Best Network Auto Discovery and Auto Mapping Software?

What is the best software for auto-generating nice network diagrams
with least effort for busy network engineer? I really like Netbrain but
I couldn't afford that as an individual (used it at a large company).
Plus I don't need the monitoring and troubleshooting parts of
netbrain. I just need excellent discovery and map drawing. Any
recommendations?
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amigan_99Network EngineerAsked:
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Blue Street TechLast KnightCommented:
Hi amigan_99,

...auto-generating nice network diagrams...
That is an oxymoron! I haven't found one that is affordable, auto-generated and nice. Sure you can get a ton of auto-generated network diagrams but they are mostly useless in terms of providing meaningful info.

Best bet is to do it by hand in Visio IMO. I created some templates to get the shear work done and fine tune what is required or needed.

Let me know if you have any questions!
Blue Street TechLast KnightCommented:
I updated my last post before you could see it please refresh to view.
amigan_99Network EngineerAuthor Commented:
I beg to disagree. Netbrain does a great job of discovery and the resultant maps just need a few
little nudges, a few clouds added here and they're and they're ready to export to Visio for others
to see. BUT it's something that's not really affordable IMO outside of a corp at $10,000 per seat.
I get called now and then to do a network gig and would like to power through the discovery
process. But I can't justify laying out $10k for a tool that just helps speed one portion of the
a subset of gigs that need diagrams.
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Blue Street TechLast KnightCommented:
That is why I stated I don't know of one that is "affordable, auto-generated and nice". Sorry I don't know of one that meets all your requirements.

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amigan_99Network EngineerAuthor Commented:
Thanks Blue Street.
Blue Street TechLast KnightCommented:
You're welcome! Sorry I didn't have a better solution for you. I'm looking for the same thing so if either of us ever finds it...we should both post back here. :)
nociSoftware EngineerCommented:
Hm.
Solarwinds comes to ming (used it long ago)
Many of the environments i have to deal with don't exist when designed..., so SmartDraw or  Visio or likewise tools does work there.

Then how about this:
OpenNMS comes to mind.  www.opennms.org
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OpenNMS
Not entirely sure of  network mapping capabilities it has are what you need.
Technical EngeneerTechnical Support SpecialistCommented:
Too bad I'm late to chime-in on this, but holy smokes, NetCrunch!
  • automatic layer-2 maps
  • automatic service, device, OS discovery and much more
  • netflow live and historical data overlayed on maps
  • port mapping (even on vlans) done right out of the box
Example:port-mapping-in-netcrunch.png
amigan_99Network EngineerAuthor Commented:
Thanks Mariusz J.
amigan_99Network EngineerAuthor Commented:
Mariusz J. - what's it cost to be able to discover say 500 devices that can then be dragged into a map? This is for an individual consultant.
Technical EngeneerTechnical Support SpecialistCommented:
I'll ask my sales guys and will answer you on priv.

When it comes to scalability - 500 nodes is not a problem. NetCrunch handles up to 10,000 easily.
amigan_99Network EngineerAuthor Commented:
It's not a matter of scalability. It's a matter of cost for an occasional moonlighter. Does it save me time from creating Visios from scratch and if it does what do I have to pay for that potential effort savings.
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