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Orion Platform 2018.2 Improvements - Chapter Two - Intelligent Mapping

As aLTeReGo mentioned in Orion Platform 2018.2 Improvements - Chapter One , we have lots of exciting things packed into this release.  It is my pleasure to present to you, the first step in the next generation of Orion mapping.  Now let me begin by prefacing that this is a MASSIVE project.  The functionality that you see here is an iteration of a new generation of mapping technology, and is not intended to be feature by feature replacement of any of our tools that provide mapping functionality today, for example, Network Atlas.  Our goal as we take on this endeavor is to find methods for building upon our dream of one mapping tool to rule them all, but provide you significant chunks of value along the way.  We need to first build the framework to accomplish this goal, yet we don't want to hold back something you may find useful in the interim.

Intelligent Mapping - What is it?

As environments grow in complexity, identifying a problem's root cause and impact tends to be just as complex.  Many of you are looking for a more intuitive way to aggregate and visualize that data in a simple manner that is meaningful for your environmentA function such as intelligent mapping in a monitoring tool can help alleviate much of the pain derived from combing through pages of data, and reviewing the details provided through individual resources piece by piece.  Understanding your needs and the problems you are trying to solve is fundamental in everything we do.  A major theme that emerged from our community is that everyone loves the idea of maps and sleek visualizations, the problem was, maintaining them.  Spending time in Network Atlas can yield some significant results, but time is not a luxury that many of us have.  If something changes, which it does constantly, you are forced to set aside more time to go mimic those changes in the map.  This presents and interesting challenge for SolarWinds, but also gave us a potential entry point....

With this project, we needed to first conceptualize what will be needed across all iterations, and where our starting point should be.  As alluded to before, tons of functionality exists today in tools like Network Atlas, the WorldMaps widget, and even through AppStack, that allow users to "visualize" their environments.  While these tools all have their unique capabilities inside the platform, we want to begin down the path of advancing those capabilities even further, and allow the power of the platform to shine.

The first step that needed to be taken was to obviously visualize the entities within Orion.  When I say entities, I am referring to any object monitored by Orion such as network devices, servers, interfaces, volumes, and so on...  The second similarly important factor is that we needed to visualize the connections between those entities.  Whether these connections are based on physical or logical relationships, this data is just as critical to quickly reflecting points of concern in your environment.

Orion Intelligent Mapping is an advanced troubleshooting tool that provides a contextual and graphical portrayal of an entity and its critical relationships.  In other words, this functionality will be available out-of-the-box for entities like your routers, switches, servers, interfaces, volumes, and even groups.  It visualizes the physical and logical relationships between them, leveraging data from Network Performance Monitor's Topology, Server & Application Monitor's Application Dependencies, and other relationship information, to quickly isolate and identify critical health and performance issues.

In this version, maps are made available by drilling into an entity details page as shown below.  What this means, is that when you upgrade to any product containing the 2018.2 Core, and drill into an entity details page, there will be a sub-view that is provided for you called "Map".  Clicking on that view will obviously generate... wait for it... a map!

Access the Map Subview.gif

Our number one goal was that maps require absolutely no user intervention, and are updated automatically as changes are made in the Orion environment.  The list of entities that are supported for this version are as follows: Nodes, Interfaces, Volumes, Virtual Machine, Virtual Host, Virtual Clusters, Virtual Datacenter, VCenter, Hyper-V Hosts, Hyper-V Cluster, WPM Step, WPM Transaction, WPM Player Location, and Groups.

Map Canvas

There are two key components to this feature.  The section that contains the visualization and the actual graph is what we refer to as the canvas.  In the example provided, selecting an entity's map view pulls up a detailed graphical representation, with the map centered on the "seed" object (see Figure 1).  Everything else drawn on the map, stems from that seed.  Anything not immediately connected to the seed entity is opaqued in order to differentiate and provide a point of focus.  This comes in especially handy with larger maps that could have excessive elements on them.  The goal here is to draw attention to problems associated to the entity you are investigating, but also extend that investigation to related connections or neighboring devices(Figure 2).

Figure 1Figure 2
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We needed to incorporate some creative design strategies as well.  For example, at times there may be multiple connections between two entities.  Whether those represent a simple relationship or actual data flow, we have to be conscious of the way that data is represented in the map.  Too much data, and the map becomes unusable.  Too little, and it doesn't really prove to be the powerful troubleshooting aid intended.  Any entity or connection that has breached a threshold will be automatically surfaced in the context of the map.  This way you are not sifting through data to identify areas of concern.

