SolarWinds is excited to introduce to you the latest and greatest in network discovery and mapping tools: SolarWinds Network Topology Mapper. Network Topology Mapper (or NTM for short) scans your network and provides a detailed and accurate map of your environment- and it looks good to boot. Since NTM is a visualization tool, the below video will likely do more justice to the end result than I can with mere words:
All too often with automated topology mapping products, you run a discovery, and it creates a map that looks something like a big Ferris-wheel. Cool looking? Maybe. Useful? Not so much. NTM was designed first and foremost to generate a map that gets you as close possible to the final diagram you would want to show to someone, and let you do the detail work from there.
We’ve also tried to make the manual manipulation of nodes as easy as possible, by letting you select by node role (router / switch / server / etc) and hide devices that are just generating clutter.
And of course you can export to Visio for those final touches, or to Network Atlas to use in NPM.
Once in Network Atlas, you can further manipulate the map, overlay NPM node data, and create nested maps.
But wait, there’s more…
NTM also has some unique features that let you get an even better picture of your (or your client’s) environment:
Support for link aggregation
Mapping VMWare guest OS’s to the host
Spanning tree reporting
Reoccurring scheduled scans
Let me spend a moment on “Unidentified Nodes.” We’ve all encountered the circumstance where some rogue devices get plugged into the network, usually taking the form of a 5-port “Linksysco” sitting undersomeone’s desk. These unmanaged devices may have a dozen other systems daisy-chained behind them.
We had some pretty bright people spend quite a bit of time trying to figure out how we can determine if these devices are present, and also how to figure out what is plugged into them. What we call “unidentified nodes” in the product represent these unmanaged devices. We know they’re there, we know what’s plugged in, we just can’t talk directly to them to determine all the details. Depending on the amount and type of data we can gather from other devices that are attached to this “unidentified node”, we may be even able to tell you what port on the mystery device is connected to a device we know about. Is it perfect? No, it depends on the amount of data we can gather from other devices, but it’s pretty darn good.
What about LANSurveyor?
Those of you acquainted with the SolarWinds product line may recall we have had a product that performed topology mapping previously- the venerable LANSurveyor. Unfortunately the platform LANSurveyor was built on was getting a bit long in the tooth, and it is with much sadness that we have put LANSurveyor out to pasture. Current LANSurveyor customer should have received an email with the details, but if there are any questions just ping your sales rep.