Configuration File Administration Overview

The system supports multiple administrator utilities related to configuration file management. Table 5-32 describes the purpose of the different utilities.

Table 5-32: Utilities for Configuration File Administration

Utility

Recommended Usage

Archiving

Schedule periodic backups to a remote backup server. You should schedule archiving for both the system configuration binary file (system.cfg) and the user configuration binary file (user.cfg). If necessary, you can import an archived configuration using the configuration binary file import/export feature.

Local backup and restore

Create backups on the local system as a precaution when making significant configuration changes. With this utility, you can quickly restore to a previous configuration.

Binary configuration file import/export

Export binary configuration files to a local host (an alternative to the remote archiving server and archiving process that runs as a scheduled job). You might do this if you do not use or do not have access to an archiving server, or if you want to make use of a configuration that has not yet been archived. You can export the binary system configuration file (system.cfg) and the binary user configuration file (user.cfg).

You can use the binary file import/export feature to clone a configuration that you want to deploy more broadly, such as deploying a backup device or to a group of devices. You can use “selective import” options to exclude unique network identifiers (such as IP address) that would cause problems if the configuration were to be wholly imported and activated.

XML configuration file import/export

Import or export the configuration for only the features and settings you select. This enables you to take a more granular approach to mass configuration management than the binary file import/export feature. For example, you might want to populate an authentication server configuration across a large number of nodes. You can export just that configuration element, and when you import it in the other nodes, you do not overwrite the large number of configuration elements that you would if you had imported the user.cfg file.

You might also find the XML file import/export feature useful when managing a single node. For example, you might want to add many new users to the local authentication server, which can be faster editing the XML than using the user interface. Or you might want to make global changes to the configuration object naming conventions or descriptions as part of a “housekeeping” initiative. This, too, might be accomplished faster editing the XML than clicking through the user interface.

Push configuration

Push a partial configuration from the running configuration on the source system to the running configuration on one or more target systems. This is the best option to instill common configuration elements if the devices that already deployed and currently online.

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