Network Discovery Tools

What is a network discovery tool?

As IT infrastructure evolves, the size of networks ranges from a minimum of a few hundred devices to thousands of devices interconnected with each other. This makes network management not only crucial but also a complex job that is easier said than done. Network discovery tools allow network administrators to discover the devices in their network in one go, monitor business-specific metrics, and maintain a healthy network infrastructure.

The need for a network device discovery tool

  • Continuous monitoring and maintenance: A small network issue could result in millions of dollars' worth of business losses. It is important to continuously monitor the devices in your network by adding them to your monitoring tool’s inventory with the help of network discovery software.
  • Reduced repetitive and labor-intensive tasks: These days networks scale at an exponential rate each day. That makes it impossible to manually add every new device that is being installed in the network to your network device discovery software.
  • Updated network monitoring tool: On average, 1,000 changes are made to a typical enterprise network every year. This number could be even higher depending on the size of your business. Whenever changes are made to a network device (say, a new interface is added or an existing one is removed), those modifications must be reflected in your network monitoring tool to keep it updated. Given the size and scalability of modern networks, a network discovery tool helps in automating this process by rediscovering devices periodically or whenever a change is made.
  • Inventory management: A network device discovery tool can track the inventory of all infrastructure in your network and keep that list of devices updated in real time.

OpManager: Network discovery software for enterprise networks

OpManager's network device discovery tool comes packed with robust features aimed at making the network discovery process simpler, less time-consuming, and much more effective. These features include:

  • Network Discovery: Simplify the process of device discovery and extend it to a wide range of network devices with the help of Network Discovery.
  • Discovery Schedule: Automate network discovery by scheduling it. Avoid repetitive, manual efforts and add or remove devices on a regular cycle.
  • Discovery Reports: Gain powerful insights about your network in the form of detailed reports emailed right to you. Schedule these reports to be generated after almost any discovery function performed in OpManager.
  • Device Templates: Classify your device models automatically and precisely using a set of preconfigured templates. These device templates have predefined monitors and variable threshold settings to generate alerts when SLAs are violated.
  • Discovery Rule Engine: Accelerate the discovery process and automate all the post-discovery actions that require manual intervention, such as associating service monitors or plotting the device on maps. This makes network discovery and monitoring more efficient.
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End your network discovery woes with Discovery Profile

Discovery Profile in OpManager is the one-stop solution for all your network discovery needs. It allows you to discover individual or a set of devices with only their name or IP address. You can add a variety of devices, like VMware, Hyper-V, UCS, and Xen servers as well as other storage devices like RAID drives, tape libraries, and Fibre Channel switches. OpManager renders the logical network topology diagram (Layer2 map) of the devices and their seed router and also allows bulk discovery of devices via an IP range, CSV file, subnet, or through Active Directory (AD) discovery.

The new update also allows you to approve or ignore devices once they are discovered. Approved devices will be monitored, while ignored devices will be restricted even during rediscovery or scheduled discovery.

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Highlights of Discovery Profile

  • Bulk discovery: Need to discover multiple devices but hate typing them one by one? No worries! Just enter the start and end IP of a range of IP addresses and OpManager will discover the devices in that range. You can also choose to ignore certain devices in the specified IP range.
  • Discover various types of devices: OpManager's network discovery tool supports multiple authentication credentials, including SNMP v1, v2, and v3; WMI; SSH; and Telnet. This helps in the discovery of different types of network devices, such as Windows servers, VMware devices, Xen servers, and RAID storage devices. You can add more than one credential to a discovery profile to discover different types of devices in one go.
  • Discover interfaces: While configuring a discovery profile for an interface, you can configure OpManager to discover the interfaces associated with the respective device(s).
  • Discovery based on subnet (CIDR): You can use either the v4 or v6 scheme to discover devices using CIDR.
  • Bulk discovery using CSV: Have the IP addresses or DNS names of devices that need to be discovered? Just add them to a CSV file (along with other optional device information) and upload it. OpManager will take care of the rest!
  • AD-based discovery: Discover the devices in your domain in one go. AD discovery allows you to import devices in your domain into OpManager and monitor them. This saves a substantial amount of time and also decreases the chance of overlooking devices in your network. This AD LAN discovery is automatically performed during product startup. OpManager immediately identifies the domain controller and discovers the devices associated with it. Once they’re discovered, you can approve or reject devices based on your preference.
  • Rediscover devices: If your server just went through a hardware upgrade (such as a change to its RAM, HDD, interface speed, or ifAlias), you need not remove it from the monitoring tool and add it again for the changes to be updated. OpManager allows you to rediscover a network device and its associated interfaces when changes are made. This process automatically updates the device and interface properties without the need for reconfiguration.

