Network's stability depends on its architecture and elements that the network consists of. That is why the system administrator needs to know its topology. The network map in front of his eyes helps the IT manager to view where all the network devices are located. In this case, he gets an opportunity to react on occurred failures more quickly.
There are three solutions for the problem:
1. Drawing the network map manually. This process includes the wire tracking in order to discover the topology, and the map drawing on paper or using the computer. This method is free, but very time consuming and "dusty". If the network is big and complex you have to manually track connections of all devices across the wires. Sometimes, it is even necessary to open the floor covering. In addition, when a new network device is added, the system administrator has to add it on the map manually.
2. An outsourcing company can create a network map for you. Often, such organizations use special software to discover the network topology automatically. This method is much quicker, but it is not free. The outsourcing companies' services are rather expensive. Above all, if the map is changed (devices are added or vice versa) the system administrator will have to correct the map manually or use the outsourcing company's service again.
3. The organization can purchase the network topology discovery software. What opportunities it will give?
As a rule, the network topology discovering process does not take much time and consists of three steps. The first one is the program installation on the computer. Secondly, the mapping software scans the network to detect all the hosts in it. If there are switches that support the SNMP protocol, the program will draw the connections between devices automatically. And the third step is finishing the map manually - dragging icons and placing them in "offices" and "floors".
As you can see, everything is quite easy. Network topology discovery is not so difficult and expensive process, as someone may think. But this program gives a lot of incontestable advantages: from building a stable network to saving the loyalty of existing and potential customers.