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Im trying to discover what devices are out there on the network as the documentation I recieved to pick this up is none existant. Does anyone have any reccomendations?

Thanks shabba!!

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closed as off-topic by Falcon Momot, Jenny D, Bryan, mdpc, Ward Jul 20 '13 at 14:31

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7 Answers 7

A great tool (and a free one) is NMap.

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Great thanks will check it out. :) –  Shabbaranks Mar 8 '11 at 14:31
    
zenmap is a nice gui for nmap –  Jure1873 Mar 8 '11 at 14:59

There are 2 standards for device discovery: CDP and LLDP. Besides this you can use the mac address table from the switches, network scanning - nmap and passive scanning with a network sniffer - wireshark.

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In addition to the obvious Nmap scan to discover

  1. What addresses are in use, and
  2. What MAC adresses they have, and therefore also the equipment manufacturer,

I would also use Bonjour/ZeroConf to scan for any announced services. If you're using Linux, you can probably use this command:

avahi-browse --all --terminate

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I'm using Spiceworks at my office and you can use it to scan for all the network devices in the office, including network printers.

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We recently published a free and open source software to discover windows and linux devices on the network and create an excel sheet with information. Here is a quick rundown:

  • The utility is .net based, 100% free and Open source(MIT/BSD license).
  • No agent to install on individual devices, uses powershell and ssh.
  • Documents IPv6 as well.
  • No branding in the results file.
  • Creates an excel sheet with 3 tabs: devices, IPv4 & IPv6.

You can download here or read more here.

We have gotten great feedback from reddit sysadmin community and are working on making it faster. We would really appreciate your feedback as well.

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Welcome to Server Fault! Please read our faq in particular May I promote products or websites I am affiliated with here?. –  Iain Apr 15 '12 at 17:36
    
Iain, Thank you for pointing that out. Just curious for my understanding for future posts: it is not really a paid solution(nor its freemium, it is completely open source and free), and I am quite clear in answer that we published it(not hiding under anonymous user here), and I think it is quite relevant for this post. So is it just for future reference or is there something I should correct in my answer? Thanks for your help! –  Raj J Apr 15 '12 at 18:00
    
The key is to stay below peoples' RADAR - if you answer questions and occasionally mention your product then you should be fine. If however, you start to answer questions solely to mention your product then that's the wrong thing to do and will get you noticed. –  Iain Apr 15 '12 at 18:24
    
got it, makes sense. Thank you for the tip :) –  Raj J Apr 15 '12 at 18:27

You can probably figure out a lot from using NMap to scan your network and then look at the services each IP provides. You may also look at OpenNMS, it has the ability to scan devices and query snmp but that would assume that the devices are open to anonymous snmp queries. The combination of the two should give you a good starting place.

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Cisco Discovery Protocol (CDP) can also be used to discover your (cisco) network equipements.

Not activated everywhere, but damn useful when you don't know anything about the physical topology.

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