This is also the area that allows you to interact with the map through controls such as zoom and pan options.  You may also target specific areas of the map through hovering, or selecting a device or connection.  In the bottom right hand corner, we do provide controls so that you can toggle layouts, click to zoom in or zoom out, center the map on a selected entity, or even launch into full screen mode to have as much real estate as possible for viewing the map.

Map Canvas Controls2.gif

The Inspector Panel

The second core component of the map is what we refer to as the inspector panel.  The inspector panel is like a mini data warehouse for the entities and connections on the map.  In this version, selecting an entity such as a node will pop open the inspector panel from the right, which will show the name of the device, IP, Vendor, and Machine Type, along with a list of all that entity's "children" or "decedents".  The list generated will be in context to the entity selected.  For example, a server may have interfaces, volumes, and applications that would be considered children/decedent's of this node.  If drilling into the application however, its children or decedents would be the components that make up that application.  This list has controls such as "Sort" that allows you to control ascending and descending formatting of the list either via status or name, and "Show" which provides filters based on entity type such as hardware or interface.  We also provide a "type ahead" search feature for those long lists that extend beyond a single view-able page.

Inspector Panel Node Details.gif

Selecting a connection between entities on the canvas will provide you an inherently different view of the inspector panel.  As previously mentioned, there are obviously multiple types of connections which could be represented and we need to ensure this is easily interpreted through our tool.  In order to provide you the ability to distinguish between these distinct types of connections, we have managed to include unique behavior for each connection type.  The following connection types will be visible in the map sub-view.

Orion Dependency Connection

The dependency connections do not represent any kind of data traversing between the two entities, but rather easily convey that a relationship exists between them.  It could be an administratively defined dependency, or perhaps a dependency identified through its ancestry.  In the screenshot below I selected a virtual machine, and can see this VM has a relationship to its host, which has a relationship to its cluster, to the datacenter, and the finally, the VCenter.

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The inspector panel view of these connections would look as follows:

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Application Dependency Connection

For those of you unfamiliar with the ADM Connections, this was a feature introduced in Server & Application Monitor 6.6 which allows you to quickly see which applications or systems are communicating to each other.  You can learn more about that feature here Announcing General Availability of Server & Application (SAM) 6.6.  Since Orion Maps is a feature of the platform, we don't want to leave anyone out, so of course this type of communication is captured and also mapped automatically as a distinct connection type.  There are two possible visualizations you may notice depending on how you adjusted Application Connection Settings.  With Connection Quality Polling enabled, the connections will highlight additional data pertaining to TCP latency and packet loss between the two entities.

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Selecting an ADM Connection will provide a list of the processes communicating between the two systems and allow for additional detail by drilling into the Connection Details page.

ADM Inspector Panel.gif

If you have not enabled Connection Quality polling, we will represent the relationship on the canvas by a light blue line with no metric pill.  This connection is still automatically identified, and therefore mapped within the canvas.  You will also have access to the Connection Details page.

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Topology Connection

Topology Connections are generated through NPM's topology engine and meant to provide a unique representation of your network infrastructure.  Emanating from community feedback, the design illustrates how a ton of detail can be depicted in a single, simple connection, and even has a Network Weather-map type feel.  First, the width of the topology connections will be based on interface bandwidth.  This means whether you have a 10 GB link, a 1 GB link, or a 100 Mb link, you should easily be able to determine differences across the map.  This is useful for quickly identifying if bandwidth is properly set and distributed across the environment.  Hovering over a topology connection will provide a tool-tip for the metric pills similar to what you see in the screenshot.

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By default, the metric pills highlight outbound traffic and utilization details on either side of the connection.  Based on thresholds set in NPM, these links will change to yellow for warning, or red to critical, if a threshold is breached.  The link may also change to highlight something else entirely.  Below you can see a specific interface which has hit a critical threshold for errors & discards.

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The inspector panel will contain all the connections between two entities.  In the example below, the map is surfacing the problem link and indicating a threshold has been met, while the inspector panel displays all the data between each connection.  On either side of the panel will be the interfaces, which can be associated to the parent device situated above.  In an easy to read table, all the most recent polled data for traffic, errors & discards, utilization, and the maximum bandwidth will be presented.

