Network Mapping Tools

Network mapping tools are software applications that provide a visual representation of a computer network’s structure, connections, and devices. These tools help network administrators and IT professionals gain a better understanding of their network infrastructure by creating diagrams or maps that illustrate the network topology. Network mapping tools use various techniques to discover and collect information about network devices, such as routers, switches, servers, and workstations. They typically employ protocols like SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol), ICMP (Internet Control Message Protocol), or network scanning methods to identify and gather data from network devices.

Here are some popular network mapping tools:

  1. SolarWinds Network Topology Mapper
  2. Cisco Network Assistant
  3. ManageEngine OpManager
  4. Nagios XI
  5. Spiceworks Network Mapping Tool
  6. Paessler PRTG Network Monitor
  7. NetBrain
  8. Open-AudIT
  9. Lucidchart
  10. Microsoft Visio

1. SolarWinds Network Topology Mapper:

SolarWinds Network Topology Mapper automatically discovers and maps network devices, including routers, switches, and servers. It provides detailed graphical representations of network topology, device connections, and network paths.

Key features:

  • Network Topology Mapper can build multiple maps with a single scan.
  • It will automate device discovery and mapping.
  • It has a feature to perform Multi-level network discovery.
  • The tool will allow you to schedule updated map exports to Orion Network Atlas.

2. Cisco Network Assistant:

Cisco Network Assistant is a Cisco-specific network management tool that offers network mapping capabilities. It helps discover and visualize Cisco devices, manage configurations, and monitor network health.

Key features:

  • Automated network discovery: It conducts auto-discovery to surface and display network information in a topology map.
  • Visual topology maps: It generates simple network visualizations, with drag-and-drop features and front panel views of devices, clusters, and stacks.
  • Support for diverse network components: It supports all switches, routers, wireless controllers, and access points in the Cisco portfolio.
  • Graphical user interface: It has an intuitive GUI and a task-based menu that is easy-to-use for small to mid-sized businesses.
  • Inventory reports: It provides daily inventory reports and health monitoring updates, with optional integration for Cisco Active Advisor.

3. ManageEngine OpManager:

ManageEngine OpManager provides network mapping functionality along with comprehensive network monitoring and management features. It offers automatic network discovery, real-time mapping, and dependency views to understand network relationships.

Key features:

  • ManageEngine can perform physical and virtual server monitoring.
  • Network performance will be proactively monitored with multi-level thresholds.
  • It provides customizable dashboards.
  • Key metrics like latency, jitter, RTT, etc. can be monitored.

4. Nagios XI:

Nagios XI is a widely-used network monitoring and mapping tool. It provides network discovery and mapping capabilities to visualize network topology and dependencies. It integrates with other Nagios components for comprehensive monitoring and alerting.

Key features:

  • A customizable dashboard where you can view network devices, hosts, and services
  • Automated network discovery
  • Support for bulk host imports
  • The ability to save configurations

5. Spiceworks Network Mapping Tool:

Spiceworks Network Mapping Tool is a free network mapping solution that automatically discovers and maps devices on the network. It offers interactive network maps, device status monitoring, and basic troubleshooting capabilities.

Key features:

  • Automatic Network Discovery: The tool automatically scans the network to discover devices, including switches, routers, servers, workstations, and printers. It identifies devices based on IP address ranges and gathers information about their network interfaces.
  • Interactive Network Maps: Spiceworks Network Mapping Tool creates interactive network maps that visualize the discovered devices and their connections. The maps provide a graphical representation of the network topology, allowing users to understand the layout and relationships between devices.
  • Device Status Monitoring: The tool provides basic monitoring capabilities to track the status of devices on the network. It can display the online/offline status of devices and notify users of any changes in device availability.

6. Paessler PRTG Network Monitor:

PRTG Network Monitor includes network mapping functionality as part of its comprehensive network monitoring suite. It provides graphical representations of network topology and device connections, aiding in network visualization and troubleshooting.

Key features:

  • PRTG Network Monitor provides information about bandwidth usage by your devices and applications.
  • Specific data sets from your database can be monitored.
  • It can monitor any type of server in real time for its availability, accessibility, capacity, and overall reliability.

7. NetBrain:

NetBrain is an advanced network mapping and automation tool. It offers dynamic network maps that update in real-time, advanced visualization capabilities, and automation features for network documentation and troubleshooting.

Key features:

  • Dynamic Network Mapping: NetBrain automatically discovers and maps the network infrastructure, including devices, links, and dependencies. It creates dynamic network maps that update in real time, providing an accurate and up-to-date visualization of the network topology.
  • End-to-End Visibility: NetBrain provides end-to-end visibility of the network, allowing users to understand the relationships between devices, applications, and services. It offers comprehensive insights into network connectivity, dependencies, and traffic flows.
  • Interactive Network Diagrams: NetBrain offers interactive network diagrams that allow users to drill down into specific devices or network segments. Users can access detailed information about devices, configurations, and performance metrics directly from the diagram, enabling efficient troubleshooting and analysis.

8. Open-AudIT:

Open-AudIT is an open-source network mapping and auditing tool. It discovers and maps network devices, collects configuration information, and generates network documentation.

Key features:

  • Network Discovery: Open-AudIT automatically discovers devices on the network, including routers, switches, servers, workstations, printers, and more. It scans IP address ranges, performs DNS lookups, and uses various discovery methods to identify devices on the network.
  • Asset Inventory: Open-AudIT collects detailed information about network assets, including hardware specifications, operating systems, installed software, IP addresses, MAC addresses, and more. It helps maintain an accurate inventory of devices and provides insights into the software and hardware configurations across the network.
  • Configuration Management: Open-AudIT gathers configuration data from network devices, including routers, switches, and firewalls. It retrieves configuration files, firmware versions, and other relevant information, allowing for centralized storage and management of device configurations.

9. Lucidchart:

Lucidchart is a cloud-based diagramming and visualization tool that can be used for network mapping. It provides a wide range of pre-built network shapes and templates to create professional network diagrams.

Key features:

  • It has features for People Management, Sales, Engineering, and Operations.
  • You can optimize your network.
  • It will allow you to import data from Excel, Zapier, Salesforce, LinkedIn, etc.
  • You can monitor your network at a glance.

10. Microsoft Visio:

Microsoft Visio is a popular diagramming and visualization tool that includes network mapping capabilities. It offers a variety of network shapes and templates, allowing users to create customized network diagrams.

Key features:

  • Microsoft Visio provides more than 250000 shapes.
  • It has collaboration features to help you share diagrams.
  • Diagrams can be connected to real-time data that will help you to gain insights and make decisions.
Rajesh Kumar
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