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NCM 7.9 Release Notes

 

Last updated: December 4, 2018

These release notes describe the new features, improvements, and fixed issues in Network Configuration Manager 7.9. They also provide information about upgrades and describe workarounds for known issues.

End-of-support notice: Orion Platform 2018.4 products (such as NCM 7.9) are no longer compatible with the following platforms:

  • Windows Server 2012 and 2012 R2
  • SQL Server 2012, 2012 SP1, 2012 SP2, 2012 SP3, and 2012 SP4

To use the new features introduced in Orion Platform 2018.4 products, upgrade your environment at your earliest convenience.

New features and improvements

The following new features and improvements are available with NCM 7.9. For a list of new features and improvements in the Orion Platform 2018.4, see the Orion Platform 2018.4 release notes

Multi-device baselines

In previous versions, baselines in NCM were simply configs that had been flagged as a baseline. Each baseline applied to only one device. 

With the new multi-device baselines in NCM 7.9, a baseline is a template that defines the approved configuration for a device or a group of devices. After you define a baseline, you can use NCM's improved baseline management to assign the baseline to many devices.

You can: 

  • Easily create a baseline based on an existing config, a file, or by pasting in content
  • Select lines to ignore (such as the line containing the hostname), or use comparison criteria to avoid flagging inconsequential differences
  • Define a baseline to represent an entire config or only part of a config (a snippet)
  • Assign one baseline to multiple devices
  • Assign multiple baseline snippets to the same device
  • Quickly identify configs that do not match the baseline

>> Learn more about multi-device baselines

Baseline migration and other changes for upgrading customers

During an upgrade, NCM creates a new baseline from the latest downloaded config that was previously flagged as the baseline for a device. The new baseline is assigned to the associated device. Each config that was flagged as a baseline in previous versions is now flagged as a "Favorite." For more information, see Baseline config migration during an upgrade to NCM 7.9.

Upgrading customers should be aware of the following additional changes:

  • The Baseline Entire Network job has been removed. Use the Baseline Management page to apply or remove baselines from one or more devices.

  • The Overall Baseline vs. Running Config Conflicts widget has been renamed to Baseline vs. Config Conflicts. It identifies nodes with a conflict between the most recently downloaded config and any of the assigned baselines for that config type. Because it always displays information about the most recently downloaded configs, the option to select a time period has been removed.

  • The Overall Baseline vs. Running Config Conflicts report has been renamed Baseline vs. Config Conflicts. It identifies nodes with a conflict between the most recently downloaded config and any of the assigned baselines for that config type.

    If you created custom reports based on the Overall Baseline vs. Running Config Conflicts report type, they will not show data. Recreate the report based on the updated report type.

  • In previous versions, the Create New Policy dialog allowed you to select Baselines as the config type to search for policy violations. The Baseline option has been replaced with Favorites, and selecting this option searches configs that were flagged as baselines in previous versions. To search a different config type, update your policy definitions.

  • If you configure a Download Configs from Devices job to compare configs to Baselines, the config is compared to all associated baselines. If you only save configs that have changed, the config is saved if it conflicts with any of the baselines.

  • In a Config Change Report job, if you select Baseline as the type of config to compare, NCM compares the most recently downloaded config to all baselines assigned to the associated device.

Increased support for Palo Alto devices

NCM 7.9 incudes the following increased support for Palo Alto devices:

  • A new device template named "PaloAlto" supports Palo Alto devices running OS 7.x and OS 8.x.
  • The Device State config type has been added. 
  • NCM can download and upload both XML and binary configs.

Changes to config type management

  • The Config Settings group on the NCM Settings page now includes the Config Types option. Use this option to add and manage custom config types. (Previously, these were managed through the Configs option.)

    configSettings.png

  • Config types can now be associated with vendors.

    When you associate a config type with a vendor, that config type is available for selection only when a device from the associated vendor is selected.

  • The Configs option in this group has been renamed to Config Settings.

NCM menu name change

The name of the NCM top-level menu under My Dashboards has changed from Configs to Network Configuration. The updated name differentiates NCM menu options from SolarWinds SCM (Server Configuration Manager) options. 

New customer installation

For information about installing NCM see the SolarWinds Orion Installer.

Before you upgrade!