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Maps in Groups

The new map sub-view is also automatically generated within groups.  Groups are treated as an entity just like an interface, volume, node, or any other object in Orion.  However, behavior of maps within groups is slightly different.  When creating groups, you are specifying particular members that are the focus for that group.  In this context, we don't want to show "related" entities on a group map, or conversely roll entities up to a parent, if that was not your overall intent.  Therefore, drilling into a map sub-view for a group will show group members only and any connections that exist between the member objects in the group.  This allows a bit of control in this version, as here you have the opportunity to decide what objects are included in a map.  Many of you may already leverage groups today in unique ways, and this could provide some additional visibility for those views.  The great thing is that you could leverage dynamic queries to speed up the building of groups, which will then auto-add new members to the map.  This means there is little to no maintenance for the maps being built through this process.  Guess I am going to have to retire my post for how to do this today:  Custom Maps for Group Details Page

Here is an example in which I mapped out the entire virtual infrastructure in my lab.

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We are excited to take this step and anxious to hear your feedback.  We feel that this tool will allow you to see massive amounts of data in a single comprehensive view, and mitigate having to jump from page to page to isolate problems.  The best part is that you don't have to do anything!  We hope to continue to build on this within the platform as we have a very long list of feature requests from our community, and I promise we are listening.  Stay tuned for more.  serena​ still has more great things from the platform in her post:  Orion Platform 2018.2 Improvements - Chapter Three

I am very excited to announce a NEW VERSION of ORION MAPS:  Orion Platform Improvements - Intelligent Mapping Enhancements

Comments

Is it possible to add the Maps tab to an existing, custom view?

Wow this looks awesome!

Is there going to be any functionality that allows for manually defined links in cases where topology can't be enabled on a device?  A potential way to help with cases where topology monitoring isn't possible either because the device isn't supported or the load on the device is too high to handle it may be by adding a manually defined L2 link field to interfaces where you select another link that is monitored in order to generate the relationship.

nickzourdos​ the maps view is incorporated to the "default" device type view currently and can not be added.  We have plans to allow users the ability to add the view in the future. 

There are certainly plans for this j_a_catlin​ but not in this particular release.  We are well aware of this request and understand the importance of this functionality. 

Wow I want it!

It should be available in your customer portal or just run the falcon installer and it will update and grab the new versions.

What is the falcon installer?

My apologies SolarWinds Orion Installer that you used installed Orion if not you can download it from the customer portal.

SolarWinds Orion Installer - SolarWinds Worldwide, LLC. Help and Support

Features with Maps looks great.,

As a product level, would like to understand that whether NPM 12.3 provides similar functionalities of NTM, Or Does NTM gets integrated with Orion platform ?

Yep can’t wajt   

Looks Good have you done anything with Worldmaps? such as allow automatic geolocation to use a custom field rather than the default SNMP location field. 

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How about additional customization (like network atlas) and improving the construction of graphs for maps?

One of the points is a group. Why is the group displayed on the map as a dot?

There is already a kind of way of using Custom Properties (although it is not a true custom property), as there are two fields that allow you to populate; Longitude (Worldmap) and Latitude (WorldMap). These can be access within the Custom Property Values editor, by clicking on the .. link on the far left of the column headers. Scroll all the way towards the bottom and you will see this listed. Tick them to add to the list. You can now easily populate these values to allow you to display devices on the map automatically.

Tips:

1. Use an online batch conversion tool to generate the Long/Lat - Batch Geocode | Latitude Longitude From Address | Free Geocoding

2. One of our engineers has written a blog post on automating the population of these values - Script - Automatic Geo-location Devices in Worldwide Map | Prosperon Networks

Mark Roberts

Prosperon - UK SolarWinds Partners

Installation | Consultancy | Training | Licenses

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Network Atlas v2 is coming together nicely

Great work!

Thanks Mark I've used the worldmap properties before but it's been a manual process and only really available to the Administrators. or at least it's been a bit complicated to get an ordinary user adding a node and updating the World map fields.

NTM is an automated tool for creating network diagrams.  The output is similar to what you would make with Visio.  Network Atlas on the other hand is for making maps of specific areas or logical groupings of the network with status overlaid.  In other words, if you're trying to make traditional network diagrams, NTM is better.  If you're trying to visualize status and performance, Network Atlas is the right tool.

NTM has some basic integration with the Orion Platform today.

Love this new Map feature. Being able to drill down in nested groups would be a great addition and the ability to move nodes/groups etc. about on backgrounds. Kinda like Network Atlas on acid

Brill job.

