Switching Environment Discovery

a_kreydin used Ask the Experts™
I'm looking for a tool which would allow me to do some basic discovery of workgroup layer switching equiment. Environment has switches of different brands: Cisco, Netgear, Dell etc.
I need to find out the following - how switches are connected,to each other and which devices are attached to a particular switch.  
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Not all switches nessasarily have IP addresses. Would it do layer 2 discovery?


I need to be able to identify even layer-2 hubs and which computers are connected to it.
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What is the purpuse of that? Are you looking into comercial products? Do you want to do Inventory or some kind of policy?

I would recomand portnox if you are looking for Access Control solution, although you do need to enter the managed switches manually...

Just for scope scanning (IP) you can use nmap as well


Inventory. I'm trying to replace couple of switches need to know how those switches are attached to core router and what else is attached to them, without doing to much cable tracing.
Sr. Systems Engineer
Top Expert 2008
>Not all switches nessasarily have IP addresses. Would it do layer 2 discovery
That's the really hard part. Most automated discovery tools work using SNMP or telnet session with the switch to discover the mac-address table.
Some tools will compare the mac-address tables with Arp cache on the router, do dns lookups and provide a nice list of everything connected to a particular switch.
Dumb hubs don't have mac address tables so it is next to impossible to map what is connected to specific ports on humbs.
Unmanged switches are the same way. Without a management interface to access the data, it's pretty  much useless.
SolarWinds has a mac-address discovery tool that might prove helpful to you, but it won't necessarily tell you which switch/port something is connected to.

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