Network Configuration Management (NCM) is a procedure that every device connected to a network must go through at some point during its life cycle. When necessary, it performs network operations such as discovering devices, inventory maintenance, configuration backup, monitoring of configuration changes and conformance, tracking user activity, and troubleshooting by conducting the appropriate network activities at the appropriate times.
Let’s look at some of the most important functions that go under the umbrella term of network configuration management.
Network Configuration Manager
Network Configuration Manager is an acronym that stands for Network Configuration Manager.
Designed for network configuration management and network automation, Solarwinds Network Configuration Manager (available for download here) is a powerful application.
Because of the Orion Platform, the installation process for the tool is rather straightforward and straightforward as well. Download the tool from the website provided above, run the downloaded executable file to test the product (you can do so for free if you desire), and then unzip the downloaded executable file. Follow the on-screen steps, which Solarwinds thoroughly explain, and you’ll have it up and running in no time!
Getting to Know Your Network
According to the documentation, it is necessary to find your network using the Orion web console now that Network Configuration Manager has been successfully installed in your network. Once your network has been found using the Network Sonar Wizard, you will need to populate the Orion platform with the discovered nodes. Finally, you’ll need to import the newly detected devices into the Network Configuration Manager.
For those of you who have previously worked with the Orion platform or one of their products, such as Network Performance Monitor, you may skip this section and go straight to the section under “Adding the Devices to NCM” further down on this page. Otherwise, follow our step-by-step directions as we guide you through this adventure of discovery. First, follow the steps outlined below to locate your network via the online console:
- When you first log into the web portal for the first time, you will be brought to the Network Sonar Wizard, which will guide you through the process. If it does not start automatically, you can start it manually by heading to Settings > Network Discovery from the main menu. To begin discovering your network, select Add New Discovery from the Discovery drop-down menu.
- Then click Next. If you choose, you can provide a range of IP addresses, individual IP addresses, or an entire subnet, and the system will automatically detect it.
- If you are directed to an Agents page, you may have enabled Quality of Experience (QoE) during the installation process. To ensure that all of the nodes in your network using agents are checked, make sure to choose the Check all existing nodes check box.
- Adding virtual machines, such as VMware vCenter or Microsoft Hyper-V, can be accomplished through the Virtualization page.
- Now, on the SNMP panel, if you have devices on your network that utilize a community string other than the private and public strings, or if you desire to use an SNMPv3 credential, click on the Add New Credential button fill out the relevant data to create the credential.
- On the Windows page, you may search for and discover Windows devices. However, rather than using SNMP to monitor them, it is advised that you use Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) instead.
- The option to Manually set up monitoring after devices are detected should be left selected on the Monitoring Settings screen before proceeding to the next step.
- On the Discovery Settings screen, you’ll want to click Next as well.
- To begin discovering your devices right away, leave the Discovery Scheduling settings alone and click the Discover button to initiate the discovery process.
- Because the discovery process can take a long time depending on the number of nodes in the network, be patient and complete it.
Adding Devices that have been discovered to the Orion Platform
The Network Sonar Results Wizard should be used to add any newly discovered devices to the Orion platform after the device discovery process has completed its task of discovering all of your network nodes. Here’s how you go about it:
- When you have finished, you will be transported to the Network Sonar Results Wizard automatically. Select the nodes that you want to keep an eye on, and then press the Next key.
- Select the interfaces you want to keep an eye on and then press the Next button again.
- After that, you’ll have to select the volume types that you wish to monitor and then hit the Next button once more to proceed.
- Finally, review the list that will be imported and then click the Import button to initiate the import process.
- Once the import has been completed, click the Finish option to exit the wizard and exit the programme.
Including the Devices in the NCM
With that, you have completed the process of populating your Orion platform with networking devices. Now, as a final step and to manage your network configurations, you must import the devices into NCM. But, again, this is simple, and here’s how to go about it:
- To begin, you will need to gain access to the devices that have been found. For this, click to Settings > Manage Nodes and choose the desired node.
- A list of the currently available nodes will be displayed, including those you previously imported. First, select the devices you wish to include in NCM and select the Edit Properties option from the drop-down menu.
- Using the Manage node(s) with NCM drop-down menu, select Yes from the list.
- This will take you to the NCM properties section of the page. Default values will be used to populate the connection profile by default. Please fill out the form with your connection credentials and click the Test button at the bottom to verify them.
- If the test is successful, the devices will be added to NCM by clicking the Submit button.
- In the NCM – Licensed column, in front of the node’s name, you will be able to see if the addition was successful by looking for a Yes.
Configuring and Managing Network Configurations
Managing network configuration files is now possible once you have added all of the devices you intend to monitor with NCM to the NCM system. To manage the configuration files, navigate to the Configuration Management tab on the navigation bar. Obtaining access to this is accomplished by going to My Dashboards > Network configuration > Configuration Management. From there, you will be able to keep track of all of your nodes and their configuration files, as well as discover any anomalies that might arise.
Frequently Asked Questions by Users:
What is the function of a network configuration manager?
Network Configuration Manager is a complete network configuration management solution that allows you to manage your network devices and configurations over their entire life cycle. It offers solutions for network configuration, change management, and regulatory compliance management.
What are network setups, and how do they work?
The process of assigning network settings, policies, flows, and controls are called network configuration. Because physical network equipment appliances are replaced by software in a virtual network, it is less difficult to perform network configuration changes in a virtual network. This eliminates the need for lengthy manual configuration.
What exactly is configuration control in the context of networking?
On the other hand, network configuration management is the process of continuously monitoring and maintaining the configuration of all network devices, as well as the software and firmware that is loaded on them. This process has several components, including identification of devices, monitoring of device configuration and condition, and inventory management.
What are the three different types of network configuration?
Specifically, there are three types of closed sub-networks:
- A network for identifiable data
- A network for de-identified data
- A network for shared data
The network configuration consists of three types of closed sub-networks. First, no activities can pass between networks A and B or between networks B and C, other than de-identification and anonymization actions, respectively.
The following are some of the components of configuration management:
Definition. The technical and administrative operations are involved in the creation, maintenance, controlled change, and quality control of the scope of work that is referred to as Configuration Management (CM).