Documentation forNetwork Configuration Manager

Network Configuration Manager 2020.2 Release Notes

Release date: June 4, 2020

These release notes describe the new features, improvements, and fixed issues in Network Configuration Manager 2020.2. They also provide information about upgrades and describe workarounds for known issues.

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New features and improvements in NCM 2020.2

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The following sections describe the new features and improvements in NCM 2020.2.

See also the Orion Platform 2020.2 Release Notes.

Firmware upgrade operation improvements

NCM 2020.2 includes the following improvements to firmware upgrade operations:

  • You can schedule multiple firmware upgrade operations to run simultaneously.

    To speed up the process of applying a firmware upgrade to a large number of nodes, you can create multiple firmware upgrade operations that each target a unique set of nodes, and then schedule those operations to run simultaneously. For more information, see Simultaneous firmware upgrade operations.

  • Users with the NCM role WebUploader (or higher) can perform firmware upgrade operations. In previous versions, the NCM role of Administrator was required.

  • When you perform a firmware upgrade operation, you can confirm the selections for all nodes at once, instead of having to confirm each node individually.
  • Firmware upgrade operations are reported as Orion events. They are listed in the Orion Web Console anywhere Orion events are displayed.

  • The Storage Location page has been renamed Firmware Upgrade Settings. In addition to specifying the Storage Location for firmware upgrade files, you can use this page to specify the maximum number firmware upgrades that can run simultaneously.

Updating custom firmware upgrade templates to enable simultaneous upgrades

Before you can run multiple firmware upgrade operations at the same time, the firmware upgrade templates used in the operations must enable simultaneous firmware upgrade operations. All firmware upgrade templates shipped with NCM 2020.2 except the EtherWAN template now enable simultaneous firmware upgrade operations.

To update custom firmware upgrade templates to enable simultaneous operations, include the ${SubFolder} macro in the following commands: 

  • Upgrade firmware image command
  • Back up firmware image command (if included)

See Manage NCM firmware upgrade templates for more information about the ${SubFolder} macro.

Current EOS and EOL data for Cisco devices

Because of a change in Cisco's EOS and EOL RSS feed, NCM 2019.4 was not able to collect current EOS (End-of-Sale) and EOL (End-of-Life) dates for Cisco devices.

NCM 2020.2 provides current EOS and EOL data for Cisco devices.

Customized config titles

In previous versions of NCM, you could choose Edit Config and customize the config title. However, the customized title was displayed only when you compared configs.

In NCM 2020.2, widgets display customized config titles. For example, the Config List widget and the Compare Configs widget below display the customized title "My Config Title."

The Config Management tab shows the config name instead of the config title by default. To see the config title, you can add the Config Title column to the table:

  1. Place the mouse pointer over a table column name, and then click the down-arrow on the right side of the column.

  2. Hover over Columns to display the list of columns, select Config Title, and then click outside the column list.

    The Config Title column is added to the far right side of the table. You can drag the column to a different location.

Translation

The NCM interface has been translated to German and Japanese.

NCM roles required for baseline management

The following NCM roles (or higher) are now required to view and manage baselines.

Action Minimum NCM Role
Access the Baseline Management tab and view the list of existing baselines WebViewer
Create, update, or assign baselines from the Baseline Management tab WebUploader

Promote a config to a baseline from the Config Management tab

WebUploader

Default connection protocols

In the Connection Profile for a device, the default values selected for the protocol options have changed. By default, NCM selects SSH2 for FIPS-compliant devices and SSH auto for other devices.


New customer installation

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For information about installing Network Configuration Manager, see the SolarWinds Orion Installer.

Before you upgrade!

If you are upgrading from a previous version and you have jobs that are scheduled using the "Every x day(s)" option on the Daily tab of the job wizard, be aware that this option is removed in NCM 2020.2. Jobs using that option are updated during the upgrade to use an Advanced schedule that runs the job once a month. If necessary, modify the job schedule after the upgrade to meet your needs.

How to upgrade

Use the SolarWinds Orion Installer to upgrade your entire Orion deployment (all Orion Platform products and any scalability engines).

If you are upgrading from NCM 8.0 or later, you can upgrade your entire Orion deployment from the My Orion Deployment page. Downloading the Orion Installer is no longer necessary.


Fixed issues in NCM 2020.2

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NCM 2020.2 fixes the following issues.

