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Old 11-20-2009, 05:17 PM
read2success read2success is offline
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Boston
Posts: 2
Default Compare network mapping tools...

It is nice to see NetBrain create Visio maps in real-time... But how does NetBrain compare against other tools? e.g. Opnet Netmapper, Solarwinds Lan Surveryor or Codima, even Openview's mapping components...
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Old 11-21-2009, 04:25 PM
lgao lgao is offline
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 34
Default Re: Compare network mapping tools...

Before NetBrain, there were two(2) generation of mapping tools:

The 1st generation tools, led by Visio, provide an electronic paper for engineers to put down anything they want. It takes a lot of manual efforts to build and update maps. 99% of us still work this way.

The second generation mapping tools added network discovery. The thinking is after discovery, the map showing the real network can be automatically built. These tools include Openview Mapping components, Opnet NetMapper, Solarwinds Lan Surveyor, IPSwitch Whatsconnected, Codima etc.

There are two main issues with the 2nd generation tools:
1) The usability of the map. It is OK for small network, but for medium or large network, the map is often jammed with thousands of little details - automation couldn't tell ahead of time what users want to see, so they have them all in.

2)It is designed for well-trained a few to create maps, and share them wth others. In real world, every engineer need to build map - because a U.S. country map isn't much help to get the direction from home to a friend's house.

2nd generation tools have been around for over 10 years, and majority of engineers still have to create map manually.

--> On-demand mapping from NetBrain represents the 3rd generation mapping automation - every engineer can now create a map on-the-fly whenever he/she needs one. Underling computer system maintains a data model of entire network, users create a "customized" map in real-time by inputting a few simple parameters: for example to create a map of a slow application, just enter the source and destination IP address, a fully annotated map is created.

Not only the creation process is unique(on-demand by every engineer), the resulting map is unique as well. The map, driven by data-model, can update itself when underling network changes; the map is embedded with detail network design and history; the map can even collect and display live performance data such as bandwidth, delay, jitter, CPU utilization etc.

Go to this link to read more about the uniqueness of data-driven map:

To experience the on-demand map creation, you can start with the FREE map edition lite. (Drag-and-drop a set of router configuration files into NetBrain, you will have a map created for you)

Happy NetBraining...

NetBrain Team
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Network Design, Network Discovery

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