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This is a Canonical Question about network mapping software.

Are there any good network mapping tools for creating a visual representation of the network?

I'm talking about an automatic mapping tool that will do a scan of the network and make a map for me.

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8 Answers 8

up vote 7 down vote accepted

The Dude does a good job.

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I came into work this morning and found my boss using it :), it does a good job but looking at it makes me think how hard it would be to make a really good one. –  Shard May 4 '09 at 21:06
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A network management app that only runs on Windows is like a car that only runs on quicksand. –  Cerin Sep 7 '11 at 14:01

To create a textual representation of the network, use nmap, if you want a GUI use Zenmap GUI

As far as creating a visual representation of the output, you're going to need to do that manually (e.g. dia, Visio, OmniGraffle).

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You might consider the Weathermap project. This generally works best in conjunction with some of the larger RRD based monitoring tools which provide auto-discovery and performance monitoring.

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There is an app I use called "kiss the net" that scans and generates a pdf network map for you.

It's actually based on a server monitoring/management product called "The Dude" made by mikrotik.

http://www.mikrotik.com/download/KTN_1.0beta1.zip Requirements: Windows XP/2000/2003/Vista with Internet Explorer 6 or better.

Note: the dude is the full version of the software that someone else has listed here. This one simply generates a network map along with a table of machines it discovers.

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I'm not sure if you're looking for an automated solution, but OmniGraffle is a great Mac application for making flowcharts and the like. It comes with a "stencil" for electronics that you might find on a network.

EDIT: Well, you now changed your post to say that you'd like an automated solution, but I'll leave my post here. If you find a program that can scan a network and export GraphViz files, then you can use OmniGraffle to make pretty graphs.

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HP's Network Node Manager performs automatic discovery of your network, and can provide a graphical output of what it has discovered, along with links between devices. I don't know if it supports exporting that data to an editable image format; in any case, most people I've talked to have always preferred manually created diagrams as they tend to be clearer and better laid out.

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I've never played with it much but I've heard good things about netdisco:

Designed for moderate to large networks, configuration information and connection data for network devices are retrieved by SNMP. With Netdisco you can locate the switch port of an end-user system by IP or MAC address. Data is stored using a SQL database for scalability and speed. Layer-2 topology protocols such as CDP (Cisco Discovery Protocol) optionally provides automatic discovery of the network topology.

The network is inventoried by both device model and operating system (like IOS). Netdisco uses router ARP tables and L2 switch MAC forwarding tables to locate nodes on physical ports and track them by their IP addresses. For each node, a time stamped history of the ports it has visited and the IP addresses it has used is maintained.

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Tideway Foundation is a tool for automated network discovery and application modeling that can draw visual representations of your network. You can download a free virtual appliance from their website.

Note: I used to work for Tideway and still have an interest in the company.

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