If you are upgrading from a previous version, be aware of the following considerations:

  • Review the End of support notices. 

  • Existing baselines will be migrated to the new multi-device baselines. If you have a large number of baselines, this can affect the time required to upgrade.

  • The Centralized Upgrade feature in the Orion Installer lets you upgrade additional polling engines, additional web servers, and High Availability servers directly from the Orion Web Console. Upgrades run in parallel, which significantly reduces the time required to upgrade large deployments.

    >> Learn more about Centralized Upgrades

How to upgrade

If you are upgrading from NCM 7.5 or later, use the SolarWinds Orion Installer to upgrade one or more Orion Platform products simultaneously.

If you are upgrading from an earlier version, use the following resources to plan and implement an upgrade to NCM 7.5. Then use the SolarWinds Orion Installer to complete the upgrade.

Fixed issues

The following issues are fixed in NCM 7.9. For a list of fixed issues in the Orion Platform 2018.4, see the Orion Platform 2018.4 release notes

Case number Description

00180545

The NCM Firmware Vulnerabilities feature no longer includes vulnerabilities that are already patched. 

00146648

NCM now parses the interface name in the Config Change report correctly.

00172242, 
00154909, 
 

NCM is now able to back up and manage configs that contain special characters such as accents.

00162530

A large number of interfaces no longer causes the Default Database and Archive Maintenance job to fail with an SQL exception. 

00167884

When you create a policy, Device Template is no longer listed on the Dynamic Selection drop-down menu. This property no longer exists, and selecting the option in a policy caused compliance reports to fail.

00156919

NCM no longer produces invalid temp files, which were causing nightly configuration backups to take much longer than usual. 

00154803,
00141833

NCM no longer creates temporary files with double file extensions, which was causing antivirus software to deny access to the files and causing NCM backups to fail. 

00147590

 

Downloading or backing up configs from Nexus or Cisco ASA devices is no longer slow.

00123959

NCM is now able to log in to a device in enable mode when the enable password is empty.

00143244

When a device is configured to use SSH1, NCM is no longer disconnected after sending the password to enter enable mode.

00137675

Configuration backups for a Huawei WLAN Access Controller no longer fail with the message Could not negotiate mac algorithm.

00115264

When the VirtualPrompt command is specified in a device template but the VirtualEnablePrompt command is not specified, configuration backups no longer fail with the error Cannot download Startup config.

00104435

Configuration backups no longer fail when a device sends a command echo that includes a backspace character.

1096203

When NCM downloads a configuration from an Alteon device, lowercase n's are no longer deleted from the beginning of the configuration.

00160994

NCM now correctly identifies the device type of a Cisco MDS switch, which allows it to successfully back up configurations from the device.

End of life

VERSION EOL ANNOUNCEMENT EOE EFFECTIVE DATE EOL EFFECTIVE DATE
7.6 December 4, 2018 End-of-Life (EoL) announcement - Customers on Network Configuration Manager version 7.6 should begin transitioning to the latest version of Network Configuration Manager. March 4, 2019 End-of-Engineering (EoE) - Service releases, bug fixes, workarounds, and service packs for Network Configuration Manager version 7.6 is no longer actively supported by SolarWinds. March 4, 2020 End-of-Life - SolarWinds will not longer provide technical support for Network Configuration Manager version 7.6.
7.5 September 14, 2017 End-of-Life (EoL) announcement - Customers on Network Configuration Manager version 7.5 should begin transitioning to the latest version of Network Configuration Manager. December 14, 2017 End-of-Engineering (EoE) - Service releases, bug fixes, workarounds, and service packs for Network Configuration Manager version 7.5 is no longer actively supported by SolarWinds. December 14, 2018 End-of-Life - SolarWinds will not longer provide technical support for Network Configuration Manager version 7.5.

See End of Life Policy for information about SolarWinds product lifecycle phases. For supported versions and EOL announcements for all SolarWinds products, see Currently supported software versions.

End of support

This version of NCM no longer supports the following platforms and features.

Type Details
Windows Server 2012, 2012 R2

NCM 7.9 and other Orion Platform 2018.4 products do not support this platform.

SQL Server 2012 NCM 7.9 and other Orion Platform 2018.4 products do not support this platform.
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