Documentation forKiwi CatTools


The Device.Backup.TFTP activity makes a backup of the specified file and optionally compare it to the current file on disk. If there are differences, the current file is moved to the "Dated Configs" folder and the filename is appended with the current date. The newly downloaded file then becomes the current file. A HTML differences report is created in the "Reports" folder and a copy is emailed to a specified email address.

SolarWinds recommends using the Device.Backup.Running config activity to backup your config files. However, the Device.Backup.TFTP activity serves as a useful alternative in certain circumstances.

Although this activity is designed to replicate the Device.Backup.Running config activity using Trivial File Transfer Protocols (TFTP), it is not limited to device configurations. You can specify other files, such as VLAN.dat. You also have the option to generate a comparison report. Some files may be in binary format and therefore cannot be compared using Kiwi CatTools. Finally you can also specify custom commands to send to TFTP the file.

The Device.Backup.TFTP activity completes the following tasks:

  1. A connection is made via SSH or telnet to the device.
  2. Commands to use TFTP against the specified file is issued.
  3. The file is collected and stored in the TFTP folder.
  4. A check is made to see if there is an existing file on disk for this device.
  5. If a current TFTP file exists, it is compared to the newly downloaded file.
    1. A text and HTML report is made of any differences and stored in the "Reports" folder. A copy of the difference report is sent to a specified recipient via e-mail.
    2. The current file is moved to the "Dated configs" folder and appended with the current date.
    3. The newly downloaded file is put in the TFTP folder and becomes the current file backup.
  6. If a current TFTP file does not exist, the newly downloaded file is placed in the TFTP folder as the current file backup.

Setting up the activity for Device.Backup.TFTP

For information on setting up activities, see Add / Edit scheduled activity details.

This activity is available in the following device scripts:

AlliedTelesis.AlliedWare.Plus Cisco.Router.General Cisco.Switch.IOS Cisco.Switch.CatOS
Cisco.Firewall.PIX Cisco.Wireless.Lan Fortinet.FortiOS.General Generic.Device
HP.Switch.2500 NEC.Univerge.IX Nortel.Switch.Ethernet Nortel.Switch.NoCLI
Bluecoat.Cacheflow Checkpoint.VPN F5.BigIP.TMSH PaloAlto.FireWall

Activity options

Configure the options specific to the Device.Backup.TFTP activity in the Options tab.

Optional alternate list of commands

Removes the selection from the 'File to write to TFTP Server' checkbox. Some device scripts include a default set of commands that can be used to generate and TFTP the config for this activity. However, should there be no default commands for your device you can use this box to enter your own.

For example, you may enter the command:

copy running-config tftp:

When specifying the name of the file to be written, the name must include the %ctDeviceName variable. CatTools uses this variable to correctly identify the file for comparison.

Enter commands in enable mode

CatTools enters enable mode before issuing any commands to a device.

Answer [yes] to any confirmation prompts

Some issued commands have confirmation prompts, such as: "Are you sure? Y or N". CatTools automatically answers such prompts in the affirmative, on the assumption that if you entered the commands you want them to be executed.

If this option is unchecked, then the activity will enter N(for "No") in response to any command confirmation prompts.

File to write to TFTP server

Use the default list of commands, where available, to TFTP the file.

Enter the name of the file you want to TFTP in the text box, for example, running-config, vlan.dat, and so on.

Current file

Specifies the folder and file name of where to store the current file. By default this is in the configs folder and uses Config.Current.Running as part of the file name. The most common use case for this activity is to backup the config by TFTP. This is also be the file that a new TFTP file is compared against.

The default location is \Configs\%GroupName%\Config.Current.Running.%BaseFile%.txt

The variables %GroupName% and %BaseFile% are replaced at run time. For example: C:\Program files\Cattools\Configs\Default\Config.Current.Running.Sales_Router.txt

This value is where any new configuration files are stored. If an existing file exists a comparison is done against the newly downloaded file. If there are no changes, no files are modified.

Compare, move to dated file

Runs a comparison between the file downloaded and an existing file, as specified by the current file. You can specify the folder and the file name of the stored dated files. The current file is moved to the dated config folder if changes are detected.

The default location is \Dated Configs\%GroupName%\Config.Dated.Running.%BaseFile%.%DateISO%-%TimeHHMM%.txt

The variables %GroupName%, %BaseFile%, %DateISO%, and %TimeHHMM% are replaced at run time. For example: C:\Program files\Cattools\Dated Configs\Default\Config.Dated.Running.Cisco805.20031006-1914.txt

See the section Filename Variables for a list of variables you can use.

Ignore Text

If you expect a new file to repeatedly contain lines of text that are different from the original file every time the comparison is run, such as a timestamp, you can add the lines to disregard in Ignore Text. More information is available on the Ignore Text field.

To ignore "certificate self-signed" changes on Cisco routers, see the block text ignore example.

Only notify by e-mail if configs have changed Run configuration backups as often as you want, but only receive an e-mail notification when changes are detected.
Attach reports to e-mail

Choose what level of diff reports you are sent via e-mail:

  • HTML compare report only (default)
  • Text diff report only
  • Both reports

If you want full comparison reports with highlighting, use the HTML compare report. If you just want the changes, use the text report.

If you are sending the reports via an insecure medium, such as a corporate network or internet, be aware that the HTML reports contain your full device configuration. SolarWinds recommends that you send password protected HTML reports over an insecure medium.

Zip attachments To reduce network traffic and allow for password protection, you can choose to zip the attachments. This is the recommended and default option. It keeps the e-mail smaller and places all the files in a single attachment, which can be beneficial when you have, for example, 400 devices.