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Thread: Automatic discovery of network structure - possible?

  1. #1
    Member
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    Feb 2012
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    Slovenia
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    Automatic discovery of network structure - possible?

    I know that we can create dependencies, hostgroups, servicegroups etc..
    I just wonder if there is a plan to one day run discovery of the whole local network, and system would automaticaly generate device dependencies.
    I just stumbled upon spiceworks, because I wanted to know, on which switch one device was connected, so I can create correct dependencies.
    I think this structure was built with heavy usage of snmp.

    Is it (or will it ever be) possible (with snmpwalk, or nmap), to figure out, to which switch is a host connected?


  2. #2
    Shinken project leader
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    May 2011
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    Bordeaux (France)
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    Re: Automatic discovery of network structure - possible?

    It's planned for routing, but for level 2 this will need a LOT of snmp every where. Should be possibel to wrote a discovery runner with it, but not now becaue it wil ltake a lot of time
    No direct support by personal message. Please open a thread so everyone can see the solution

  3. #3
    Administrator
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
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    278

    Re: Automatic discovery of network structure - possible?

    L2 Discovery is a bit of a black art. Due to the large amount of possible topologies.
    - Ring, tree, mesh, p-t-p tunnels/pseudowires, p-t-mp tunnels, ATM/SPB/TRILL/VPLS ELANs
    - Mish-mash of L2 discovery protocols (LLDP, CDP, etc.) that may be enabled or not
    - Unmanaged devices

    Accurately modelling layer 2 and dependancies is more of a manual, custom rule based or based on CMDB information.

    Layer 3 is much more deterministic and can be done using SNMP more reliably. (I did not say perfectly. ;-))

    The tool netdisco can provide pretty good automated discovery. Fusion inventory also provides discovery.

    Single device SNMP discovery tools like check_nwc_health, genDevConfig and a host of other tools provide knowledge on what is actually configured in your device. (QoS, interface configurations, descriptions, vpn configurations, chassis information and anything else you can think of that is available via SNMP)

    If you need commercial grade auto-discovery and dependancy tracking then you should look into EMC Smarts, Monolith Software - Topology Manager or Microsoft SCOM that will include EMC Smarts technology.

    I am personally responsible for one of those tools : genDevConfig

    genDevConfig which was originally for Cricket has been converted to spit out Nagios compatible configurations. It can eventually spit out data destined for the Shinken discovery management module as the API/interface firms up.

    Work is being done to determine the best format in which to convert the hundreds of templates for use with Shinken. In conjonction with this, a new high performance python/C distributed SNMP polling module is also in the course of being developed to be fully compatible with Shinken's distributed model. Stay tuned exciting things to come.

    High quality discovery engines (check_nwc_health, netdisco, genDevConfig, fusion inventory, etc.) could then feed the Shinken configuration and not worry about the polling aspects.

    Cheers,

    xkilian

  4. #4
    Shinken project leader
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    Bordeaux (France)
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    2,131

    Re: Automatic discovery of network structure - possible?

    Yes, we are trying to make shinken discovery as flexible as possible so it can take "what ever source" to take data, apply rule on top of it, and so get the (good) configuration for the hosts and services
    No direct support by personal message. Please open a thread so everyone can see the solution

  5. #5
    Today's networks are constantly changing. Users are adding and removing devices from the network – in many cases without following proper procedures. A detailed inventory of your network is often rendered inaccurate the day you complete the network inventory as a result of these factors.

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