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After Discovery runs its course, the Inventory tab shows the complete list of network devices with which NetMRI successfully communicates. The network Inventory includes the following classifications:

  • Devices: The broadest information category, includes five distinct subcategories to allow for more-specific exploration: Infrastructure Devices, Device Components, Connected End Hosts (client systems connected to access ports on switches, for example), Connected IP Phones, and All Devices. For more information, see Viewing Devices.
  • Virtual Devices: All network infrastructure devices discovered by NetMRI that possess virtualization capabilities. Each device in this category hosts one or more virtual device contexts, which are virtual machine-based switches, firewalls, and routers housed by each virtual host. For more information, see Viewing Virtual Device Contexts.
  • Interfaces: A listing of all network interfaces, divided into four functional categories: Interface Config, Unused Down Ports, Unused Up Ports, and Recently Changed Ports. For more information, see Viewing Network Interfaces.
  • OSs: Counts of operating systems and OS versions from all devices discovered and cataloged by NetMRI. For more information, see Viewing Network Operating Systems.
  • Models: Counts of all hardware models discovered and cataloged by NetMRI. For more information, see Viewing Network Device Models.

The Inventory tab (Network Explorer –> Inventory tab) provides basic information about four key categories of network elements managed by NetMRI: Devices, interfaces, operating systems, and device models discovered in the network. From here, you drill down to features such as the Device Viewer to inspect details about individual devices and their current states.

To list inventoried items, complete the following: 

  1. Select a device group in the right panel.
  2. Select the desired inventory category in the left panel.

Note

During initial discovery, device counts listed in the Select Device Groups panel may differ from the number of devices displayed in the center table. The table displays real-time data about the discovery process, but the Select Device Groups panel is only updated periodically. 

Note

Network Explorer supports the use of custom data fields for adding additional data to tables of information about network inventory. For more information, see Defining and Using Custom Fields.

Viewing Devices

The Devices section lists network devices, device components, connected end hosts, and connected IP phones found on the network ("connected" means connected to a device in the selected group).

All Devices tables show common elements, including the device IP Address, the Network View to which the device management IP address is associated, the VendorDevice Name, and Device Model.

To view detailed data for a device, click the IP address hyperlink in the center panel. The Device Viewer appears, listing any current Issues associated with the selected device.

The Device Viewer is not limited to this information. Seven categories of detailed information are provided by the Device Viewer for the displayed network entity. For more information, see Inspecting Devices in the Network.

Viewing Date-Based Data Sets

Some Network Explorer –> Inventory pages (Connected End Hosts, Connected IP Phones, Interface Config) provide Date/Period menus that enable flexible measurement and reporting for any device, interface or end host. You can go backward in time to view data sets for any device, interface, or end host phenomena.

Calendar dates shown in green represent an immediately available data set to display in a Network Explorer –> Inventory table. The most current date in the chosen Inventory page (such as the most recent 7 days for the Daily selection) is always available by default and appears highlighted in green. Older data may require a wait for the user while NetMRI generates the requested data. After generation, the requested date appears in green, indicating the data is available.

Viewing Virtual Device Contexts

Note

NetMRI must have reachability to all virtual device contexts hosted by virtual hosts to discover and catalog them. During data collection for VDCs, NetMRI determines the existence of virtual hosts. The device hosting the virtual contexts–the virtual router, virtual switch, or other device context types–via command-line access on Cisco devices and through SNMP on Juniper devices.


NetMRI supports discovery and management of Cisco and Juniper device types that offer virtualization. Similar to servers that run VMware to run multiple instances of operating systems and data services in the same physical host, some Cisco and Juniper device types support multiple instances within the same device, each running the complete suite of protocols, configurations, and operating system. NetMRI calls these instances virtual device contexts (VDCs). NetMRI detects devices that support virtual device contexts and provides the same management and cataloging features that apply to conventional switches, routers, and firewalls.

The Inventory page –> VirtualDevices menu item provides a list of all VDC–supporting devices that are discovered and cataloged by NetMRI. It displays the following values:

  • IP Address: The IP for the virtual device.
  • Device Name: The name detected for the virtual device.
  • Collector (for OC systems only): The Collector appliance in the Operations Center that detected and manages the virtual device.
  • Network View: The network view for which the detected virtual device is a member.

Each individual virtual device context appears in the Device Viewer, in the Network Explorer –> Inventory page, and in other locations of the NetMRI UI. NetMRI treats virtual device contexts identically to conventional routers, switches and firewall appliances, including the ability to send commands, schedule and execute jobs, display running configurations, view change histories and issues reported from the virtual device, apply compliance policies, run traces and SNMP walks, and many other operations.

