Analyzing Inventory Data Using Network Diagrams

Introduced in 8.5

Once your network nodes have been audited, you can browse the inventory data on a network diagram and create customizable maps for even more detailed representation of your infrastructure. The Network Diagram is an auto-generated topological view of your network inventory. Based on the discovery scan, Alloy Discovery produces comprehensive diagrams with automatic mapping of MAC addresses to switch ports so you can understand how devices are connected.

The Network Diagram shows the nodes of your network and their connections in a scalable map. You can map all types of devices: routers, switches, computers, virtual machines, etc. You can display or hide nodes and connections between them. You can arrange nodes according to preferred layouts or by manually dragging them. You can export and print your network diagrams.

INFO: For details, see Help: Network Diagram.

Visualization of the physical and logical relations between network nodes is crucial for impact analysis.

Using a network diagram for impact analysis

For example, you have a request from the Service Desk. They want to know what is affected when the Switch_A goes down.

To analyze and visualize the requested information, follow the steps below.

  1. Audit a site and create the network diagram.

    To create a network diagram, right-click Network Diagram in the Sidebar and click the Create Network Map button on the bottom of the Network Diagram window.

  2. Select the Switch_A node with dependent nodes:

    On the network diagram, right-click the node and choose Select Dependencies from the pop-up menu (if you want to include hosted virtual machines, repeat the operation). All nodes that have network connections with the switch will be selected. As a result, you can see the nodes that affect the Switch_A (if any) and all nodes that are affected by the chosen switch.

  3. Sometimes you may want to visualize the logical dependence between the nodes that are not network connected to each other.

    For example, you have a database server with a network connection with the Switch_A, and client computers that access the database not directly connected to the Switch_A. However, in case of the Switch_A failure, these computers will also be affected. So you may want to add this dependence to the network diagram.

    To add DB Connections between the database server node and clients nodes:

    1. Create a new type of connection in the Settings app.

      INFO: For details, see Help: Configuring Network Diagram Connector Types..

    2. Draw connections between the database server node and client nodes.

      To connect one node to another, click Draw Connector, and hover over the first node to highlight the connection point, then click and drag until a connection point is found on the second node.

  4. Hide redundant information about other network nodes.

    Select the chosen node (or nodes), using the Pointer tool on the Module menu. Right-click the node and select the desired option from the pop-up menu:

    • Hide Selected Nodes - to hide the selected node (or nodes).

    • Hide Unselected Nodes - to hide all nodes except the selected ones.

  5. Hide redundant information about nodes that are connected to the Switch_A, affect the switch but are not dependent on it.

    Select the chosen node (or nodes), using the Pointer tool on the Module menu. Right-click the node and select the Hide Selected Nodes option from the pop-up menu.

  6. Arrange the nodes on the diagram in the desired order.

    • To select (move) nodes on the diagram and move the diagram view vertically (horizontally), use the Pointer and Pan tools from the Module menu.

    • To change the diagram layout, in the right side bar, select the desired layout in the Layouts section.

  7. Save the edited network diagram.

    NOTE: When the database has updates, the Update button in the upper right corner becomes active and you can click it to update the network diagram with newly discovered network nodes.

  8. Print out the diagram or export it to the external file to share it with the support team.

    • To print the diagram, select File > Print from the main menu.

    • To export the diagram, click Export button on the Main menu and select the desired format.