Case Number Description

00134212
00376136
00397776
00398962
00445782

If you attempt to download a config that contains special characters or to test a connection profile for a device whose response includes special characters, the operation no longer fails with messages similar to the following: 

Unable to connect to polling engine <name> on the relevant server. Verify that NCM 7.7 or later is installed on the server

'', hexadecimal value 0x16, is an invalid character.

00288108

To simplify job scheduling and ensure that jobs run when expected, the "Every x day(s)" option has been removed from the Daily tab of the job wizard.

When the "Every x day(s)" option was selected, jobs ran on the first day of every month and then the specified number of days later, which was typically not the expected behavior. If this scheduling option was selected for any of your jobs, see Before you upgrade.

00373289

Environments with TLS 1.2 enabled can download policy reports shared on THWACK.

00395511

NCM can process NIST firmware vulnerability data in JSON format. This change restores the firmware vulnerability capabilities that NCM had when NIST published firmware vulnerability data in XML format.

00400796

Changing the State on the Vulnerability Summary page works as expected.

00401109

The device template for Cisco AsyncOS or IronPort devices has been modified to support config downloads from these devices.

00406029

The Interface Config widget on the Interface Details view now shows the correct interface configuration.

00417929

The Configs subview is no longer missing from the Node Details page for wireless controllers.

00420115

Installing NCM into an existing Orion deployment no longer fails with errors such as the following in the AdministrativeService log:

ERROR (null) SolarWinds.Orion.Common.OrionConfiguration - Settings file 'SWNetPerfMon.DB' N/A - System.AggregateException: One or more errors occurred.

00425270

When you run a Generate Config Change Report job and select Baseline as the config type to compare against, the resulting file or email correctly shows the baseline config text under the Baseline heading and the running config text under the Running Config heading.

00434852
00446520

The SolarWinds.BusinessLayerHost no longer causes high CPU usage.

00435840
00439983

Config backup jobs work as expected when configs are transferred via TFTP and 64 bit is selected.

00445967
00485977

If the Orion deployment includes an additional Web server (AWS), Palo Alto policy information and Cisco ASA ACL lists are displayed on the AWS.

00452129

When a line in a configuration file ends with ) # or )#, NCM no longer truncates the configuration download at that line.

00455156

When NCM runs the firmware vulnerability matching logic to search for vulnerabilities that affect your devices, it no longer returns the following error:

The specified table does not exist [CpeMatches]

00472539

Transferring large binary configurations no longer causes performance problems.

00478138
00491052

Discovery jobs that are initiated through the SDK work correctly.

00484908

Creating NCM baselines no longer requires Orion Platform administrator rights. For information about the required NCM roles, see NCM roles required for baseline management.

N/A

The Overall Devices Backed Up vs. All Devices widget shows data correctly. It no longer shows the green area that represents backed up devices stacked above the blue area that represents all devices.

N/A

If you have configured more than 7,000 policy rules and you attempt to edit a policy with a large number of associated rules, the operation no longer times out.

N/A

When you display the access control list (ACL) rules on a Cisco ASA or Nexus device, a warning icon identifies overlapping rules (shadowed or redundant rules). When you click the warning icon and then click the 'Show the details' link, additional information is now displayed as expected.

N/A

When the Orion Platform uses a SQL Server 2019 database and you run a job with the Update Inventory job type, the job report is no longer empty.

N/A

The SWIS schema has been updated to correctly return the parsed XML config model. With the Orion SDK, NCM users can access this data to create custom reports about ACLs, objects, object groups, zones, and other entities.

See also the Orion Platform 2020.2 Release Notes.


Known issue

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NCM does not show current information about overlapping ACL rules after an upgrade
Issue: After you upgrade from NCM 7.9 or earlier to NCM 8.0 or later, NCM does not display current information about shadowed or redundant access control list (ACL) rules. Older information is displayed.
Resolution/Work-around: Download the configuration files from your Cisco ASA and Nexus devices. After you download the config files, NCM displays current information about shadowed and redundant ACL rules.

End of life

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Version EoL Annoucement EoE Effective Date EoL Effective Date
NCM 7.7

June 6, 2019

End-of-Life Announcement. Customers should begin transitioning from NCM 7.7 to the latest version.

September 6, 2019

End-of-Engineering. Service releases, bug fixes, workarounds, and service packs for NCM 7.7 and earlier will no longer be actively supported by SolarWinds.

September 6, 2020

End-of-Life. SolarWinds will no longer provide technical support for NCM 7.7 and earlier.

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


Legal notices

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