Overall Satisfaction with SolarWinds Network Configuration Manager (NCM)
We first acquired SolarWinds NCM after an incident where a bug in a wizard created a faulty filter in [our] firewalls and crushed all traffic in both directions. Without the ability to see, at the CLI level, where the change was made, it took Cisco TAC four hours to find it. Today, with NCM in place, we have immediate feedback for exactly what lines in the config changed, and the ability to easily roll back to the previous config. We are backing up every switch, router and firewall config in our enterprise to guard against misconfigurations or unintended consequences, and use real-time notification to know every time a switch, router or firewall is changed.
- Real-time notification of configuration changes
- Backup and restore of configurations
- Integration with other SolarWinds products
- Initial setup of real-time notifications was not super easy.
- We have had intermittent issues with the TFTP service used for backups when SW patches are applied.
- Staff time saved by not having to manually back up configs before changes
- Staff time saved by having ANY config backups (manual often does not get done)
- Staff time saved by knowing what changed to cause an issue.
We did not evaluate any other similar products. When the need for a config manager arose, we already had a heavy investment in SolarWinds, so using another SolarWinds module made the most sense for us.
If you need to know exactly what changed in a switch or router, immediately, this product shines. Having multiple versions of backups is also a major source of confidence in operations. It does not configure things, it just tracks changes in configurations. After using it for a while, I can recommend having every admin use their own account (rather than a generic admin account) to help identify *who* made the changes.