I like SolarWinds NCM
April 16, 2021
I like SolarWinds NCM
Score 9 out of 10
Overall Satisfaction with SolarWinds Network Configuration Manager (NCM)
SolarWinds Network Configuration Manager, NCM, is used by multiple departments to automate configuration backups. There is also a feature that checks for vulnerabilities based on standard compliance reporting. Another feature is the firmware upgrade deployment where you are able to update your device to the latest supported version. This is helpful because we have measured things like configuration standardization and version number compliance. Very helpful when it come to looking at the compliance of our hardware. The leadership team can have real data from the devices instead of spreadsheets.
- Back up my configuration. Critical when system failures occur.
- View firmware version(s) across multiple devices, then compare them for the same model or type.
- Restore and apply changes for one or multiple devices.
- Run reports on firmware version and compliance to standards.
- Privilege management is lacking, do I want all my admins viewing sensitive data? Probably not. This certainly can be improved.
- Everything is based on a windows server, we prefer other OSes. Not necessarily a con, but more of a longstanding request.
- If you have other SolarWinds modules, it will integrate well with them. This is good, then you go back to my first point. Admin privileges allow access to sensitive data.
- In the news with a big vulnerability, not my favorite mention.
- The news revolving around the recent vulnerability is very upsetting. I want to trust the product again, but my guard is up and that is hard to come by.
- The fact SolarWinds was not aware of the vulnerability for so long was a big let down especially for a product touting security.
- Give it another try, is what I think and so far the new leadership appears to be doing that.
- Rebuilding a device from a backup is a lifesaver! What else needs to be said.
I don't know. Cloud is just another network, someone else's. Not big for me but there are other customers that need a flexible system supporting off-prem/cloud. Maybe one day.
This is definitely a plus. We have multiple vendors that we use in our environment and it helps reduce day to day tasks as well as downtime from fat-fingering a configuration. Nice to know someone is thinking about human error, but keeping the human in the mix. That is the real hybrid/complexity of the industry. You can automate all you want, just need to make sure the hardware and firmware match the system/vendor. Otherwise you will be hosed and have to work some magic making the systems boot to rom/or the like, to get the firmware loaded. Then an IP so you can apply the correct update.
We use this often because it helps reduce the workload for large deployments. Like new sites with no infrastructure. Setup your IP's on the devices and fire up NCM. You get configs, firmware and reduced workloads. Now you are freed up to take an extra half hour for lunch! Unless that is all the time you have because the next thing is calling.
- SolarWinds Network Performance Monitor
Simple deployment of both products. Integration dashboards that display health, vulnerabilities from the same view. Multiple levels of access based on the role of the engineer. Easy to use diagrams and the other cool views you can setup to say monitor your device from location B and C and not just your data center. Flexibility to add redundancy. You are dependent on windows, not my favorite OS. You will also need SQL, not a dba, just not a Microsoft fan.
We are looking at puppet just to keep our options open. This is more my area because I don't have to rely on windows. Sure there's some learning you need to do, but it runs on a solid system. Not much else we are looking at for comparison. Now if NCM moves to another OS, well maybe that would put an end my searching.
You can use it while you sleep. My favorite part. If you are not aware of your systems health, don't worry it will tell you. Well first you need other modules from the SolarWinds toolkit. Your other teams will like this because of the flexibility it provides integrating. You now have a centralize system with the ability to give you a good nights rest. If you have silos you will need to review how you can segment your systems, especially security from network.