Configuration drift management

Large networks require frequent configuration adjustments for security updates, performance optimization, and other improvements. However, these changes must be closely monitored to prevent configuration drift.

Network configuration drift occurs when a device's configuration deviates from the intended configuration. This can happen due to manual adjustments, ad-hoc changes, or human error. Unidentified configuration drifts can lead to serious consequences, including security vulnerabilities and network instability.

To tackle this challenge effectively, it's crucial to have a comprehensive network configuration management tool equipped with robust configuration drift management features. This is where ManageEngine Network Configuration Manager excels, serving as a unified solution for network configuration management, seamlessly handling changes and preventing configuration drift.

Why configuration drift cannot be overlooked

The significance of addressing configuration drift cannot be overstated. Configuration drift, primarily stemming from unattended or untracked changes, can result in severe consequences such as:

  1. Inconsistency: Configuration drift leads to disparities across devices or systems within a network, which challenges the maintenance of uniform configurations. This inconsistency can trigger operational issues and expose security vulnerabilities.

  2. Compliance violations: Config drift may cause systems to veer off from compliance standards and regulations, potentially resulting in failed audits, financial penalties, or legal repercussions if sensitive data is compromised due to non-compliance.

  3. Security risks: Drifted configurations introduce security vulnerabilities by inadvertently exposing access points or weakening security measures. Attackers frequently exploit these vulnerabilities to gain unauthorized access to systems or sensitive information.

  4. Risk of downtime: Unmanaged configuration drift heightens the risk of unforeseen downtime. Changes drifting from the intended configuration may cause systems to behave erratically or fail entirely, leading to disruptions in service availability.

These challenges can be proactively addressed with Network Configuration Manager.

Prevent and manage configuration drift with Network Configuration Manager

ManageEngine Network Configuration Manager is a comprehensive multi-vendor network configuration and change management (NCCM) solution catering to all network devices. It boasts various cutting-edge features, including real-time change management and compliance. Let's explore how users can utilize these functionalities to proactively address configuration drifts.

  • Configuration labeling: Users have the flexibility to label configurations as baseline, stable, or according to their requirements. This enables users to identify the baseline version even in the event of drift caused by changes. In case of emergencies such as downtime or the detection of unauthorized drift, users can swiftly upload the labeled baseline to revert changes. This eliminates the need to search for the baseline.

  • Config drift label  

  • Role-based access control (RBAC): With RBAC, administrators wield authority by establishing rules for user access. Admins can allocate specific devices to designated users, ensuring users only have access to the assigned devices. Any changes made by users to these devices require admin approval beforehand. This proactive approach prevents configuration drift by cutting off the route to drift before it occurs.

  • Config drift user management  

  • Rollback capability: Critical devices susceptible to configuration drift can be safeguarded by enabling rollback to previous stable versions or to versions labeled as baseline. This feature ensures Network Configuration Manager automatically reverts changes to the selected option, effectively preventing configuration drift.

  • Config drift user management  

  • Compliance maintenance: Network Configuration Manager facilitates adherence to industry standards, such as CIS and other industry-grade policies. By leveraging these policies, users can ensure configurations align with intended rules, mitigating the risk of configuration drift.

  • Config drift compliance  

  • Real-time change notifications: Network Configuration Manager promptly notifies users of any detected changes to devices through various notification mediums such as email, SNMP traps, Syslogs, and tickets. This enables users to stay informed about changes as they occur, preventing them from evolving into configuration drift and allowing immediate action to be taken.

Config drift change management  

FAQs about configuration drift

What is configuration drift?


What causes configuration drift to occur?


Why monitoring configuration drift is important?


What are the other features of ManageEngine Network Configuration Manager?


Interested in experiencing enhanced drift management? Download the 30-day trial of Network Configuration Manager.

Seeking a customized quote based on your organization's preferences? Fill out our quote request form.

Eager to witness a free demo of the product in action? Complete our demo request form.