Little survey: What do people use to backup configurations ?

A while back when I was at SGI, I wrote my own scripts, using expect
and tftp to backup configurations of Cisco routers. Configs then were
put into rcs. Now before I am resurecting those scripts again for my
current job, what are people using to backup equipment, things such
as Cisco routers (26xx, 36xx, 72xx, 75xx, MSFC, RSM) and Cisco Catalyst
switches (2924XL, 3548XL, 4000, 5000, 6500) ?

What I am trying to archive is at least a daily backup, with again
some version control to be able what changed between days.

You're describing

In the past I had a Perl script that would make SNMP calls from
a server authorized for SNMP read/write access to handle the download
much like you used your expect script...

  Jeremy T. Bouse

Ulf Zimmermann was said to been seen saying:

I'm using RANCID <> to handle this, and
ViewCVS <> on a https+auth protected
server to allow non eng types to peep the configs.

Overall, I'm quite content. The only area where it falls short is its
inability to show what users made what configuration changes, and
precisely when.

If anyone has a good means of doing this (by editing router
configurations off-line, automagically and/or by hand, and then
committing 'em via expect script? Tailing TAC+ command logs, and
generating diffs accordingly? Something else I'm overlooking?), and
is willing to share their source, I'd be most appreciative.


There was a pretty good article about auto scripting this in sysadmin
magazine, perhaps 18-24 months ago..


...Or, on the low-budget side, a former employer once had a rule: "Always
conf net, never ever conf t." One of the advantages to that was, all
configs were caught in our nightly backup of the tftp server. Config
files were under SCCS (essentially the same thing as rcs or cvs).

Matthew Devney

Several folks mention Rancid, which is a great system for what
it is meant to do, Austin deserves much kudos.

Additionally, w/ expect and cvs, one can write a custom system
without too much work, but with Rancid, why bother?

A company called Gold Wire Technology ( has
an excellent product called "Forumlator". It's more than just
config archives; that's a small by-product of what it does. High
level, it's an industrial strength policy-based configuration
management system, Very impressive company and product. They
cover much of the OSS requirements for active network management,
ie, not alarms or trending, but activation and change-management,

Two "tier 1" ISPs beta-tested the SW, and I think it's shipping for
revenue RSN.


  (...who has a vested interest in Gold Wire)

Thus spake Ulf Zimmermann (
on or about Fri, Feb 02, 2001 at 04:34:47PM -0800:

s/Austin/John Heasley and others/g



Thus spake Alan Hannan (
on or about Sat, Feb 03, 2001 at 10:06:42AM -0600: