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Network Configuration Management

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Chip Marshall [mailto:chip at 2bithacker.net]
> Sent: Tuesday, March 12, 2013 1:58 PM
> To: nanog at nanog.org
> Subject: Network Configuration Management
> Just curious what people are using for network configuration
> manangement systems. I'm guessing most places have something
> built in-house, but before starting down that road I figured it
> would be a good idea to see if people have any off-the-shelf
> systems they like.

Solarwinds NCM is what we use.  It's multivendor and even handles menu-driven configurations and can easily be used to run commands on devices such as Linux servers for iptables firewall rules.  It can perform inventory management and do things like search for MAC addresses on your network.  Moreover, it can do policy reporting to ensure that your devices meet your configuration standards, both custom-made and for regulatory compliance like HIPAA/SOX/PCI/etc.

We used to use RANCID, which worked great, but we outgrew it when we needed something to backup multiple vendors and didn't have the resources to modify the code to do what we needed.

As other posters mentioned, their sales force is unrelentless, even after you purchase.  It took a lot of complaining to finally get off whatever internal sales list we were on.  Cost is also a concern, as it increases with the more devices you need to manage, plus there's a yearly maintenance fee.  That said, I feel the cost is somewhat justified, as they have a pretty good development team that is quite active on their support forums and they listen to customer feedback for features.