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How to use Inventory with Probes

Introduction

In essence, Enterprise View is an extension of the Inventory feature, it is Codima Toolbox’s way of managing probes that are used to extend the geographic reach of this network management tool. Enterprise view offers the ability to combine several discoveries in one manageable view, these discoveries can either be viewed individually or as a summation. This allows you to either see location-specific information such as a probe located in the UK or view how large your collection of inventory assets is on a worldwide scale.

Enterprise View has the same functionality that the original Inventory feature has, except any number of probes can be accessed from one GUI all running in parallel to ensure quick response times.

Deployment Scenarios

1. Combining Discoveries on a Single Installation

This is a scenario where a single Enterprise View Manager splits up one or more Networks into multiple Discoveries (Databases), possibly to reduce per Discovery time or to limit Database sizes. Alternatively, separate Discoveries are required because the Discoveries use individual IP Ranges, which could be overlapping in which case separate Discoveries are a necessity.

2. Using Multiple Probes

There are several advantages to using multiple probes. Full parallel processing both during the Network Discovery Process plus equally importantly, the ability to Process Inventory Display Requests, such as a simple or very sophisticated Inventory Explorer Filter to be executed on all Discoveries in the View.  There can be any number of Views, with combined or separate reports.

3. Geographically Distributed Probes and Discoveries

Above is a typical Geographically distributed system. The blue circles represent Views that have been set up in the Enterprise View Manager. The views can focus on a Region, Building or Campus. There can be a highly localized View say of one Building for one User, and perhaps another View for all the Discoveries.

Basic Operation GUI

The original Inventory Explorer is retained as can be seen in the picture below by clicking on the Load a Discovery button, this option only allows you to see individual local discoveries..

A new button Load an Enterprise View accesses the new Enterprise Inventory Explorer. Clicking on this button opens the Select Enterprise View user interface as below: –

Two Enterprise Views are defined above, ‘Denmark Main Sites’ and ‘Japan Network Delta’ with a geographical Map of the two regions. Following the Enterprise View entry are individual Discovery entries. The Discoveries can be on any Remote Probe and/or the local Enterprise View Manager. There is no limit to the number of Views and no limit to the number of Discoveries per View. The Views and Discoveries can be used in ANY combination.

The selected View controls the user interface Inventory content by displaying the Discoveries attached to each View. This means the Probes can work in parallel to deliver multiprobe and multi- Discovery content fully automatically.

Simply click on the desired View, to get to examine the Discovered Inventories of the selected View.

Below is the initial screen after clicking on a View.

As per instructions, simply click one of the two buttons to kick off the Analysis type, at any time, swap between the modes to suit your needs.

Individual Discoveries Mode

Clicking on the Show Individual Discoveries button kicks offloading a Grid/Tab per Discovery in the selected View as below. The first tab is a Discovery on a remote Probe, as indicated by the Probe icon.

By clicking on the second tab a Discovery from a local Probe is shown, as indicated by the text “Local Server”.

The user-created View defines what Discoveries are shown in this feature, there is no upper limit to the number of Views or the number of Discoveries in a View. Discoveries on Probes are processed in parallel by the Probe, making the system totally scalable. Full Analytics are available per individual Tab, which is one Discovery.

Discoveries Summary Mode

Clicking on the Summarise Discoveries button kicks off creating a combined analysis of all the Discoveries in the View.

Since this is a complex process involving Discoveries from Distributed Probes and Local Systems, status indicators show progress per Discovery.

Above two Discoveries are Processing extracting the requested details and apply potentially complex filters.

Above the 2nd Discovery is now building the Combined Database of all the Discoveries. The first Discovery is still processing.

The job is done successfully, both discoveries are processed and combined.

There is now a single Grid which shows the results of the two discoveries in this example.

The combined results of the two discoveries are now in one grid. Below there is a zoom in to the Discoveries and Probe columns.

This combined Discoveries grid can now be Sorted, Searched and Exported as normal, showing results from any number of Discoveries, anywhere in the world in one report.

Analytics

For the Summary Mode where discoveries are combined, then new Graphing Options are available.

New options are available to compare Discoveries and Probe-Discoveries in one Graph or multiple Graphs.

Below is a single graph showing two Discoveries with counts of Devices Types in each Discovery.

There is an option to create a graph per Discovery, per Probe, or combined in one Summary:

A multiple Graph option is selected to produce these graphs.

Grid Format can be selected to produce Grids of Multiple Probes and Discoveries (with CSV Export of course). The grid section in yellow is from one Discovery and in green for the other Discovery.

Adding New Views

Navigate to the main Inventory tab, then click Load an Enterprise View in the sidebar.

To add a new View, click the Edit Enterprise Views button:


Now a new View can be added by clicking Add a New Enterprise View:

After clicking Add a New Enterprise View a dialog appears to enter the View details.

It is mandatory to enter a unique Enterprise View Title, and highly recommended to add other details especially an Image for the view as below:

There is a list of maps supplied by Codima, but the user can use their own map images too.

The next job is to enter Discoveries to each View.

A single view is shown below: –

This View has two Discoveries attached which are using two different Probes, in this case. Discoveries can be all on the local Manager, all on Probes, or any combination whatsoever.

For example, a view could be used to combine two or more Discoveries on the local Manager, or two or more Discoveries on a Remote Probe, or any combination thereof. This is useful to combine multiple Discoveries from different Subnets on the same network.

Any number of Discoveries can be added to a View by clicking on the Add a Discovery button to launch the GUI below:

Discoveries can be added from the Local Server Menu list or the Remote Probe Discoveries list – automatically set up by the Manager when it talks to Probes.

Note: Discoveries are retrieved from Connected Remote Probes when the Browser is Refreshed, they are stored and can then be accessed even when a Probe is no longer connected.

Settings

This is accessed by clicking on the icon as below:

Maximum Grid Rows

Currently, the settings allow the creation of User Customisable fields in the database and also control the maximum rows in the main report grid.

The maximum number of rows in the Main Grid can be set. Note, a very high value will slow the time it takes for the system to populate the grid. The maximum rows selection also sets the maximum number of rows that can be Exported or Printed from the Grid.