Falcon - I guess that's the term used for the new "all-in-one installer to install and upgrade one or more Orion products simultaneously"

Yes, it's the code name for the new all-in-one installer.  As a code name, it's not designed to be used externally - so of course that's what's happening

david.botfield We have not done anything with the WorldMaps resource yet, but certainly hope to in the future.  And yes, we are well aware of the feature request to allow automatic Geo-location via customized fields other than limiting it to SNMP based fields.  Great request, and we will see what we can do. 

chunter Even with the latest release, we are already busy working on the next version.  We have a lot to do and are very excited about our strategy moving forward.  Can you add some detail to your statements for what you would ideally like to see?  I don't want to lead you by adding in examples, but would love more specifics. 

Q:  How about additional customization (like network atlas) and improving the construction of graphs for maps? 

Response:  What specific customization do you need?  Is it only in "Group Maps"?

Q:  One of the points is a group.  Why is the group displayed on the map as a dot?

Answer:  The Group is an entity just like any other entity you drill into via the map's view.  That entity is a part of the graph, and more importantly in this case, is the seed entity.  Therefore it is represented in the canvas and is a starting position for the user.  What would you prefer to see in this case? 

Thank you for the time for sharing your feedback and what enhancements would help you when leveraging this tool!

Thank you pgaryga!  Stay tuned!  More in store as we continue to iterate on this version in subsequent releases.  Can you specify what you are hoping for when you say "drill down"?  And yes, we certainly have to make sure at some point that users are able to add backgrounds!!!  It is a must have!

Please also share your maps!  If you are able to, please share screenshots of your maps, and stories around where you found this useful in your environment! 

It's important to note that Groups can also be added to Network Atlas and appear as a similar 'dot' to what you're seeing in our next generation maps.

I'm thinking when you double click on a group on the map rather than just display the information panel in the side panel (which would be great if it could display the group's members) that it shows the map for the group. This would be particularly useful for nested groups.

Awesome feedback pgaryga​!  This is something we would really like to accomplish as well.  We will see what we can do.

This is a little exciting.

This looks cool, but it doesn't seem to work quite right 100% of the time.  In this screenshot, we seem to have everything connected to everything and the same traffic showing on many links.

If I could get into it and edit the map, I think I could make it work perfectly, but it seems to be fully automatically documented.pastedImage_0.png

alasdairm this is very very interesting...  Would you be open to jumping on a call to allow me to take a closer look!?

Could be an Avaya network?  I'd seen similar results using Connect Now in atlas with one in the past due to the way they report their connections between devices with their fancy meshes.

jblankjblank yes that would be fine.  you are welcome to take a look at our install and have a play around.

12.3 is an excellent release from what I have seen in the hour I have had it running.  What is the key for the Maps function to show up for a node?  I read that the Maps only work with the default device type template.  Does this mean if select "Edit Node" and if it says (default) under "View type used for displayint details about this node", should this work?  I have checked a couple of devices (Cisco 3850's) that are set like this and they do not have the Maps icon.

This looks great, can I add this intelligent maps with NPM and SAM only without NCM? please clarify

I solved this.  I had to change the nodes View Type to Node-Details - Summary.  Once I did that, the node would have the Map icon and I could select that to see the topology. 

Intelligent Mapping does not require NCM in order to function. 

So, how does it work?   In our environment we have LLDP enabled, but not CDP.   Is it working off that data or what?   When I enabled it, I saw a map on one of my core switches for a little while, but it disappeared.   Now I'm not seeing anything even though our core switches are a full mesh and I have a few other switches which should show connected?

cnorborg If you are talking about strictly topology, the default behavior for the new mapping functionality simply ingests the topology data collected by NPM.  The links highlighted below would represent what a user would see if selecting the map view from this particular entity.   

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From your example device, what is showing up in the NPM Topology resource?

cnorborg

hit the nail on the head...

The topology engine...

The challenge seems to be, as it always has been with NTM, providing the right amount of data without including too much information.

NTM was too thorough without providing the right amount of filters.  It could show me a map with all 60,000+ nodes on it, or a map with every switch and router AND every L3 / VLAN (as a separate line), but didn't provide a great organizational capability that kept things tidy.

