Network Configuration Manager 7.8 Release Notes

Release date: May 31, 2018

These release notes describe the new features, improvements, and fixed issues in Network Configuration Manager 7.8. They also provide information about upgrades and describe workarounds for known issues.

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New features and improvements in NCM 7.8

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NCM 7.8 offers new features and improvements compared to previous releases of NCM.

Network Insight for Cisco Nexus devices

Network Insight for Cisco Nexus devices automates the management of your Nexus infrastructure to provide visibility and help ensure service availability. Network Insight for Cisco Nexus provides the following capabilities.

Support for multiple VDCs

Cisco Nexus series switches provide support for virtual device contexts (VDCs). Each VDC runs as a separate logical entity within the switch.

To add a Cisco Nexus device with multiple VDCs to NCM, first add the admin VDC using its IP address. All other VDCs will be automatically discovered, and you can add each VDC as a separate node. You can then configure NCM to back up and restore configurations for all VDCs accessible via SSH or Telnet from the NCM server.

Cisco Nexus access control list management

Use NCM to help you manage the access control lists (ACLs) on your Cisco Nexus devices:

  • Compare different versions of an ACL, or different ACLs. Quickly determine what changed between different versions of an ACL, or compare the ACLs on different devices.

  • Search and filter within ACLs to find rules quickly.

  • Identify rules with 0 hits. Sort ACL rules by hit count (the number of times the rule was applied) to identify rules that have not been applied.

  • Automatically detect shadowed or redundant rules. These are rules that might not be executed because the affected traffic has already been processed by a previous rule. Finding and eliminating these rules makes the rule set easier to manage and also helps ensure that the rules achieve the intended results.

In addition, NCM 7.8 adds support for noncontiguous masks.

vPC subview and vPC Configuration Details view

Starting with NCM 7.8, node detail views for Cisco Nexus devices have the vPC subview. This view lists virtual PortChannels (vPCs) connected to the monitored Nexus device.

If the configs have been downloaded to NCM, click View configs from the vPC subview to display configs for the vPC and its member interfaces.

New device inventory reports

Use the following inventory reports to access information about your Cisco Nexus devices:

Report Description
Cisco Bootload Images Displays information related to bootload images within each device.
Cisco Fan Tray Status Lists the operational status information for a device's fans or fan trays.
Cisco FRU Power Status Lists the power-related administrative status and operational status of the manageable components in the system.
Cisco FRU Power Supply Groups in the system Displays the redundancy mode and the operational status of the power supply groups in the system.

New config change template

NCM provides the following config change template for Cisco Nexus devices.

Config Change Template Description
Configure Virtual PortChannel on Cisco Nexus Configures a virtual PortChannel (vPC) domain that contains two Cisco Nexus peer devices.

Cisco Nexus firmware upgrades

NCM 7.8 includes three out-of-the-box templates for Nexus devices. When you are creating or modifying custom firmware upgrade templates for Cisco Nexus devices, you can specify multiple firmware images to upgrade (for example, the system and kickstarter images).

>> Read more about Network Insight for Cisco Nexus devices

Exclude blocks of text from configuration file comparison

In previous versions of NCM, you could use regular expressions to identify individual lines that NCM should exclude when it compares configuration files. In NCM 7.8, you can also exclude blocks of text. For example, you can exclude the certificate section of the configuration file.

To enable this functionality, NCM 7.8 changed the RegEx engine used to evaluate the regular expressions that identify text for exclusion. Previous versions used the GNU grep RegEx engine, but NCM 7.8 uses the .NET RegEx engine. For more information, see Before you upgrade.

Expanded firmware vulnerability support

NCM imports the firmware vulnerability warnings provided by National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and correlates vulnerability data with managed nodes of supported device types. NCM 7.8 adds firmware vulnerability support for the following device types:

  • Cisco Nexus
  • Juniper

New features in Orion Platform 2018.2

For a list of new features and improvements in the Orion Platform 2018.2, see the Orion Platform 2018.2 release notes.


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, be aware of the following considerations:

  • Review the deprecation notices: Although NCM 7.8 still supports Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 R2, and SQL Server 2012, these will no longer be supported in future versions.

  • NCM 7.8 now uses the .NET RegEx engine to evaluate the regular expressions that identify lines or blocks for exclusion. When you upgrade, the upgrader automatically translates your existing Comparison Criteria to the .NET RegEx flavor.

    To verify that all regular expressions are translated:

    1. Before the upgrade, go to the Comparison Criteria page and make a note of the existing regular expressions.
    2. After the upgrade, verify that the Comparison Criteria page lists all regular expressions defined in previous versions. All regular expressions in the list were successfully translated to the .NET RegEx flavor.

