NETWORK TOPOLOGY MAPPER INTEGRATION WITH NETWORK ATLAS

 

I have had number of customer interviews lately and the most common question which arises quite often is, I have Orion Network Atlas why do I need another network mapping software?

To answer this question, we got to understand what use-cases these two applications solves.


Orion Network Atlas

Is a powerful tool built for creating custom network maps and diagram. It is a semi-manual network diagramming software which allows users to design and draw physical & logical topology diagrams by manually placing discovered nodes on to the map canvas. Using the Connect Now button the application automatically draw connections between the nodes.


SolarWinds Network Topology Mapper

Is an automated Network Mapping software. The software is built to create dynamic topology diagrams/maps by using its powerful auto-discovery engine. It can automatically discover, map, provide inventory and document your specific network environment. Network Topology Mapper is a replacement to its earlier network mapping application called LANSurveyor

 

With Network Performance Monitor (NPM) one monitors key devices, interfaces, etc. and not every single object in your environment. But, maybe you want a complete topology map of your network environment (example: Workstations, Printers, Hubs etc) for documentation purposes or to know what’s on your network and represent those devices on you Orion Web console, without actively monitoring them. With the combination of SolarWinds Network Topology Mapper (NTM) and Orion Network Performance Monitor (NPM), now you can have your cake and eat it too!

 

Network Topology Mapper has the capability of exporting the network diagram it has discovered and rendered to Network Atlas and Vice Versa. Once imported, the user has the choice to add the nodes identified in NTM into the Orion database or simply display the identified nodes. The application, provides two ways to export your maps/diagrams into Network Atlas

  • One-Time Export: You can easily export your discovered map to Network Atlas using the following flow File – Export – Network Atlas. Choose from
    • Open directly in Network Atlas – This function will trigger the launch of Network Atlas in the background
    • Export as a Map – Choose this option if you want to save the map and bring it up into Network Atlas at a later stage.

        Note: For both these choices there is a need to save the map first and an option to secure your map by a password.

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  • Schedule Export: Users can also schedule the export of NTM Maps into Network Atlas, there by staying ahead of network changes in your environment. In order to enable the scheduling function, setup the scheduling frequency in the Network Discovery Scan Wizard.


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Choose on how you want to save the discovered results to bring up the map in Network Atlas. The available choices are

 

  • Automatically merge results with a map – This option will always merge the new discovered data with the old.
  • Manually select results to merge with a map - Users will need to choose the required map(s) to be displayed into Network Atlas from the available completed scans.
  • Save results as a new map – There will always be a new map created and saved with time-stamps.

 

Next, make sure Keep Network Atlas updated with these discovery results is ticked ON. Enter your Orion Server log-in details (where your active Network Atlas resides), make sure to test the credentials and hit the Set button. Hit on the  discover or update button to complete the wizard.

 

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Open or Connect to Orion Network Atlas. An automatic map import window opens, choose the desired map file(s) from the list to be imported . Once completed, Network Atlas will pop up with a notification message informing you of how many objects are new to the Orion database (if any) and if you want to discover them.

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If clicked Yes, Orion discovery will run. Upon completion the gathered data will be stored into the Orion database and these new identified objects will be actively monitored. If No, is chosen the nodes will be represented as unknown nodes into the Orion database.


NETWORK TOPOLOGY MAPPER INTEGRATION WITH ENGINEERS TOOLSET & OTHER 3RD PARTY DIAGNOSTICS TOOLS

I have a written a blog post on the subject How NTM integrates with Engineers Toolset, you can find more here. One can also call 3rd Party tools into the application. This integration, brings with it the advantage of troubleshooting and diagnosing problem on your network using network diagrams.

 

NETWORK TOPOLOGY MAPPER INTEGRATION WITH MICROSOFT VISIO

With just one-click, users can export their currently displayed network diagram to Microsoft Visio. From there on, the Visio file can be exported as a publication on to the Web.

The following Microsoft Visio versions are supported 2003, 2007, 2010 and 2013.