Learn more about the various discovery methods in OpManager.

Automate network discovery using Discovery Schedule

No more running to your network monitoring tool every time you add a device to your network—OpManager's Discovery Schedule has got it covered. Just create a discovery schedule, specify a time interval during which you want discovery to happen, and the discovery process will be automatically carried out in the specified frequency.

How Discovery Schedule simplifies network discovery

  • Automate the network device discovery process: Create the schedule once and it will run automatically in the time interval specified. This comes in handy if devices are regularly added to your network.
  • Configure rediscovery rules: Configure the actions that should be carried out when rediscovering a device. For example, while rediscovering a specific range, new devices may have been added to the network or existing devices may have been removed. You can configure OpManager to add, ignore, or delete those devices when found.
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Get deep insights with detailed reports after each network discovery operation

OpManager's discovery tool is equipped with a powerful reporting feature that simplifies the tracking and analysis of your network and the corresponding device performance.

  • Specify an email address and OpManager will send a detailed report to that email after every discovery process. This report can also be viewed and downloaded from the product if necessary. Customize the format of the email for easy interpretation by including your own custom subject line and message.
  • The report includes the total number of devices found in the specified range, the number of devices successfully discovered, the number of undiscovered devices, the status of all discovery schedules, and other important information that will help you drill down into the efficiency of the network discovery process.
  • Create manual inventory reports from the Reports tab post-discovery.
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Don't just discover devices. Make them monitor-ready!

Network discovery in OpManager is not just about adding the new devices in your network to your network monitoring tool. OpManager provides two very powerful functionalities that elevate the purpose of your discovery tool from just discovering devices to making them monitor-ready: Device Templates and the Discovery Rule Engine.

Device Templates: Premade configurations that save time and effort during monitoring

  • OpManager comes with over 10,000 device templates. A device template is a set of predefined properties (such as sysOID, device type, vendor, a few preconfigured performance monitors, and thresholds) that helps you monitor the various metrics associated with a device.
  • On successful device discovery, OpManager's network discovery tool compares the device with the available device templates and associates one of them with the discovered device.
  • OpManager is also bundled with more than 53,000 vendor templates. These are a list of IANA-registered vendors and their enterprise OIDs. Devices that do not match the existing device templates will be associated with an enterprise OID that is in turn used to create a custom device template.
  • The device template also contains certain basic monitors, predefined threshold values for different parameters, and more. When a device is associated with a device template, the configurations required for monitoring, such as threshold values and monitors, are added to the device. You can allow OpManager to monitor the device with these settings, or you can edit these settings in the device template or via the device snapshot page.
  • You can create custom device templates or import a device template into OpManager using the Sync and Rediscover option.
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Discovery Rule Engine: Automate traditional manual activities performed post-discovery

  • OpManager's network device discovery tool comes equipped with a Discovery Rule Engine, which helps in further leveraging the power of automation in the network discovery process.
  • The Discovery Rule Engine automatically associates monitors and business views with a device during discovery if the discovered device satisfies a set of predefined conditions. This eliminates the need to manually associate the basic monitors with a device after discovery, saving time and effort.
  • Associate process monitors, service monitors, file or folder monitors, and URL monitors with devices.
  • Create your own custom monitors and add them to devices during the discovery process.
  • The power of the Discovery Rule Engine is not limited to merely assigning monitors based on certain conditions during discovery. It can also be used to associate a device with a business view (based on the business area) and a notification profile.

Learn more about the Discovery Rule Engine.

Interface Discovery: Effectively monitor the interfaces associated with your network devices

The Interface Discovery feature in OpManager helps you quickly discover and monitor your network interfaces. Interfaces are automatically classified based on predefined interface templates bundled with the product. Currently, OpManager has around 300 interface templates (or interface types) that help in the successful classification of interface type and category. Similar to device discovery, interfaces can be discovered in bulk by specifying a condition or rule. Bulk discovery of interfaces can be performed while adding the associated devices to OpManager (if the device is discovered via Add Device) or post-discovery. You can also:

  • Individually discover interfaces associated with network devices and monitor them effectively.
  • Generate reports and configure notifications for individual or a set of interfaces and analyze the performance if necessary.
  • Generate violation alerts with the help of predefined interface thresholds. By default, alerts will be raised when the interface is down or when the thresholds have been violated. You can also customize these thresholds according to your environment.
  • Schedule interface rediscovery at regular intervals.

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End your network monitoring woes today with OpManager.

Download a 30-day free trial of OpManager, or contact our sales team at sales@manageengine.com for any questions or further clarification.

 

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