If an existing regular expression is not listed on the Comparison Criteria page after the upgrade, please contact Support.

How to upgrade

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

If you are upgrading from NCM 7.4 or earlier, use this topic to plan and implement an upgrade to the current version of NCM.


Fixed issues in NCM 7.8

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NCM 7.8 fixes the following issues.

Case number Description

1109797, 1339042,
00010567

You can now specify the encryption type in device templates.

1202383

Exporting an NCM policy compliance report to Excel or a CSV file no longer fails when the account limitation for the node category is Network.

1221896

Unmanaged and deleted nodes are no longer included in policy compliance reports.

1212993, 1243565, 1301423, 00010895

Nodes in the Config Change Report are listed in alphabetical order. Other formatting issues, such as empty lines, have also been corrected.

1244061

Jobs that use the ${DateTime} variable to create new files each time they run now create the file names correctly.

1199516

When you run a Config Change Report, NCM uses the correct configuration file as a baseline for the comparison.

1266698

A firmware upgrade no longer fails when NCM is using credentials that do not allow it to delete the upgrade file from the SCP root folder.

1328505

Variables such as ${DateTime} are evaluated correctly in real-time notification (RTN) subject lines.

1325626

When NCM generates the Config Change Report as a PDF file to attach to the notification email, the PDF file name includes the date and time it was generated.

00038754, 00036751, 00012566, 00065185

When a configuration file has special encoding at the beginning or end or lines, NCM no longer incorrectly reports changes to the configuration file.

00028772

NCM can now download configuration files from a Cisco Intrusion Prevention System (IPS) operating system that runs on Cisco ASA hardware.

00034394

Jobs to download or back up configuration files for Cisco ASA devices no longer run for long periods or time out.

00055655

NCM no longer attempts to connect to the free Additional Polling Engine that is distributed by SolarWinds SRM.

00064055

When you create an "Upload Changes to Devices" job, using the Vendor property in a Dynamic Selection no longer returns an error.

00073627

After users delete configuration files or nodes, NCM removes all unneeded data from the database. The improved cleanup operation prevents the database size from increasing unnecessarily.

N/A

When you perform an advanced search, the configuration files in the search results are listed in chronological order.

00024232

When an uncaught exception occurs in the search engine, the NCM advanced search no longer appears to hang at 0%.

Fixed issues in Orion Platform 2018.2

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For a list of fixed issues in the Orion Platform 2018.2, see the Orion Platform 2018.2 release notes.


End of life

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Version EoL Annoucement EoE Effective Date EoL Effective Date
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 the 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.


Deprecation notices

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This version of Network Configuration Manager deprecates the following platforms and features.

Deprecated platforms and features are still supported in the current release. However, they will be unsupported in a future release. Plan on upgrading deprecated platforms, and avoid using deprecated features. Customizations applied to a deprecated feature might not be migrated if a new feature replaces the deprecated one.

Type Details
Windows Server 2012, 2012 R2 This software is deprecated as of this release. Although you can install Orion Platform 2018.2 products on Windows Server 2012 and 2012 R2, Windows Server 2012 and 2012 R2 are deprecated and will not be supported in future versions of the Orion Platform. SolarWinds strongly recommends that you upgrade your operating system to Windows Server 2016 or later at your earliest convenience.
SQL Server 2012 This software is deprecated as of this release. Although you can use SQL Server 2012 with Orion Platform 2018.2 products, this version is deprecated and will not be supported on future versions of the Orion Platform. SolarWinds strongly recommends that you upgrade to Microsoft SQL Server 2016, 2017, or later at your earliest convenience.
All Active Alerts resource The current All Active Alerts resources is deprecated. The resource is replaced with a new, enhanced widget. You can continue to use the deprecated, legacy resource.
Pre-configured resources (Availability, Min/Max/Average, Percent Loss, etc.) Most pre-configured resources are deprecated as of this release. The resources will be compressed into single, configurable widget in a future release.
Last XX resources Pre-configured Last XX resources are deprecated as of this release. They will be replaced with a single, configurable widget in a future release.
Managed Nodes The current Managed Nodes page is deprecated as of this release. A new version is available, but you can continue to use the legacy page. SolarWinds recommends migrating to the new Managed Nodes page at your earliest convenience.
Customize Views The Customize View page is deprecated as of this release. Functionality is migrating to the Customize Page feature.
Search resources (legacy search, search on THWACK, search for nodes, etc.) All search resources are deprecated as of this release. Use the integrated search in the global navigation.

Legal notices

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