Networks are complex entities and are predisposed to continuous evolution. With growing business requirements and needs, an organization's network can become increasingly sophisticated and complex. The composite nature of an organization's network can be attributed to the many network components it entails, its distributed topology spanning geographies, and the contemporary technologies it utilizes.

Such complexity makes it incredibly difficult for network administrators to monitor networks for performance, availability, and network faults. Businesses can circumvent these bottlenecks with vivid network visualizations. Graphs and charts representing networks in the form of topology maps, dependency maps, layer 2 maps and data center visualization diagrams are all key to managing networks at scale. Hence, it's imperative for organizations to invest in dedicated network visualization software that aids in visualizing and analyzing large networks, ultimately streamlining network management processes.

Challenges in network visualization

Networks are designed in many sizes, and they expand as a company grows. With so much volatility in play, visualizing networks and their components becomes crucial. Network visualizations help us contextualize and make sense of the metrics we monitor. There are certain challenges involved in performing network visualization, which need a network visualization tool to overcome them. 

  • Mapping - With manual mapping of networks, businesses can't monitor network devices for their status and availability. With network visualization tool, we can discover elements of the network that were previously unknown and we can communicate with them effectively.

  • Layout - The high number of nodes, which subsequently are linked by edges, gives much to the complexity seen in a complex network. These edges will overlap and create a misleading image of what is happening in the network. The optimum arrangement is one in which a minimum number of crossing points is maintained, which can be achieved only through network visualization software.

  • Network Operation Center (NOC) - To ensure quality of service 24/7, a network operations center (NOC) use network visualization solutions to display network maps and other business critical information.

  • Enterprise visibility - The breadth and amount of accessible information make it difficult for large companies to visualize. Network admins need to see into every corner of the organization. This demands end-to-end network visualization across your organization, all in one understandable and action-oriented view.

  • Alerts and alarms - When network conditions deviate from the baseline, alerts and alarms are crucial. Alerts are overlaid on top of the topology, site, and summary views for cross-team notifications so you can engage in incident response together with the same information. These alerts should present information with the severity level of the issue, the trigger, or the cause, for which a network visualization software is required.

  • Site views - Site-level insights are critical for gaining visibility into a specific site and to better understand and manage data interconnections and service provider performance.

OpManager : The best network visualization tool your business needs

Of many network visualization tools available in the IT market, OpManager offers extensive network visualization capabilities, enabling administrators to manage complex and distributed networks with ease. With OpManager's network visualization tool, administrators can seamlessly construct virtual replicas of their network's topographies and data centers in no time using a drag-and-drop network diagram builder.

OpManager, the network diagram software, enables you to visualize your networks in the following formats:

Network visualization: Layer 2 maps

OpManager is a network visualization solution that allows you to discover and visualize Layer 2 devices connected to your network. In addition to interfaces, this offers a comprehensive map of all nodes, interlinked layers, and port-to-port connection. OpManager's Layer 2 Maps helps network admins visualize the dependency mapping between seed routers and their connected devices. By setting up Uplink Dependency, network admins can reduce the volume of alerts triggered in the event of seed router failure. Administrators gain access to comprehensive node details, including names, IP addresses, statuses, and types. This network visualization capability significantly helps identify and troubleshoot network issues in Layer 2 devices swiftly.

Network Visualization Software - ManageEngine OpManager

Network visualization: Virtual machine topography maps

OpManager visualizes your virtual networks. The virtual network topology maps in OpManager depict the relationship between hosts, virtual machines, and data stores. You can also track VM migration across physical hosts with OpManager's network topology visualization tool. OpManager lets network admins discover VMware, Hyper-V, Xen, and Nutanix VMs using the host machine's IP address and VM credentials. After discovering VMs, OpManager automatically maps the interconnections between Host to VM, Host to Network, Host to Datastore, VM to Network, and VM to Datastore. This network visualization functionality enables network admins to view VM network connectivity, datastores, host machines and their VMs. With the help of this, network admins can analyze their virtual infrastructure, identify and troubleshoot VM sprawl and other issues in VMs easily.

