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How to use the EoL/EoS Feature in NCM

Level 18

Now that we have released Network Configuration Manager v7.2 (NCM), it is a good time to take a look at one of its most awaited features: End-of-Life / End-of-Support (EoL/EoS) information management. The purpose of this post is to set expectations on what this feature is/isn't and to provide a few tips for using it in the most efficient way.

As I outlined in my previous posts on this topic,

you may try to solve the EoL/EoS problem in different ways ranging from a do-it-yourself, spreadsheet-based approach (cheapest but most difficult) to an automated third-party service (fastest but most expensive and may require access to vendor-specific service APIs like e.g. Cisco CDS opened only to Cisco partners).

This new NCM feature, which we have just delivered, enables you to manage the EoL/EoS dates in a much more convenient way than a spreadsheet, because it is connected with other information about the devices that NCM stores.

How is This Feature Going to Help?

  • We provide suggestions for Cisco and Juniper devices out of the box. (For other vendors, you can enter your own information.)
  • You do not have to track the end-of-life information in a spreadsheet.
  • You can group, sort, and filter your devices according to node details and custom properties.
  • Once end-of-life data is entered, you can generate a highly customized report. (See the second blog post.)

What is the EoL/EoS Feature NOT?

  • A fully automated solution that will report all the end-of-life information automatically.
  • A complete multi-vendor database of different devices and extension cards. Today, this NCM feature handles devices only; not cards and modules, yet.

Typical Workflow

  1. Notice the "End of Support" view under the Configs tab. (Note that this feature is only available in the Web console and not in the Win32 client.)
  2. Select the devices you want to define end-of-life information for.
    You can do it in many different ways using e.g. the Group By drop-down box on the left side and/or filtering on column values in the main group. Most probably you will want to define the same EoL/EoS information for a group of devices of the same properties -- e.g. machine type, firmware version etc. You can see the applied filter(s) in the top left corner.

    EOL-Summary-Select-RTM.png
  3. Select the resulting devices and click on "Assign Dates".

    EOL-Summary-Assign-RTM.png
  4. Inspect the suggestions and either
    • select one of the suggested pieces of EoL information,
      (We provide external links to vendor pages that help you choose the correct item. You can also enter a comment that will be displayed in the resulting report.)

      EOL-Summary-Assign-Page-RTM.png
    • or, if our database does not provide any suggestions, enter your own data.
      (In addition to the dates and comments, it is advisable to insert link to the source of the information.)

      EOL-Summary-Assign-Page2-RTM.png
  5. Click on "Assign".
  6. If interested, create a report. You can filter the columns as you need and also export the result as spreadsheet.

    EOL-Summary-Report-RTM.png

Vendor Information

If our database does not provide suggestions to choose from, you can look up the end-of-life information yourself. An alternative to search engines are vendor pages. Here are a few of them:

We would also like to encourage you to post your EoL/EoS data item on thwack here: http://thwack.solarwinds.com/thread/58861.

Ideally in the following format:

Device Type, System description, end-of-sale date, end-of-support date, Vendor EOL statement URL

NCM 7.2 is now available for all customers on active maintenance in the customer portal.  Please check out EoL/EoS and let us know what you think.

As a bonus, you can watch this video about EoL/EoS:

21 Comments
Level 7

Could you please make it easier to manage what happens when a device has no EoS/EoL announcement?

Right now my Cisco 28xx series routers aren't found, so NCM suggests I accept the Catalyst 2800 switch EoS/EoL dates instead. These aren't correct, but likewise I don't want to guess a future date. It'd be good to be able to select an option that says something like "No EoS/EoL announced" and stop seeing them in the reports until that changes.

Level 18

Hi,

Could you please do the following?

  1. Report the problematic devices here:
    http://thwack.solarwinds.com/thread/58861
  2. Create a feature request for the "No EoL/EoS announced" part?

Thanks,

Jiri

Level 10

Will this feature track End of Support for different versions of IOS? Or is it only hardware part-number EoS/EoL notifications?

Level 18

Hi,

EoL/EoS for IOS is not supported. Only hardware.

Jiri

Hey Jiri

Is there any scope for having EOX data stored centrally, and delivered to Orion installations (that support internet access, and manual update for those that don't), so that admins can have an automated EOX solution?

Without Cisco Smart Advisor, it's difficult for some of my clients to pick out which are the right dates for their chassis, especially if the have many modules installed.

May be pie in the sky stuff, but it's something I've been asked a number of times, so would be good to get the definitive answer for them.

Level 18

I will let jeff.stewart​, the current NCM product manager, answer officially, although I can imagine what his answer will be .

Jiri

Cheers! From a technical standpoint, it's a bit of an ask, let alone the potential for litigation if an erroneous date was added. So I expect I can foresee the answer that's coming

This seems pretty helpful, intuitive, and easy.  Thanks, Jiri!

Level 15

jezmarsh​ If I understand you correctly, you are looking to provide EOS/EOL data to customers where their Orion instances doesn't have Internet access.  Is that correct?

Hey jeff.stewart​!

Just wondering if it was on the radar, really. EoX data is really handy, and if it was 'automagically' assigned to nodes without intervention from users, it would help some of the clients I work with.

The important part would be having the local database of dates updated automatically as well, with SolarWinds doing the work. They don't want much!

Level 15

"The important part would be having the local database of dates updated automatically as well, with SolarWinds doing the work."

We update the EOS/EOL database when we update NCM.  There are no EOS/EOL updates that occur outside of product releases. 

And there, I have my answer! Thanks jeff.stewart​!

Do these updates occur at service releases as well as major ones?

Level 15

Typically major releases, but that doesn't mean we wouldn't deliver in an SR if we had updates.

Ok, thanks for you time jeff.stewart​. Much appreciated.

I like this, but it's missing information. Is there any way NCM is going to update for new cisco announcements? I'm putting them in manually due to End-of-Sale and End-of-Life Announcement for the Cisco Catalyst 3560-X and 3750-X Series Switches - ...

Level 7

Great feature, but the dates are not being updated when I upgrade the hardware. (or am I not doing something right)   I had some Cisco 3750's it said we're EOL, which have now been upgraded to 2960x.  The EOL report shows them as 2960x, but the EOL dates and remediation link are the 3750 information..

-Stephen

Level 10

Hi,

I want to know how NCM getting the of End of support and end of sales details

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This has become my favorite feature in NCM... no more me going out to look. NCM reporting is telling me.

Level 20

I think it's from Cisco directly.

Level 20

This is good as it compliments the already existing info for Dell and HP Servers.

Level 8

I'm not getting mine to work for my devices.  What URL and outbound port does the lookup tool use to find the eol/eos criteria?