Configuration file management in Network Devices

The first step towards a commendable network performance is to be well-prepared during a disaster or a network outage. The reason why many enterprises sustain losses is that they often fail to have a backup-plan owing to a substandard configuration management. Having a proper configuration file management not only helps to handle network outages but also helps users attain optimum network performance. Network Configuration Manager provides complete configuration management with its config management solution.

Device Configuration Backup with Config file manager

The core process of config file management is backing up configuration files. Not having proper configuration files for backup extends the down time in devices during an outage. This can be prevented by taking timely backups of configurations. Network configuration manager helps to backup start-up/running configurations of more than 1000 network devices. It also organizes backed up configuration files making it easy for the users to quickly locate the configuration files. Thus, the users can be well assured while facing an outage since they can upload the backed up configurations in multiple devices at one go.

 Config file manager backup

Key Features of Configuration File Management:

  • Backup network configurations in running and start-up configurations

  • Version and Label configuration files

  • Upload configuration files in multiple devices

  • Schedule configurations on a daily/monthly/weekly/hourly basis

  • Compare configuration files of any network device

  • Configure and manage configurations of vendors like Cisco, Juniper, HP etc.

How to backup device Configurations:

Network Configuration Manager helps to backup configurations of several devices right after they are discovered and listed in the Inventory. Once communication is established between Network Configuration Manager and the device, the configuration files are fetched and backup is triggered in the following ways:

  • Manual Configuration Backup:  Network Configuration Manager helps to backup any number of devices or device groups with a single click instantaneously. A large number of devices can be selected in bulk and their configuration files can be backed up at any instant using manual backups.

  • Automated Configuration Backup:  When any change is made in configuration files of critical devices, syslog messages are triggered notifying the user about the change and configurations are backed up automatically.

  • Scheduled Configuration Backup:  Network Configuration Manager provides hourly/weekly/monthly/daily scheduling options making it easy for admins to backup devices which requires backing up in regular intervals. This eliminates the need for an admin to be physically present since the backup takes place automatically at the scheduled time.

Backing up Start-up/Running Configurations:

A Start-up configuration is the version of configuration file that will be available for uploading when a device is rebooted. A running configuration file is the configuration file on which the admin currently works on or makes changes. Network Configuration manager provides backup options for both running and start-up configurations and manages them effectively. When any change is made to a start-up configuration, the admin can backup the configuration file and make a copy of it. Likewise, the running configurations can also be backed up to prevent loss of changes. The backed up configuration files are stored in the Network Configuration Manager database in encrypted form. The backed-up files of both running and start-up configurations can be viewed from the "Device Details" page in the GUI.

Configuration versioning and Labelling:

Config File Versioning:

Configuration file management is further simplified by versioning and labelling configuration files. Whenever a configuration file is updated with new changes, Network Configuration Manager stores the configuration file in an incremental version of its change. This helps the user to easily locate the configuration files based on its version number. Network Configuration Manager provides an option to select and view any particular configuration version. From the historical information, administrators can choose any two configuration versions and compare.

 Config file manager versioning


Another important aspect of configuration file management is Labelling configuration files. Admins can manage any number of device configurations by segregating configuration files and labeling them. Any configuration operation can be carried out on a particular set of devices which fall under one label. This eliminates the need for the admin to identify devices one by one to perform a particular network operation. Also, a user can label a stable configuration as the Baseline configuration. In case of a network outage, the admin can instantly upload Baseline configurations in multiple devices which will help to reduce device down-time in many devices.

 Config file manager label

Uploading Network Configurations:

While backup deals with taking a copy of the device configuration and retaining it in the Network Configuration Manager, upload refers to transferring the configuration from Network Configuration Manager to the device.

Network Configuration file manager helps the user to select an entire configuration file or lines/snippet within a file and uploads it in multiple devices/device groups. Thus, the admin need not spend hours in manually uploading configurations in multiple devices as he can upload it in multiple devices in a single click.

 Config file manager upload

Comparing configurations in network devices:

Network configuration file manager provides an option to compare configurations. Comparing configuration comes in handy to track all the changes made in a configuration file. Also, when a configuration suddenly starts performing badly, the reason behind its depreciating performance can be found. This can be done by comparing the under performing configuration with a configuration similar to it and by identifying the change that caused slag in its performance. Network Configuration manager allows users to:

  • Compare different configuration versions of same device
  • Compare configuration files of different devices
  • View color coded differences: See the lines that are added, modified & deleted

 Config file manager comparison

Configure and manage configurations of vendors like Cisco, Juniper, HP Network devices

Configuration File Manager helps to configure and manage network devices of multiple vendors like Cisco, Juniper, HP etc. The highlights of vendor-based monitoring offered by network configuration manager are stated below:

  • Backup start-up, running configurations of Cisco, Juniper, HP devices like routers and switches
  • Compare configurations between routers and switches of different vendors
  • Retrieve latest startup and runtime configuration files of the cisco routers/switches
  • Upload Cisco configuration files in multiple devices using TFTP

Upload Cisco configuration files in multiple devices using TFTP