Orion Network Configuration Manager
Strengths: Fully automated network device management
Weaknesses: Focuses only on network devices
Verdict: If you need a strong configuration management tool for internetworking devices this venerable product with a long and strong pedigree is an excellent choice
Orion Network Configuration Manager from SolarWinds provides a solid network configuration and change management platform that gives network administrators the ability to stay on top of network device configurations throughout the enterprise.
It can integrate with routers, switches, firewalls and other network devices to ensure configuration meets the enterprise compliance needs. It is also clientless and uses standard network-based protocols such as ICMP, SNMP, SSH and several others to establish communication across the network.
Installation is easy and straightforward. Initial installation takes just a few minutes and is run from an executable that launches a wizard. At its completion the desktop application or the web-based management interface can be launched and device discovery can begin. Once all of the devices are added administrators can back up configurations and begin managing network devices all from the interface.
Orion Network Configuration Manager allows administrators to easily schedule automated backups of device configurations, as well as modify configurations across several devices at a time. Furthermore it can scan and detect configuration policy violations based on both company and federal compliance standards.
We were provided with documentation that included two PDF guides: a quick-start guide that detailed how to install and complete the initial setup of the product; and an administrator guide that provided an in-depth look at configuring the product features, as well as using and navigating the consoles. Both guides included clear and organised step-by-step instructions and examples and the administrator guide featured many screenshots.
SolarWinds provides one year of 24/5 phone and email technical support as part of the purchase price. Beyond the first year customers can purchase additional support annually at a cost of about 17 per cent of the licence fee. There is also a large support area on the website available at no cost, which includes downloads, a knowledgebase and other product resources.
At a price just under £1,650 this product is good value for money. It can help streamline tedious network device management and compliance tasks across the enterprise with one easy-to-use application.