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Network Maps with Pandora FMS: Creation, navigation and editing

June 12, 2017

Network Maps with Pandora FMS: Creation, navigation and editing

This post is also available in: Spanish

The wait is finally over, and the seventh version of Pandora FMS, “Next Generation” has arrived to keep your networks in working order, and more. Now including UX monitoring, transaction monitoring, extra features and visual highlights, interactive network maps and events history. It’s difficult to imagine that there is a more powerful and complete monitoring software currently available. We’re excited to talk about the new network maps upgrades, but if you’d like to find out about the other new additions click here.

The glowing iridescent Pandora FMS Omni-Brain that directs the office hive-mind has instructed the developers to make changes to the network maps function, consolidating both Open and Enterprise versions into a single tool, all-in-one. It’s now possible to display network maps totally visually and dynamically, with greater interaction possibilities, and represent any kind of network topology, including manual L2 links. You can also view all and any sub-networks that your organization is running and/or maintaining, on- or off-site; create hierarchy relations allowing a greater level of topological detail than ever before.

Creating network maps

Network maps can be created from:

  • An agent group, if there are hierarchy relations between nodes in a group and these are going to be shown on the map.
  • A network mask, to define the boundaries of a sub-network.
  • Finally, one of the most usual ways, via self-discovery tasks. A reconnaissance task can be carried out to detect your network topology, respecting the connections and relations between nodes. At network interface level and layer 2 relations, information is presented automatically.

Keep in mind the relations between modules and agents to define the network topology you want to view.

In the following screenshot the available options for map-generating can be seen. You can select a group of agents (Group), a recon task (Recon task), or a network mask (CIDR IP mask).

network maps

If “Recon task” is selected the map design will show discovered nodes and any relations detected among them:

network maps

In a wider environment the perspective is going to be different: here you can see what a network map with more connected nodes would look like:

network maps

You can see how Pandora FMS connects to intermediary locations in the node diaspora. These locations usually correspond to routers, switches or access points.

Navigating network maps

Simpler than before, once a network map has been created you can move around it by simply dragging the mouse. Double-click or scroll to zoom in.

If you zoom in on a recon task-generated map you’ll see an image like the one below, allowing you to see relations between different map elements in more detail, including those at interface level.

network maps

It’s also easier to navigate map elements; simply drag and drop the elements, or scroll around the map at your leisure.

Editing maps

But there’s more; Pandora FMS 7’s maps are completely dynamic, meaning their default design can be modified, and elements displayed in the way that best suits the user. All intuitively and by simply using the mouse.

Double-click on any node on the map and you’ll see different edit options deployed, plus their relevant details. Likewise, you can now create, delete or modify relations between nodes and also their appearance.

network maps

To create a dependent relation between nodes or interfaces simply click on the node and create the relation by defining the parent and child element. You can also change the position of the node by dragging and dropping them on the map. If you need to move various nodes simultaneously, press “ctrl” and select the groups you want to move.

network maps

Right click on a node to deploy its options, see details or create a relation between two nodes at interface level, selecting the parent and child element respectively. Right click on a blank space to see the following options:

network maps

One of the most important labor-saving tools is the automatic generation of relations. This is possible thanks to self-discovery tasks, that allow relations between existing nodes to be automatically detected.

Last but not least, Pandora FMS 7 Next Generation includes the holding area. If you need to manually add new agents and relations to a pre-existing map, or if the recon task discovers new hosts, using the “refresh holding area” option will display nodes created or discovered subsequently in the “holding area”, and the original map will maintain its aesthetic, not being sullied with elements created a posteriori. Drag the new nodes out of the holding area to see its corresponding relations by clicking refresh.

In the Pandora FMS video “Network Maps” you can see everything we’ve explained in this article, and find out how to create, edit, and use a network map in a dynamic, graphic and easier way than in previous versions.

For more info visit https://pandorafms.com/ or our YouTube channel.


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