SolarWinds NCM can save your job!
April 14, 2021

SolarWinds NCM can save your job!

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

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.
While this is an important and useful objective, many products today are not as "single-approach" as desired. We are currently not monitoring any cloud services with NCM.
We have not used NCM for mass updates or changes. It appears to have this functionality but we are not currently using it. Our primary reason for acquiring SolarWinds NCM was for change tracking and config backups.
  • SolarWinds Web Performance Monitor
  • SolarWinds Log & Event Manager
  • SolarWinds Storage Resource Monitor
  • SolarWinds Network Performance Monitor
  • SolarWinds Netflow Traffic Analyzer
  • SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor
SolarWinds is a close as we can get to a "single pane of glass" monitoring tool. We use it to allow the first-level support agents to have a dashboard so they can see what is up and what is not when they are taking calls. the network and server operations teams use it for alerting and trend analysis day-to-day.
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.