Configurations are considered the heart of network infrastructure. They are often adjusted to improve the overall workflow of the network environment. One small unnecessary change to a configuration can bring down an enterprise’s entire network infrastructure. Therefore, the changes made to configurations must always be checked to ensure they are in sync with the devices to improve efficiency and performance.

A network configuration is generally divided into two parts:

 1. Startup configuration

2. Running configuration

Startup configuration: Whenever a device reboots or powers up, the configuration present at that moment on the device is called the startup configuration. Here, no changes can be applied.

Running configuration: The configuration present during the device’s runtime is called the running configuration or the current version. Here, the running configuration contains all the recent changes you’ve made to the configuration since the last device reboot.

Startup and running configurations

Why do startup and running configurations need to be in sync?

Every change made to a device’s configurations will be applied to the running configurations, which are stored in RAM. Because RAM is volatile memory, all the stored contents will be erased whenever the device reboots or shuts down due to power failure.

Since configuration changes are made to improve performance, efficiency, and security, sudden network outages will erase all the new changes and make the device vulnerable to malicious threats. In order to avoid such disasters, the startup and running configurations should always be synced. Otherwise, desync will lead to startup and running conflicts.

How running configurations can be copied to startup configurations 

First, to show the current versions of the startup and running configurations, use the show startup-config and show running-config commands on a Telnet or PuTTY console. If doing this manually, you need to compare the configurations to find any changes and then copy the changes to the startup configurations, which is very time-consuming and hectic. In a large network infrastructure comprised of numerous devices, there will be devices with countless configuration lines, and manual comparison becomes nearly impossible. 

With a network configuration management tool, you can easily eradicate manual tasks by automatically comparing configurations side by side and applying the copy function to sync startup and running configurations.

Startup and running config

ManageEngine Network Configuration Manager: The all-in-one configuration management tool 

Network Configuration Manager is a multi-vendor network configuration and change management tool. It has a built-in, side-by-side comparison feature called Diff View, which is color coded to differentiate added, modified, and deleted configuration lines.

Network Configuration Manager provides real-time reports on startup and running configuration sync, which will let you know immediately if there is any conflict between the startup and running configurations. Also, with its user-friendly UI, you can easily and seamlessly copy running configurations to startup configurations.

Download Network Configuration Manager to effectively manage startup and running configurations without hassles.