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5 Ways to Build a Dynamic Map

November 22, 2017

A dynamic network map is more than a network diagram, it’s the place where every network task starts and ends – from troubleshooting and security to planning a network change. That means the map should be custom built to fit the task at-hand. Need to disable an infected server? Map the server and the switch it connects to. Need to troubleshoot a slow app? Map the path instantly. Once you have the right map, the job is already half done. In this post, I’ll share the top five methods for on-demand network mapping with NetBrain.

Method 1: Map around a single device

Add any device to a blank map, then dynamically add connected neighbors to expand your field of view until the map covers the area you want.

dynamically add network neighbors in a network map

Method 2: Map from a simple search

Search any keyword – an IP address, a hostname, even any part of a config file. You can create a custom map with one click from the search results.

create a custom map in one click - diagram

Method 3: Map between two endpoints

Enter an IP address or host name for points “A” and “B” to map out the traffic flow between them. This works for both live and historic traffic paths and takes into account advanced protocol analysis including ACLs, NAT, VRFs, policy-based routing, and more.

A/B Path diagram in NetBrain

Method 4: Map a group with common attributes

Specify a set of attributes (e.g. all Cisco routers in Boston configured with OSPF) and boolean (AND/OR) operators to automatically map them out. If any devices are added to the network which match these attributes, they will be dynamically added to the map.

dynamically add devices with common attributes

Method 5: Map from an incident

You don’t even need to touch NetBrain to get a custom map, it can trigger automatically based on an event. For example, when a an incident is created in ServiceNow, for a device with high CPU utilization, NetBrain can be programmed to automatically map the device and its neighbors.

create a map from an incident


Once you have the right map, the next step is to dive in and analyze what’s going on. That’s where Runbook Automation can help!

Learn more about Dynamic Network Mapping (video)

Happy mapping!