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Network Configuration Manager v7.4 Beta2 is Available!

Level 18

Update: NCM 7.4 Beta2 has been made available.

We have completed another bulk of the development effort and are now focused on testing the latest enhancements of Network Configuration Manager (NCM); NCM v7.4 Beta is 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 are open to customers with valid maintenance contract, cannot be installed in production, and you cannot upgrade the Beta to any other future versions.

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New features in Beta2 (topics in alphabetical order):

  • Auditing Improvements
    • Track username of user who made a config change (for real-time change detection)
  • Compiance Reports and Remediation
    • Automatic remediation of policy violations (optional).
    • Execute remediation script for all blocks in violation (e.g. interfaces).
    • Use Config Change Templates for remediation.
  • Config Change Approval
    • Two-step approval (optional).
  • Device Lifecycle Management
    • New report listing End-of-Life devices
    • Automatically assign End-of-Life information based on part number.
  • Device Template Assistant integrated in Web UI
  • Miscellaneous Web UI and Usability Improvements
    • Update or cancel only selected inventory transfers.
    • A number of small usability improvements

Content of Beta1:

  • Web-based reporting
  • Web-based alerting
    • Enhancement: Execute the NCM action on a different node.
  • Miscellaneous Web UI and Usability Improvements
    • Be able to quickly add/remove a lot of nodes to/from NCM at the same time.
    • Add SWQL filtering for drill-down charts on NCM summary page.
    • Make grids match browser window size.
    • Export config file from Web UI.
    • Ability to re-execute items on transfer status page.
    • Keep history for the transfer status page.
    • Notify requestor when his/her request has been approved.
    • Option to exclude devices with no config changes from the config change report email notification
    • Improved EoL/EoS summary resource
  • Improvements of Compliance Reports
    • Better navigation when inspecting violations.
    • Config block not found does not mean policy violation.
    • Update only selected policy reports.
    • Disable a policy report.
    • Copy/duplicate a policy or rule.
    • Delete all policies and rules associated with a report at once.
    • Policy violations summary resource is customizable.
    • Export violation details with the compliance report.
  • Security Improvements
    • Report vulnerabilities for Cisco IOS
    • The default NCM Role is None for a new Orion account.
  • New config change templates out of the box
  • Store device templates in the database

Inventory reports use Orion web reporting UI

The reporting system of Orion Platform brings a lot of improvements to NCM inventory reports.

  • Modern UI shared with other Orion products
  • Wide range of cusomization possibilities; both information and formatting.
  • No need to RDP to the NCM server

Web-Reports-01.png

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Web UI improvements

Now you can add nodes to NCM without leaving the main node management page:

Add-to-NCM.png

The pie charts on NCM summary page can be filtered now; this is useful e.g. for Juniper devices that don't follow Cisco's model of startup and running configuration.

Chart-Filtering.png

You can re-execute transfers easily on the Transfer Status page. The records do not get overwritten in case you are interested in the history.

Transfer-Reexecute.png

The EoL/EoS summary resource presents the data in a better structured way. When you click on a part number, the EoL/EoS detailed grid filtered for that particular part number is opened.

EOS-Resource.PNG

Compliance reports are easier to use

A few simple but useful improvements:

  1. Update only selected report(s)
    Compliance-Update-Selected.png
  2. Enable/disable a report
    Compliance-Enable-Disable.png
  3. Policy violations resource is customizable
    Compliance-Resource-Customizable.PNG
  4. When a rule searches in a block rather than in the full config, you have the option not to trigger violation if the whole config block is not present.
    Compliance-Block-Not-Found.png

NCM reports vulnerabilities for Cisco IOS

See what vulnerabilities exist for your Cisco IOS nodes. Be alerted when there is a new vulnerability. Acknowledge, remediate, or ignore.

Vulnerabilities-Report.PNG

Vulnerabilities-Resource.png

Vulnerabilities-Manage.png

Device templates are managed on the web

No need to distribute the device templates across all your pollers and keep them in sync.

Device-Templates.PNG

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21 Comments
MVP
MVP

Good to see features being implemented based on feedback. I know some customers who will be very happy to see some of these changes.

Level 12

You had me at "More Actions: Add node to NCM"

MVP
MVP

OMG OMG OMG It's Christimas all over again!!!

CAN'T WAIT!

Level 11

Detecting and recording the user that made a change is great, really looking forward to seeing that one in action.

So do I need to sign up for beta 2 again? Or will you be mailing it out to everyone already signed up?

Level 18

You don't have to sign up again. I have already sent you the download link. I'll update the other subscribers, too.

Jiri

Level 11

Thanks, I've got that now.

Jon.

Level 17

Just got this installed with one test switch, checking out the new things now.

Level 14

Nice

Level 14

Are there any news about NCM 7.4?  The BETA2 release has been out for almost 3 months already.  So, is the RC version coming soon?  By the way, I am not asking for a specific date only a ballpark estimate.  For example, are we talking about 2 weeks, 2 months or 2 years?? 

Level 18

We are talking about a few days . Stay tuned.

Jiri

I can't seem to sign up for this as it says the survey is closed?

Level 18

Yes, the survey has been closed as we have the Release Candidate now: Network Configuration Manager v7.4 Release Candidate is Available!.

Jiri

Level 18
Level 14

cvachovecj‌,

Thanks for the note.  I downloaded it already and installed it on my lab instance.  The installation went w/o problems, I am testing the application now.  More feedback soon.  Thanks again!

Level 18

Do you already have some feedback?

Jiri

MVP
MVP

Hi Jiri,

Could you please provide an test plan for NCM so that we can go through all the official test procedures and our own, then return with feedback?

Level 18

I'm afraid I can't provide such information. Are you interested in any specific part of NCM?

Jiri

MVP
MVP

I'm actually interested in testing every single bit that can be tested. I'm trying to help in avoiding the need for future hotfixes.

Level 14

cvachovecj‌,

I did not find anything that I'd deem as a bug, and my SW lab server is not getting performance issues as result of NCM.  So, NCM seems quite stable, which is high praise for an app that is on its first RC release.  Of course, there are things that I'd like to see improved on NCM, but that's too late for this release.  Besides, I already submitted Feature Requests for those improvements. 

Level 18

I guess then it would be most helpful if you test NCM in the way you would normally use it.

Level 18

Thanks for the feedback. I'll ping you offline and we can schedule a call.

Jiri