Network Automation Tool

Network configuration automation is the process of deploying nertwork automation methodologies to automatically configure, track and manage network configurations. Using a powerful network automation tool not only eliminates human errors but also brings about substantial growth in enterprises by reducing operational expenses. This is why choosing an appropriate network automation tool is crucial for an ideal network performance. Network Configuration Manager is one such tool which is designed in a way befitting a standard network automation tool. It automates the important functionalities of configurations like backups, compliance, change tracking and management, thus improving overall productivity and reliability.

 

Why network configurations need a network automation tool?

  1. Misconfigurations have become the leading cause of network disasters. Misconfigurations, if left undetected, can lead to network outages, poor performance, inconsistencies, noncompliance, and loss of access to a particular subnet or a network, which will eventually lead to network mishaps like downtime. To keep track of all the changes in real time for about 10,000 devices manually is near to impossible. In order to avoid this, you can use network automation tools. Network Configuration Manager to keep track of all the configuration changes in real time so that there are no unauthorized or unnecessary changes made.
  2. A major security issue arising in a large network environment is the failure to stay compliant with industry standard policies. In a large network enterprise, network admins cannot keep track of all devices' compliance status and immediately solve if there are any non-compliant devices. It is really hectic and time-consuming along with possibility of human errors. With Network Configuration Manager, you can easily manage compliance as it provides policies such as PCI DSS, SOX, HIPAA, and Cisco IOS as default policies. You can also create your own policies.
  3. In a large network environment, if an admin needs to enable SNMP v3 to almost 20,000 devices at once, the admin for sure cannot perform this task manually. Network automation tools help you with this. You can use automation script templates to execute the task. This will enable SNMP v3 to all the 20,000 devices at once, saving lots of time for network admins.
  4. A network automation tool doesn't always require human intervention. Some of the tasks are carried out automatically even if there are no human involvement to help. Hence, the tool works even out of office hours so that you get all the information the next day.

Functionalities of Network Configuration Manager as your network automation tool 

  1. Configuration backups
  2. Configuration change management
  3. Firmware vulnearbility management
  4. Automated compliance auditing for Cisco, HIPAA, SOX and PCI DSS
  5. Executing configlets as automation templates

Configuration backups

Every change made in configurations carries a possibility of an error. In some cases, it even leads to network outages disrupting the normal functioning of crucial network devices. This is why changes made to crucial device configurations should be detected and backed up instantly. With Network Configuration Manager as your network automation tool, you can take backups of configurations in three ways:

  1. Manual backup - Instantly backup whichever device you want by click of a button.
  2. Scheduled backup - If you want certain backups to run at a particular time or day, you can schedule it accordingly and Network Configuration Manager will take care of it.
  3. Syslog-based automated backup - If a user logs off after using Network Configuration Manager, the tool will use syslogs to check if any new change has been made. If yes, then configurations are backed up. If not, then it is discarded.

Configuration change management

The major role of a network administrator is to effectively monitor and manage network configurations. But, it is quite a task to gain complete control over a network environment consisting of a large number of network operators working on several configurations. Apart from being a physically draining process, manual change detection also leads to missing out on critical changes in network devices causing network disasters. Network automation tool completely wipes off the necessity to track changes manually. But not all network automation tools provide benefitting features. Some of the change management features Network Configuration Manager have are

  1. Real-time change notifications: Network Configuration Manager instantly triggers change notifications in the form of E-mail, SMS, SNMP traps, and syslog notifications whenever there is a configuration change. Thus, any undesirable change can be reverted immediately thereby preventing a potential network outage.
  2. Role-based access control (RBAC) - As a admin, you can assign specific roles and devices to operators. Only those assigned will be accesible by operators. The admins can choose to accept or reject any changes made by operators.
  3. Configuration versioning and labelling - Label configurations as baseline or stable so that you can use it immediately during a sudden downtime.
  4. Diff View for configuration comparison - Compare two configurations of same device or two configurations of two different devices side by side. Here, differences and changes are colour coded for better readability.

Firmware vulnerability management

Firmware security is also one of the key parameters in a network environment. Managing firmware manually is a hectic task and in most cases it is not efficent. With Network Configuration Manager, you can seamlessly handle firmware vulnerabilities as it collects updated data from NIST and provides a list of devices that are vulnerable along with website links containing patch downloads. Here, the severity is categorized with base scores.

