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Network and IT infrastructure is getting more complex by the day. System administrators are constantly battling the demons of change management and performance degradation. SolarWinds’ latest release, Orion NCM 5.0, gives solution providers a powerful tool that will help their customers achieve network management nirvana.

Orion NCM promises to bring network device-configuration control to networks ranging from 50 to thousands of devices. NCM’s goal is to allow administrators to monitor device configurations, report on configuration changes and enforce device configurations based upon policies. The granular nature of the product allows administrators to manage and monitor devices individually or as a group and be alerted in real time of problems or unauthorized changes. While those capabilities are important from an IT management point of view, one cannot ignore what those capabilities may mean to the world of compliance, where granular control and reporting are critical.

Perhaps an oversimplification, NCM is all about change management for the network and offers the ability to monitor and plan (or even prevent) change. Change and configuration management is one of the cornerstones of best practices in network management. After all, if an administrator cannot visualize the current infrastructure configuration, how can that administrator address performance issues, maintain security, balance loads or even plan for the future?

NCM follows on the heels of a previous generation product named Cirrus Configuration Manager, which was designed with many of the same goals as NCM, but was lacking in several areas. Improvements include NCM’s ability to integrate into Orion Network Performance Monitor (NPM), allowing NCM to become part of a bigger network management solution. Improvements to the point-and-click interface bring new monitoring/control capabilities such as configuration health status, device details, configuration backups, scheduled job status, policy violations and event history status screens.


Orion NCM 5.0’s point-and-click interface makes easy work of generating reports of security violations, network performance and change requests.