A baseline configuration is a device's most stable version. When a baseline configuration is uploaded into a faulty device, the device should return to optimum performance.
Whenever a change is made in a device configuration, Network Configuration Manager instantly triggers a backup of that particular device. The backed up configurations are then stored as incremental versions. This creates several versions of configuration files for the same device. Among these versions, the network admin chooses the most stable configuration and labels it as the Configuration Baseline version.
Network admins should choose a configuration's baseline version based on the following criteria:
In short, the admin must choose a baseline configuration version that is flexible, stable, and versatile.
To label a configuration as the baseline configuration version, select the configuration from Inventory and click on the three dots icon in the top right corner. Select Label Configuration, then select Baseline as the label to associate it to the device. Thus the selected version will be the configuration baseline version.
A running configuration is the current or most-recent configuration version on a device. Any changes made to a running configuration will not be saved unless the configuration is synced with the startup configuration or the configuration baseline.
A baseline-running conflict occurs when the baseline configuration isn't synced with the running configuration. Whenever there's a baseline-running configuration conflict, Network Configuration Manager immediately shows the conflict in red. If an admin finds the running configuration to be more stable than the baseline configuration, they can label the running configuration as the new baseline configuration. If the running configuration is on a critical device or the admin feels that the configuration might harm the device and cause issues, then they can upload the configuration baseline that was chosen earlier.
Baseline configurations act as a fall-back mechanism in case of an emergency. An admin can directly upload configuration baseline to devices to bring them back to a running state. Baseline configurations not only reduce device downtime, but also give admins enough time to identify the cause of a network outage without affecting productivity.
Baseline configurations can be labeled in multiple devices by choosing the best performing configuration versions for both running and startup configurations. When there is a network outage, configuration baseline versions can be uploaded in bulk to network devices. Uploading a configuration's baseline version can be done instantly and can quickly reduce downtime for more than 1,000 network devices at once.
The quality of a network configuration plays a major role in determining the performance of network devices. Faulty configuration changes often lead to performance degradation and, in some cases, may even lead to heavy losses. These issues can be avoided by thoroughly scrutinizing the configurations and making necessary changes to improve performance.
When one device configuration is similar to another configuration but does not produce the same desired output as that configuration, then a network admin can improve the quality of the under-performing configuration by comparing it with the configuration's baseline version. Through a comparison, an admin can check where the configuration can be improved.
As shown above, baseline configurations can be used for averting network disasters and for improving the performance of existing configurations
Check out how you can view a side-by-side comparison of baseline versions with running or startup configurations.