I can not imagine how much work that took. We tried this at one of my old employers and realized after a few hours that not only would this take forever to create, but it would also be a nightmare to maintain over the long term. Then we realized that we owned APC's StruxureWare DataCenter program and that it would do all of this for us much better. It was built to create data center rack diagrams. It still took a lot of work, but far less than doing it in Network Atlas and was very easy to maintain once you built it. You could even hook it into your change management process and have devices be automatically removed/added to the appropriate space in the diagram when a device was decommissioned/commissioned. This was over 5 years ago, so I imagine the program is even better now.
And sorry, not trying to knock your diagram or your decision to do it in Network Atlas. I was simply remarking on the amount of effort doing something like this in Network Atlas would take in both the short and the long term, especially when compared to programs that are out there that are built to do this kind of thing. I imagine for small datacenter that don't have a lot of change in them that this would be worth the time, but for a mid to large sized datacenter, especially one where devices are coming and going all the time, I would recommend spending money for a program better suited to this sort of thing.
For one thing it's a much much newer application written during a more modern period of coding with a bunch of expanded features. I get the NTM can do some neat things like
It would be great if network atlas could do more of these kinds of things and really since NPM and NTM both have discovery engines it would seem to fit with one discovery engine (and all the info already known by NPM in the database) make it easy to automatically generate maps inside NPM to some degree. Having more of these features inside NPM for mapping would make NPM a much more powerful tool all by itself. I actually do the opposite and use visio to build backgrounds for network atlas... or used to. I'm glad to see you collecting information from the community about this because network atlas needs an upgrade to bring it up to be a modern application. I've actually stopped using maps as much more recently because it seems like NPM moved on and network atlas kinda didn't.
Wow, tons of great feedback has already been given. Likely that everything has already been pointed out. I wouldn't want to just repeat what has already been said, but here are some of the top issues or wishes that come to mind:
- Please add search functionality. It is painful to manually scroll and find the devices.
- Background management would be nice. We sometimes use Visio diagrams as a basis for a background, but once it's been set, I can't seem to manipulate the backgrounds.
- Ability to rotate labels (like in Visio)
- Add a node to an existing map (i.e. during Add Node Wizard) This might be challenging though...
- Delete a node from an existing map (i.e. when deleting from Manage Nodes) Like maybe a prompt: (Would you like to remove this Node from all existing maps? Yes/No)
- Either of the above two (add or remove node from map) available via API (does this already exist?)
Will try to think of some more...
I've spent all weekend trying to find the stencils you made the Active Directory graphic with.
I gave up a hockey game, fishing, and a date with Miss America because I am obsessed with replicating your graphic for a client.
If you could post the Visio file, scrubbed of your corporate data, you would help millions and we would honor you with straight up IT Immortality.
I posted them in a similar thread/topic on page 15 Show us a NOC view and get 500 thwack points!
I'll just post them here to make it easier. For the Visio docs, due to the print based margins the Visio export function adds to the images I have to output the images at 1900x950, then crop the images in Gimp to 1870x886 to make most use of the space.
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