Topology Jobs and Network Maps Overview

MSP Network Topology allows you to scan your network of devices and visualize it by building a topology map of the network. Based upon the SolarWinds Orion Network Topology Mapper product, the MSP Network Topology map provides you with the following information about your network:

  • The monitoring status of scanned devices.
  • A list of services of a SolarWinds N-central-managed device.
  • Allows you to deep link from the topology map to the device details view, if the node is successfully managed by a SolarWinds N-central agent or probe.

Components

MSP Network Topology uses a multi-level discovery engine, which uses a combination of protocols and goes through three distinct phases to discover every node on a network and to produce a highly accurate map:

  • Topology scanner
    • Carries out the topology scan and provides data for the SolarWinds N-central agent to submit it to the SolarWinds N-central server.
    • Uses a combination of ICMP, SNMP and WMI protocols to detect devices.
    • Uses CDP, LLDP, Bridge table and also Spanning Tree Protocol (STP) to detect the role of each node.
    • Topology uses SNMP polling to retrieve CDP and LLDP data, based on the SolarWinds Orion Network Topology Mapper product. Please refer to this document to find out what SNMP OIDs the scanner polls for network topology information.
  • Enrichment service
    • Retrieves additional information found during scan about individual devices that are managed by a SolarWinds N-central agent or probe.
  • Calculation
    • Uses a complex algorithm to calculate connectivity between nodes.

There is additionally and API layer that delivers data to the Topology user interface, which consists of a number of pages of which two are important:

  • Topology Viewer – provides an interface where you can see the Map of scanned network, inventory of devices on the map canvas, as well as a details panel that gives more information of managed devices.

    The colors of the nodes in the network map reflect the state of the device as follows:

    • Green: Normal
    • Yellow: Warning
    • Red: Failed
    • Grey: An unmanaged device in N-central
  • Topology Config – provides screens to configure topology job. The page and functionality is similar to Discovery Job pages however they are two independent entities and can not be confused.

How does it work?

The network scan begins once a topology job has been created, configured, and scheduled. During the scan, information is collected about the network devices and subnets, and the relationships among them. During the compilation of this information, the enrichment service correlates additional data such as the status, labels, and management details, and displays all of the relevant data in the topology viewer.

Topology mapping will not work as intended if probes are installed on Windows core servers. You will need a fully featured version of Windows Server for topology mapping to function completely.

If multiple Topology Jobs are scheduled to run at the same time, they will all be marked as "In Progress". However, only one job at a time will be processed. The others are actually queued to begin immediately after the current job completes. As a result, Topology Jobs will appear to take longer to complete than expected.

The enrichment phase is highly dependent upon the results of the discovery job. Since topology jobs and discovery jobs run independently of each other, it is possible to view a network topology with only partial information about the network. Refreshing the page will re-enrich the topology display, but the active selection or state of the interface will be lost.

Requirements

The following table provides the minimum requirements for using MSP Network Topology:

Hardware/
Software
Requirement
Operating System
  • Microsoft Windows 10, 8.1, 8, and 7
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 SP2
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2012 and R2
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2016
CPU Speed

2.66 GHz or faster

Device discovery and map rendering are CPU-intensive. SolarWinds MSP recommends that you have the fastest CPU PC available.

Hard Drive Space 10 GB
Memory 500 MB
Application Framework

.NET 3.5 SP1

.NET 4.0

.NET 4.5

 

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