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Inspecting and comparing network device configuration—Free NMC tool #5

Guest Blogger (HPE-SW-Guest) ‎03-06-2013 05:09 AM - edited ‎01-31-2015 11:20 PM

By Mark Pinskey
Sr. Product Marketing Manager – Automated Network Management

Editor’s note: HP Software recently announced the launch of six free network utilities. This series of blog posts provides short overviews of how each tool can help you manage your network.

Network administrators eat, sleep and breathe device configuration. It is your bread and butter. But are there ways to speed up the process of reviewing device configuration? What if you could store device passwords and even compare the configs of devices?

HP Network Device Configuration Inspector is a free tool that displays the current configuration of a network device in a familiar local editor for easy searching, saving, and printing. HP NDCI also highlights the configuration differences between two network devices in the comparison tool of your choice, so you can verify that various aspects of the configurations match across network devices.

What it does

HP NDCI displays a device configuration file in a local text editor (Figure 1). It also invokes a local comparison tool to display the differences between the configurations of two different devices.

HP Network Device Configuration Inspector currently supports access to Cisco IOS devices over telnet. It uses the TFTP protocol to retrieve device configurations using pre-stored device credentials.

Working with the tool

Start NDCI by running the command < Run_HPNDCI.bat > The prompt will change to indicate that you’re running the tool—initialization occurs automatically.

In order to access a network device, the tool sequentially tries a list of passwords provided to it until it successfully accesses a device. You will need to specify the user names and passwords for accessing devices (commands are detailed in the Help documentation).

To use the tool, simply enter commands in the CLI (Figure 1). For example, to show the configuration for one device, use the command:

showConfig -device <device_ID>


Fig. 1

The selected editor opens showing the configuration for the specified device (Figure 2). Use the editor functions for searching, printing, and saving the device configuration.


Fig. 2

Similarly, to compare the configurations of two different devices, enter the command:
diffConfig -device1 <device_ID> -device2 <device_ID>

This feature highlights the differences between the two configurations, with functions to customize the output (Figure 3).


Fig. 3

Here are a few other options and features of the tool:


  • To list all available commands: listall
  • To open the tool help in a web browser: help
  • To exit the tool: exit or bye

Download the tool
Managing network device configuration is a daily requirement for network administrators, and this free tool is designed to make it easier. Download the Network Device Configuration Inspector and also get access to five other free Network Management Center administration utilities.

To read other posts about how these free tools work, check out the Business Service Management blog. The final post in our series will look at Network Flow Analytics, which can help you measure network traffic flow and extend network monitoring capability beyond checking your network interfaces for utilization and errors. If you have ever asked a question like, “What apps are hogging my network?” now answers will be at your fingertips, without any complicated setups.

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