I have massive hopes for this new solution to be able to:

  • Fit all network devices on a single screen (I'm talking switches & routers).
  • Show only devices I want shown (switches, routers, firewalls, access points)
  • Discover devices based on LLDP, CDP, or static entries
  • NOT show every L3 / VLAN on a Distribution switch (150 VLAN / Subnet lines coming out of a L3 Distribution VSS pair is not helpful in anyway)
  • Automatically display nodes in rows and columns / rank & file, hub & spoke
  • Automatically organize a top-down hierarchical map from Internet to access switch
  • Remember display settings on exit
  • Assign display settings to groups or users

There's more, but I'm really hoping to never have to scroll ridiculously far out to see the entire network drawing, or scroll so far in that I can't see the forest for the trees in the view.

This view, taken from above, is a good example of a screen that's too busy.  All that information should fit perfectly into a single screen and not go beyond it.  Simultaneously, the information about ports & throughput and circuit types & ID's should be easily legible, but only when hovering over a node or a circuit or an interface.

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I REALLY want this to be the old Nortel Enterprise Switch Manager, with routers.  Perfect discovery, perfect display of port-channels, perfect reporting & views of mismatched VLAN's on port-channels, multicast path drawing, VLAN IDs shared between switches, etc.

Can you give specifics of what is wrong with the topology engine?  What are you not seeing that you feel should be discovered through topology?  Are there any example support cases you can share?  I would be happy to review them. 

Yes I can... you can get also tickets...

575339

We will keep that simple “It’s just not working” when the network is mix vendors LLDP and CDP.

Its not working with well with virtual interfaces ....

Just “google” topology in thwack

just one example...

Re: Anyone else having issues getting NPM to map out the topology correctly?

Ohh you are in that thread...

Hmm....    I can see how the "FastEthernet0/3" in the above example isn't part of the mapping due to it being down?

In my environment I'm seeing 3 connections in "NPM Network Topology", but only one on the map.   Two of the "WITH INTERFACE" columns are "Unknown", while one of those two has the "INTERFACE" column set to unknown.   But, if I go in the box all 3 connections show active and valid in LLDP from the command line.  Trying to figure out what table this stuff is stored in via SWQL Studio, but not running into much luck.

So, one question I would have is do we really only want to see "active" connections on a map?   Or would we want to see stale devices that are no longer there?    For most cases I can think of I'd want to see the inactive along-side the active, maybe showing the link as down?   Of course it might do that but with how little I'm seeing...

Now, how to diagnose and fix issues like this?

In looking closer, the two that aren't mapping on this particular node both have "CONNECTS TO" set to "L2", while the node that is showing up on the map has it set to "1 Gbps".    Could that be part of it?

I did go look at the LLDP tables in SWQL Manager and it appears that everything that should be there is for that table at least...

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Right now Geolocation is also "snapping" to the closest intersection for named streets.   I'd prefer for it to use my longitude/latitude without this behavior.    For example, at our site we have a couple switches that are in different buildings.   You can see the two buildings at the top of the satellite picture, they do have a covered area in between them so they look like one long building with two parking lots.   But, even though we have the GPS coordinates of the actual wiring closet in each building, because they are both down this unnamed road (it does have a name, but if I told you I'd have to kill you! ) it decides to position them at the intersection of that road and the road it intersects with (which does have a name).    Not only that, but it groups the switches together, not sure if that is a rounding issue on the GPS coordinates or part of this snapping behavior or what?

Honestly I don't care if my GPS coordinates are 5 miles away from the nearest road, I'd prefer for it to map them at the exact location I specify...

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Wishlist item already!   You are already intelligently handling switch stacks for 3850's and probably other models, it would be great to see that reflected on the maps!  ie: mapping them as separate switches rather than one.

Thank you for sharing the details cnorborg.  To answer your questions, the default behavior is only mapping links in which we have identified specific interfaces on both sides.  In other words, using your example above, Orion Maps would show the single connection between Eth 3/37 and GigEth 1/1/1.  If you monitor the appropriate interface on either side, it will be drawn on the map.  Did you try and enable the interface on the other side under list resources? 

Through the topology engine, we can understand that other connections are available and present, but mapping those connections may not provide the intended value if we are hoping to surface actual issues. 

In this scenario, we are being conscious of scale.  There are some of our customers that have very large environments, and mapping a ton of connections with "unknown" showing up across those connections, does not provide a ton of insight.  If a connection is critical enough, then connections on either side should be monitored to ensure it is mapped.