Network Mapping Visualization Tool - ManageEngine OpManager

Network visualization: Business views

OpManager, the best network visualization software, uses a drag-and-drop diagram builder to create business views. In OpManager, business views show devices in a graphical format based on the business service they deliver. This ensures the continuous availability of mission-critical programs and facilitates network troubleshooting.

OpManager's Business Views lets users create links to monitor storage devices, servers, Meraki controllers, and other network components spread across different geographical locations worldwide. These links furnish essential insights such as network traffic, interface speeds, and device availability. This data is invaluable for network administrators to uphold seamless operations by preempting downtimes and minimizing network latency between network nodes across the world, from a centralized console.

Network Visualization - ManageEngine OpManager

Network visualization: Zoho Maps and Google Maps

The default map source for the maps feature in OpManager is Zoho Maps. It can be used to visualize your network by arranging devices on maps based on their geographic distribution. The same ground distance in miles or kilometers can also be displayed using Zoho Maps. With OpManager's network visualization, you can also  useGoogle Maps and place devices on it based on their geographic distribution.

Network Visualization Tools - ManageEngine OpManager

Network visualization on Hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI)

Hyper-convergence is an IT framework that combines storage, computation, virtualization, and networking into a single system to simplify data center management and boost scalability. OpManager's network visualization software enables you to discover the Nutanix cluster, which will automatically discover hosts and VMs, and display their relationship by placing them on a map. You can add the Nutanix Prism Central to automatically discover all the clusters mapped under the HCI device. This will give you a detailed network map of each and every virtual machine in the organization managed by the HCI, irrespective of the number of nodes.

Hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) visualization - ManageEngine OpManager

Network visualization on Software-defined networking (SDN) infrastructure

SDN is a network architecture approach that allows networks to be intelligently and centrally controlled using software applications. Regardless of the underlying network technology, this allows operators to manage the entire network consistently and holistically. Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) is Cisco's SDN architecture for data centers. OpManager's network visualization automatically plots the topology map of your ACI environment for better visualization. This gives you a comprehensive look at the APIC controller, the spines, and the leaves available in your network and how they are interconnected. Click on a device and you’ll see its availability status too. The Topology tab is pretty much a network map with live status updates.

Software-defined networking (SDN) infrastructure visualization- ManageEngine OpManager

Network visualization: Software-defined networking wide area network (SD-WAN) topology view

A SD-WAN is a virtual WAN that allows businesses to securely connect users to applications using a combination of transport services architecture, such as Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS), Long-Term Evolution (LTE), and broadband internet services.

OpManager's network visualizer's topology view option lets you perform software defined network visualization by giving you a complete map-like representation of the various devices in each network of the discovered Cisco Meraki controller. This topology view option helps you know the interconnections between the various devices in the selected network.

Software-defined networking wide area network (SD-WAN) topology view - ManageEngine OpManager

Network visualization: 3D rack and floor views

OpManager's network visualization software allows you to make virtual three-dimensional replicas of your data centers. You can build 3D rack and floor views of your server rooms with OpManager. These views assist network administrators in keeping track of server availability and status. Additionally, OpManager provides the ability to drill down into individual devices, offering comprehensive details such as their IP address, DNS name, type, category, vendor, monitoring interval, and more. With OpManager's Rack View, network admins can efficiently identify issues across network devices located on the rack, and seamlessly perform level 1 troubleshooting remotely.

Visualizing Networks Software - ManageEngine OpManager

Network data visualization: OpManager Dashboards, and Reports.

OpManager utilizes a range of visual elements, including charts, graphs, maps, diagrams, and dashboards, to present intricate enterprise network data in an easily understandable format. This helps network admins in understanding, analyzing, and managing their network infrastructure more effectively. OpManager's Dashboard gives you a comprehesive view of all the devices' CPU utilization, availability status, HeatMap and other metrics monitored by OpManager in graphs and charts. OpManager's Reports allows you to view graphical representation of all the reports including Servers Health, Availability and Response, VoIP Monitors, and more.

Network Data Visualization - ManageEngine OpManager

More on network visualization

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What are the challenges in visualizing a network?


Why you should deploy a network visualization software?


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