 

Automated compliance auditing for CISCO, HIPAA, SOX and PCI DSS

With enterprises finding more and more ways to attain growth in the corporate world, it has only increased the probability of security threats to their network resources. This is why it is mandatory to adhere to internal/external policies to avoid loopholes and legal issues. Network Configuration Manager helps administrators to achieve compliance across industry-specific compliance policies. It also consists of in-built compliance templates in accordance with standard compliance policies like Cisco IOS policy, HIPAA, SOX and other important policies. The default compliance policies can be automatically applied across several devices which leads to increased security and data integrity. 

 

Executing Configlets with Network Automation Tools

Quite often, there arises a need to carry out changes to the running configuration of devices making it a repetitive task. The same set of changes might have to be applied to multiple devices making it a tedious and a time-consuming process. Network Configuration Manager provides an effective solution for this in the form of 'Configuration script templates', also known as Configlets. This tool automates bulk configuration changes by executing script templates and helps to upload config files across several network devices at one go. Network Automation platform also helps to execute ACLs and other troubleshooting commands in bulk, paving way to increased network security.

After selecting the necessary device or device group for which the configlet needs to be executed, click on "Execute". Now, if you have enabled two factor authentication (TFA), you will receive a 6 digit OTP via email or Authenticator app, whichever selected. Enter the 6 digit OTP and click on "Submit" to execute the configlet. If you have not enabled TFA, you can execute configlet directly without any authentication.

Quite often, there arises a need to carry out changes to the running configuration of devices making it a repetitive task. The same set of changes might have to be applied to multiple devices making it a tedious and a time-consuming process. Network Configuration Manager provides an effective solution for this in the form of 'Configuration script templates', also known as Configlets. This tool automates bulk configuration changes by executing script templates and helps to upload config files across several network devices at one go. Network Automation platform also helps to execute ACLs and other troubleshooting commands in bulk, paving way to increased network security.

After selecting the necessary device or device group for which the configlet needs to be executed, click on "Execute". Now, if you have enabled two factor authentication (TFA), you will receive a 6 digit OTP via email or Authenticator app, whichever selected. Enter the 6 digit OTP and click on "Submit" to execute the configlet. If you have not enabled TFA, you can execute configlet directly without any authentication.

 

Customer reviews

Network Configuration Manager
Your peers approve Network Configuration Manager
- Rob Calhoun, W.C. Bradley Company
"Network Configuration Manager has worked very well for us. Their technical support has been outstanding and they have gone above and beyond what I would have expected. I would highly recommend this product for anyone who would like to successfully manage their configuration files for all of their devices. "
Network Configuration Manager
Your peers approve Network Configuration Manager
- Larry Ware, Federal Signal Global Network Boffin
"Manageengine Network Configuration Manager has proven a very useful tool to help Federal Signal, Inc. manage multiple vendors equipment across multiple geographic locations. It has allowed us to effectively manage remote device configurations and implement effective change control for network infrastructure. "
Network Configuration Manager
Your peers approve Network Configuration Manager
- Kevin Spies, Manager of Network Operations, Lightyear Network Solutions, LLC
"Network Configuration Manager is a very powerful configuration management tool. Network Configuration Manager has saved us a great deal of time if a problem does arise because we know we can immediately pull the history of changes made and roll back the running configuration to a last known good configuration if needed. If you are someone that is currently wondering how to get a handle on your configurations changes then Network Configuration Manager is for you."
Network Configuration Manager
Your peers approve Network Configuration Manager
- Neil C. Perry, IT Manager, Stoops Freightliner-Quality Trailer, Inc
"Network Configuration Manager has helped us save a great deal of time in rolling out configuration changes to numerous network devices within minutes rather than hours, or even days. The automated approach on backups allows us to sleep at night knowing that we always have the most up to date configurations of our devices. The web interface quickly gives you a user friendly snapshot of the status of your devices providing you the knowledge of what devices are backed up, not backed up, have start/run conflicts, etc. NCM is by far the biggest bang for your buck on the market. It's an absolute must for network admins of enterprises of all sizes."
 
 

Case Studies - Network Configuration Manager

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