If you disagree with this behavior and want to see everything mapped that shows up in the topology table whether it is an unknown connection or not, then we do not prevent you from enabling that feature.  I would be curious if any of you reading this thought you wanted that feature, and then when enabling it, found out you really didn't.  However, I do think it is valuable in some cases to see these unknown connections so you can ensure visually that everything is being monitored accordingly.  It can really depend on the environment in most cases. 

As long as you have an account with Admin privileges, you can adjust the URL to access Advanced Configuration Settings.  Example http://(IP of Your Orion Server Here)/Orion/Admin/AdvancedConfiguration/Global.aspx     

Under Map.Settings - you have the option to enable L2 Unknowns and L3 Unknowns

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You are welcome to try this out in your environment. 

cnorborg​ - awesome info sir!  Thank you!  Adding this to the vault.

Understood rschroeder​.  Obviously a lot here to take in and tackle but in essence, you are looking for more control, correct?  And we will get there, but it will take some time to deliver on your list.      

To touch on some of what you mentioned, hopefully I can ask a few questions - I added notes inline below...  you are welcome to email me directly if you wish. 

NTM was too thorough without providing the right amount of filters.  It could show me a map with all 60,000+ nodes on it, or a map with every switch and router AND every L3 / VLAN (as a separate line), but didn't provide a great organizational capability that kept things tidy.  JB - so would additional layout options and more filters provide everything you are looking for?

I have massive hopes for this new solution to be able to:

  • Fit all network devices on a single screen (I'm talking switches & routers).  JB - some networks are larger than others.  I am fairly certain you have a sizable network.  How many devices and connections are you expecting to see in a specific window?  What amount of data do you need to see when you are looking at 60,000 nodes and their connections on a map? 
  • Show only devices I want shown (switches, routers, firewalls, access points)  JB - control to build a specific type of map, or have more options for filters correct?  Are you ok with having to maintain the map yourself?  Are you expecting to have that next new device added in a very specific location on the map for you?  If allowed to define entities that are auto-added to a map, do you want the previous layout to change?
  • Discover devices based on LLDP, CDP, or static entries  JB - would you mind providing an example of what you mean by discover devices based on static entries?
  • NOT show every L3 / VLAN on a Distribution switch (150 VLAN / Subnet lines coming out of a L3 Distribution VSS pair is not helpful in anyway)  JB - Advanced filtering options that can be toggled on and off correct?
  • Automatically display nodes in rows and columns / rank & file, hub & spoke - JB - I believe this coincides with the next request around a hierarchical layout - correct?  If not, please clarify.
  • Automatically organize a top-down hierarchical map from Internet to access switch
  • Remember display settings on exit JB - save? -
  • Assign display settings to groups or users JB - what views, who can see, who can edit,.. more?

There's more, but I'm really hoping to never have to scroll ridiculously far out to see the entire network drawing, or scroll so far in that I can't see the forest for the trees in the view.  JB - sounds like the concern is around layout still here as well? 

You also mentioned in the example screenshot from Orion Maps, that it was too busy and all that information should fit into a perfect screen.  If you were to zoom out, is this giving you enough info and what you are looking for?  This is only a map that includes 21 nodes and all the connections between them.  There could always be multiple connections between devices as well.  My example is all green, but if there was a particular problem, that would be surfaced in the map.   

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Hovering or selecting different areas of the map would highlight those devices and their connections or single out specific connections.  The data is represented in the inspector panel vs a hover over.  

In the example you mentioned would these maps also get fairly busy?  It is an interesting challenge to solve for.

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We will certainly do our best to try to accommodate all we can.  Thank you for sharing your feedback!

I apologize as I might not be following what you are saying.  I am on the thread you mentioned and unfortunately did not receive a response back.  I will try to follow up again.  I have certainly seen a number of cases related to topology but in majority of all cases, there has been a logical reason why something was "inaccurately" represented and that case has been resolved.  In others, it may be the case in which the data is not exposed by that vendor and there is not much we can do.

I certainly want to be an advocate to help push for changes that you need, in order to solve the problems you are needing to solve.  I encourage you to continue to open support cases with detailed examples, diagnostics, configs, and SNMP walks to ensure we identify what needs to be changed.  

Since you indicated "It is just not working", I am hoping you can share some specific examples from your environment.  If you are running an environment that contains devices that do not support LLDP and CDP, are there other protocols that you would like to see added?  Can you list the vendors and the coinciding protocol?

These are all details that we would need to bubble up to cobrien​ so that the NPM team is aware of the request. 

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