SolarWinds Orion Network Configuration Manager
Strengths: Fully automated network device management.
Weaknesses: Focuses on only 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.
SummaryThe 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. This tool can integrate with routers, switches, firewalls and other network devices to ensure configurations meet enterprise compliance needs. Orion Network Configuration Manager is 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. The initial installation takes just a few minutes and runs from an executable that launches an installation wizard. At the completion of the wizard, the desktop application or the web-based management interface can be launched and device discovery can begin. Once all the devices are added, administrators can backup configurations and begin managing network devices all from the intuitive interface.
This product allows administrators to easily schedule automated backups of device configurations, as well as to modify configurations across several devices at a time. Furthermore, the Orion Network Configuration Manager can scan and detect configuration policy violations based on both company and federal compliance standards.
Documentation included two PDF guides. A quick-start guide detailed how to install and complete the initial setup of the product. An administrator guide provided an in-depth look at configuring the product features, as well as using and navigating the consoles. Both guides included clear and organized step-by-step instructions and examples, and the administrator guide featured many screen shots as well.
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 percent of the license fee. There is also a large support area on the website available at no cost, which includes downloads, a knowledge base and other product resources.
At a price just shy of $2,500, this product is a good value for the money. It can help streamline tedious network device management and compliance tasks across the enterprise with one easy-to-use application.