Network diagram software holds an important place in modern ITOps. Policies like work from home and bring your own device as well as technologies like server virtualization and hybrid network architectures have resulted in dynamic network topologies. Network diagram software assists IT admins with tracking their network topology, visualizing their infrastructure, monitoring performance, and ensuring compliance.
ManageEngine OpManager is a network and server monitoring tool with a feature-rich console. Among these features is a network diagram software toolkit. You might ask, "What is a network monitoring tool doing drawing network maps?"
Network monitoring tools like OpManager scan your network using network protocols to discover devices and monitor them. Detecting the network topology and relationships is an important aspect of network monitoring. OpManager leverages these features to generate and update network maps automatically. Moreover, network diagrams are a vital part of network monitoring as they provide visibility across the network infrastructure.
Network diagramming: What can OpManager accomplish?
Heterogeneous, multi-vendor network environments have different devices with a variety of physical and logical connections. A single network diagram tool cannot map all aspects of the network. But all-in-one network diagram software like OpManager features a strong suite of network diagram tools in its console, giving you a complete picture of your network. Let's see how.
Automate Layer 2 topology mapping
OpManager uses network protocols like LLDP, ARP, FDB, and IPROUTE command to scan your Layer 2 devices and map out the topology automatically. To generate a Layer 2 topology map, you need to enter the IP address of your seed router. OpManager scans and discovers the devices connected to the router and maps them out. You can set scan interval periods to determine how frequently OpManager scans the network and updates the topology map.
Map out your virtualized environments
Mapping out physical network components is a tough task in itself. Logical connections in virtual environments present a whole new challenge. It's easy to lose track of the VMs running in your host groups and the host-server relationships between them. OpManager can map virtual environments from the top down, discovering hosts, VMs, and data stores. OpManager has dedicated maps for virtualization vendors like VMware, Nutanix, Hyper-V, and Xen.
Draw server racks for better visualization
Network diagram software is not just limited to drawing network topology maps. Visualizing your network infrastructure can give you a better idea of the statuses and roles of the network components. This also helps when the servers are at a remote site and you need to direct maintenance activities. OpManager's server rack views are representations of your server racks where you can drag and drop servers, storage devices, and network devices.
Visualize your data centers in 3D
OpManager has 3D data center floor view maps, which are another application of server rack views. You can add the created server rack views to a visual representation of a data center floor. The locations of the racks can be specified based on a grid system on the data center floor. You can configure both the front and rear views for the racks. OpManager generates a 3D view of the data center, which you can rotate and view from multiple angles.
Map out critical business services
Sometimes, you need to isolate a particular business service for advanced monitoring. OpManager's network diagram software caters to this need with its business views feature. You can drag and drop devices into a business view and link them together. The link corresponds with an interface between those two devices. The device status and interface status are viewable from the map. You can add shortcuts to other maps, customize map icons, and add background images for your business views. You can also see business views in a list format or on a dashboard.
Customize network maps to your liking
OpManager allows you to customize the network maps you create to tailor them further to your needs. The map customizations featured in OpManager include custom map icons, the background color, background images, the link type, and the link color. You can also add shortcuts to other business views within your map. For instance, you can create a business view of your sites across the world and place shortcuts to business views for each site.
Export your maps to multiple platforms
You can export the network maps generated by OpManager to other network diagram tools (like Microsoft Visio) and to help desk tools (like Service Desk Plus). You can also export network maps in XLSX or PDF formats. Generate QR codes for the devices in your server racks and send them to your technicians so they can quickly access the devices for maintenance or repair.
Get a global overview of your network
With the advent of hybrid network infrastructures, it's increasingly likely for your network components to be spread across the world. OpManager allows you to place your devices into a Zoho Maps or Google Maps interface. You can visualize the locations and statuses of your network components across the world in one glance.
Network visualization tools in OpManager
Network visualization tools generally refer to tools that present monitored data in visual formats. In addition to being comprehensive network diagram software, OpManager also features a range of network visualization tools to provide better visibility across your network infrastructure. OpManager network visualization tools include:
OpManager's dashboard contains widgets that feature important metrics. These metrics can be presented as dials, heat maps, pie charts, bar graphs, and more. Instead of reading the metrics to get an idea of the statuses of your critical devices, you can just look at the color-coded widgets.
Graphs are data visualization tools that provide you with a lot of information in one glance. OpManager plots color-coded graphs for different monitored metrics when you enable this option. Another advantage of graphs is that they provide the collected information from different time periods. Graphs can be exported in PDF or XLSX formats.
OpManager is automatic network diagram software that not only draws network diagrams but also monitors the map components and alerts you about discrepancies. Read more about network diagramming here. Or, check out OpManager's free, 30-day trial to draw network diagrams yourself.