizable and does not make use of my entire screen.  It should scale with the browser window and use up all the available space.  You should also allow an increase per page so you do not have to click the next button if you do not want to. I noticed this under the Config Change Templates section, I will assume all sections are like this.  If not they need to be consistent across all views/tabs and all of them should have the noted abilities above for ease of use.

So with consistency, no they are not all the same size per tab/screen.  Some do allow the increase in display per page, some are smaller than others, none make good use of screen real estate.

Level 11

Configs still have inconsistent end of line characters being stored, you cannot actually use $ after a character to define end of line due to this.  As well, rules break due to it too.

Level 11

Would like to see an option for disabling portions of advanced rules.  IE, disabling instead of deleting a criteria.  This way you can test a single advanced regex and add to it without deleting and recreating the entire rule.

Level 18

This is a known issue and we address some part of the UI in each release. Remember this Beta doesn't represent the content of the final release -- we are going to have Beta 2, too.

Some parts of the UI are planned to be integrated / use a common component of the platform (a.k.a. the Core) soon and thus we don't want to invest effort that would be lost.

Jiri

Level 18

We haven't addressed this yet.

Jiri

Level 18

I encourage you to create a voting item for this.

Jiri

Level 11

Already done and the same with my idea for having an option to show whitespace and end of line characters.

Level 11

As long as the platform is consistent across multiple pages and the information is displayed logically then it will seem like a cohesive product.  Currently even within the NCM side this is not the case.

Level 17

you'll get [more] votes as people read this thread if you put links when you reference votes.  just a suggestion

Level 7

What is the status of fixing retrieving OS version from IBM BNT switches ?

Level 18

Hi Mateusz Jedrzejczyk,

That fix is part of the Orion Platform (a.k.a. Core) and should be included in the Beta.

It would be very helpful if you could subscribe to the Beta and test it.

Thanks,

Jiri

Level 11

This sounds like another huge improvement to NCM, getting to a single DB and SWISv3 support will be really great. We heavily make use of the Orion SDK and being able to add nodes to NCM straight from our ticket / CMDB system or even show last configuration change date & time would be great.

Level 18

Hi Jon Middleton,

Why don't you subscribe to the Beta and try it yourself?

Regards,

Jiri

Level 11

Would love too, but got a lot on my plate with a company wide roll out NPM and internal systems integrations.

Level 11

I've signed up, I'll see if I can spin up a test VM and kick the tires a little so I'm ready for the giving the RC a try when it's ready.

Cheers,

Jon.

Level 18

I've just sent you the details.

Jiri

Level 18

Actually I found out that the fix didn't make it into the Core release.

Jiri

Level 13

hello

i made a new fresh server install  2k8 r2 on top of our vmware 5.1 test bed

4 cpu, 64 GB ram 100 GB of HD

so far, no luck. the NCM trial config does not complete and ends with an error

i am running the trial  30 day license ee

please see the attached

config failure on initial install.png

Does anyone know how i can proceedNCM FAILS TO START.png

sw-ncm license used.png

Level 13

I GET THIS WHEN I TRY TO INSTALL AND RUN THIS ON THE npm TESTING SERVER

ncm 7.3 trial fails when instal on the NPM 10.4 server.png

Level 18

Hi,

We will reach out to you to resolve the issue.

Regards,

Jiri

Level 14

Oh my.  The holy grail of UI integration is here (http://thwack.solarwinds.com/ideas/1501)!  Thank you very much sirs and madams!

Capture.PNGe

Level 18

I'm glad that you appreciate the change. This is one of the benefits of the DB merge.

Jiri

Level 11

Jiri Cvachovec to confirm the RC is support by Solarwinds support?

So there should be no "supportability" issue if I update my production platform to take advantage of these new features?

Level 11

As long as you install the RC from the portal, all RC's are supported in the normal manner.

Been running it for 2 to 3 weeks now on our main platform with no issues so far.

Level 11

Thank you man

Appreciate the quick response

Ashley Cotter

3rd Line Applications Engineer

Timico Limited

Level 18

Hi ashley.cotter,

Just confirming what jmiddleton said. Your RC installation will be fully supported.

Regards,

Jiri

Level 11

Gordon Bennett you chaps are hot to trot

Thank you for letting me know..

I did notice that this RC was released January time, are you able to advise when the 7.3 release will be completed?

Level 14

Jiri Cvachovec,

Is it possible to make the Node Details - Node Group a drop option as well? I did this for some of my NPM Custom Properties and it makes my life so much more enjoyable. Now I don't have to remember all the possibilities, I just pick the right one or create a new one.

D

Level 18

ashley.cotter,

Don't mix Beta with RC. Beta was released long time ago, but RC was made available about two weeks ago.

The RC period lasts a few weeks. From that you can calculate when approximately the official release will be announced.

Regards,

Jiri

Level 11

Thank you Jiri Cvachovec as this is the case I may hold off installing the RC and wait for the full release.

You dont happen to have a changelog? or is what is stated at the top going to be all that is released in 7.3?

Level 18

In fact yes. The official description of the RC content is available here: SolarWinds NCM 7.3 Release Candidate is Available!.

The RC content is generally the same (very similar) as the final release; differences are rare.

Jiri

Level 18

Hi deverts,

Could you maybe illustrate your question with a screenshot? I'm not sure I understand it fully.

Thanks,

Jiri

Level 14

The Custom Properties on NPM provide us with the ability to have a drop-down option (noted with the arrows). If you expand on those, I have a list of all my options; and, at the end of that list, I have the ability to "add new value." This small feature would greatly improve Node Group, IMHO. My process now, I open an existing device with all the same properties, take a screenshot...then add my new device referring back to the screenshot so I get the spelling correct. This drop-down feature would greatly improve my efficiency. As always, I thank you for your time in reviewing our requests!  D

pastedImage_0.png

Level 14

Incidentally, if you are still looking for customers to upgrade (from another posting), I have NPM 10.6 and NCM 7.2 installed, and would welcome the assistance.

D

Level 18

Thanks for the explanation.

If you refer to the NCM "Node Group" property, it's actually only a text field for every node managed by NCM. I would rather make it deprecated. I suggest that you start using only the NPM/Core custom properties for node grouping.

Jiri

Level 18

Great, I'll put you on the list and reach out to you later.

Jiri

Level 11

That's what we have done, the custom properties we use for grouping are all sync'ed via the SDK from our CMDB and it works great.

Level 14

Makes sense with the merger! Will do....

Level 13

remove all HARD coded limits, ALL

expose  all CONSTANT in setting page so that users can modify

show default values in setting and place tips on modifying values and +/- effect so that users know what to expect

i.e double value of CONSTANT  XXX will consume 1 MB ram and raise CPU usage by 10%