Easy to use and offers benefits that extend beyond just backups
Updated July 14, 2020

Easy to use and offers benefits that extend beyond just backups

Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Overall Satisfaction with SolarWinds Network Configuration Manager (NCM)

We use it to back up all of our network configurations, approve and deploy changes via scripts, track versioning and generate device reports. NCM is used across the organization as it represents a comprehensive solution to our network configuration needs.
  • Automated Backups. It makes backing up network devices simple to do and easy to manage
  • Change approval. When implemented correctly, it can provide an extra layer of assurance to network-related changes as they will have to be approved by someone else. This ensures that changes are not made in a bubble and at least two sets of eyes have reviewed it.
  • Creating an easy to read device version report, with custom fields is relatively simple to do and can give project managers a greater understanding of the time it may take to perform a task, such as ensuring SNMPv3 or updating code levels due to bugs.
  • Automate the creation of new hierarchy's within devices according to the year for backs.
  • Allow scripts to be assigned to certain groups so that when users log in, they only see the scripts that they are allowed to use.
  • Network Configuation Monitor has allowed us to generate up-to-date configuration mangagement reports for compliance reporting, without having to worry if the data is captured or not
  • It has allowed us to offload routine changes on network devices to other groups by providing them with scripts. This has allowed Engineers to focus on higher priority tasks, versus spending the time making multiple changes simple access lists.
As stated previously, we have several tasks that are simple in nature, but require time and effort. Normally these tasks are handled by our network engineering staff. NCM has allowed us to create a script and an accompanying standard operating procedure document that allows us to take those repetitive tasks and offload them back on the group that is asking for them. With NCM we have them log into Solarwinds change the data fields and then submit the changes. The changes are then sent to the network team where we review them to ensure they are correct and then approve. This has allowed us to focus on larger changes without having to worry about whether or not simple changes were completed.
We have used it to simplify compliance reporting. Using both out-of-the-box reports, as well as custom reports, we have been able to create device versioning reports that contain all the data fields we need. This has come in useful for not only PCI reporting, but also for security reporting on code bugs and which devices need to have upgrades done to mitigate those bugs.
  • SolarWinds Network Performance Monitor
  • SolarWinds IP Address Manager
We use NPM and IPAM to monitor our network environment. These tools allow us to monitor our Network Devices under a single pane of glass that is easily configurable, replicated and recognized across the organization.
SolarWinds NCM is easier to use, has a larger knowledge base, and is more easily configured than other competitors I have tried. With time being extremely important to everyone, not having to worry about these CI's makes implementation and maintenance much easier.
Direct access to most experience support engineers - There are times that you have an issue that lies well outside the experience of a junior support engineer. The ability to have your issue or ticket escalated to a more senior person without a wait, is invaluable. This is especially true when it is on a device that is critical in your environment and your trying to implement a process that NCM hinges on.
It gives us a list of topics that we can consider and possibly implement. It also can highlight issues that you may not have been aware of initially. Even though you may not act immediately on the information given, it can in several situations at least give you an explanation as to why the system is doing what it is doing, as well as, provide you ways to remediate problems that you have seen but don't know how to fix.
The preupgrade optimization is truly helpful when you have to justify the creation of new VM's with increased memory usage, or when having to justify the creation of a new SQL database that has costs associated with it. The post upgrade checks help you know that your implementation is working optimally.
I have a hard time thinking of when SolarWinds Network Configuration Manager is less appropriate. Due to NCM's nature, it is well suited for all businesses regardless of size. However, for smaller businesses, that are simply looking for a configuration backup tool, there may be ones that are less expensive and without all the "bells and whistles."

SolarWinds Network Configuration Manager (NCM) Premier Support

Their sales and product engineers are helpful and very knowledgeable. In terms of helping you understand and troubleshoot issues that arise, they are top notch, regardless of if those issues arise from NCM configuration settings, database settings or an issue with your internal network. Occasionally they may take a day or two to get back to you with a solution, but in all of my experiences it has been because they have either been researching the issue or have escalated it internally and are waiting to hear back from another team member.
We were upgrading code levels as well as adding the HA module. Instead of upgrading the existing servers, completely new ones were built so that we could retire the old ones. When I called in to ask the best way to replicate the existing database as well as transfer the information to the new servers and implement HA at the same time, the Premier Support rep was able to help with this and ensure that no data was lost, or that I had to start over from scratch.