SolarWinds Network Configuration Manager Review

Has good configuration backup automation, configuration compliance, security vulnerability detection, and upgrading features


What is our primary use case?

They are four areas that we use the Network Configuration Manager for. One is to automate configuration backup. The second is for configuration compliance. The third is for security vulnerability detection. The fourth is to upgrade the firmware of Cisco devices.

What is most valuable?

The features we find most valuable are the configuration backup automation, configuration compliance, security vulnerability detection, and upgrading devices.

What needs improvement?

The Network Configuration Manager needs to improve the access control list compliance.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have used SolarWinds Network Configuration Manager for about five years now. SolarWinds has rebranded recently so the latest version is 2019.4. We are using version 7.7.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I believe the product is pretty stable except for the fact that between two versions there are some inconsistencies in terms of what features were working that are not working now. For example, I can recall an incident where we upgraded the Network Configuration Manager version and we had the PDF reports not working correctly.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

SolarWinds Network Configuration Manager is very scalable. We have a deployment that covers over 12,000 network devices.

How are customer service and technical support?

We have used technical support many times. They're good if you escalate properly. It is an area that needs a bit of improvement in terms of helping prioritize the ticket. Whenever we open a ticket with them, I think by default it lands up in an open bucket. So I don't have the option of saying that there is an absolutely critical requirement and I need some urgent help. I can't classify that when opening up a ticket for the first time.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was pretty straightforward. The initial setup did not take very long. I think the base platform was set up in a day's time. But I think configuration compliance policies, which is actually more of writing the policies rather than anything to do with SolarWinds, are slightly more time-consuming. The creation of policy is time-consuming. That has more to do with the organization policy, i.e., do I need Telnet enabled, do I need Telnet disabled, etc.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

I would highly recommend SolarWinds Network Configuration Management to other customers. I rate this product at a nine out of ten.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We really did not evaluate many other options. We were actually using the Kiwi CatTools version which is also a part of SolarWinds. But I think SolarWinds Network Configuration Manager is a big brother of Kiwi CatTools and I think since we were already familiar with Kiwi CatTools the migration to NCM was pretty easy.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
**Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
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