NetMRI supports detection and management of the follow ing virtual device context-provisioning devices:

  • Cisco Nexus 7000 Series multiservice switches (NX-OS).
  • Cisco Pix 525, 535 Security Appliances (Cisco 8.0 and up).
  • Cisco ASA 5500 Series Security Appliances.
  • Cisco ACE load balancers.
  • Juniper M5/M10 Routers (JunOS 10.0 and up).

Note

Click the View All Virtual Devices link at the top of the Virtual Devices list to display the virtual hosts and all of their associated virtual device contexts in the Inventory.

By default, the Virtual Devices list shows the IP Address for each virtual host, their provisioned Device Name, and the Count of virtual device contexts for each Virtual Host managed by NetMRI. Click the respective IP address for any item in the Virtual devices list and the list of virtual device instances appears in the right panel.

The Virtual Host Details panel describes the basic information for the router, switch or firewall that is hosting the virtual device contexts, including its Network View, MAC Address ID, Model, assigned device name, OS version, the device type (Firewall, Switch, Router), and Context Name if any.

The Virtual Host Details panel also shows the context list, which are the actual virtual routers or other instance types that are being run by the hosting system. Each context is shown by its assigned IP address.

The panel also lists its assigned Device Name for each context (separately defined from the name of the hosting device) and the associated Context Name.

Click any IP address in the table and the Device Viewer popup window appears for that virtual device context.

You can also right-click on any virtual device instance to display the shortcut menu. Open the Device Viewer for any context, open the Config Explorer, view the current running configuration for the context, open its associated Issues List, execute a command, select a Telnet or SSH command-line session, and other operations.

Check the Virtual Asset Inventory report (under Reports –> Standard Reports) for more information on the virtual hosts and their respective VDCs.

Virtual Hosts can act as a proxy for access. If NetMRI is unable to connect to a Virtual Device directly, or the credentials are not known, NetMRI attempts to access the Virtual Device via the Virtual Host. CLI-based operations against a Virtual Device can be successful when connectivity is blocked to the Virtual Device, but not blocked to the Virtual Host. CLI operations include Job execution, Config Collection, and in-browser CLI connections.

Topology Maps and Virtual Device Contexts

The network topologies for virtual hosts (i.e. the Cisco Nexus 7000 switch, Cisco ASA firewall, Juniper router, etc.) will often bear no connectivity relationship or topology resemblance to the network topologies for the virtual device contexts maintained by the virtual host.

Cisco's ASA firewalls use the term "Admin Context" to describe a top-level container that can run one or more virtual devices (VDCs). The ASA firewall's Admin Context is termed a virtual host in the NetMRI system, and it provides the management interfaces (SSH or Telnet) into the more-detailed virtual devices. An ASA firewall can run more than one Admin Context/Virtual Host.

The Cisco ASA uses the term "Customer Context" as a label for all virtual firewalls with their own discrete configurations and allocated interfaces. These entities are labeled as Virtual Device Contexts in the NetMRI system. These virtual "devices" support their own distinct topologies that can differ significantly from the hosting ASA firewall.

You can use the Topology Viewer (Network Explorer –> Topology) to look at the links between the Virtual Hosts and other devices in the network. Drilling further down, you use the Topology Viewer to examine the network linkages for the virtual device contexts themselves. Their topologies will often bear no relationship to the topologies of the virtual hosts upon which they are running. For more information, see Using the Topology Viewer.

Viewing Network Interfaces

The Interfaces page (Network Explorer –> Inventory –> Interfaces) lists interfaces found on the network, and provides configuration data for each. All interface tables can show associated information including IP configuration, associated device name, VRF Name (if any), VLAN and trunking status, line speed (where applicable), and a Network View column.

  • Interface Config: Shows all interfaces being tracked by the appliance.
  • Unused Down Ports: All interfaces marked administratively "down" (user configured as "off") and operationally "down" (not physically connected). This helps determine whether devices are not needed or if connections can be consolidated to eliminate unneeded hardware. For example, if there is a switch with twelve ports and two allocated, and another switch possessing eight ports with five ports fully allocated, it may be possible to move all the connections on the eight-port switch to the twelve-port switch and then eliminate the eight-port switch.
  • Unused Up Ports: All interfaces that are administratively marked "up" and operationally "down." The list can help to quickly identify bad device configurations (unused ports should not be administratively "up"), failed or unplugged network cables, and badly allocated devices.
  • Recently Changed Ports: All interfaces that had status changes within the last hour. On a stable network interface, status should not change often, so the list should small or empty. If there are known connectivity problems, this list helps isolate possible problem sources.

Clicking any link in the Interface column displays the Interface Viewer for the chosen device port, with features for viewing interface settings and performance metrics, and a Settings icon –> Port Control Settings feature for setting an interface to administratively Up or Down, changing a VLAN assignment, or rewriting the port description.

Clicking any link in the Network View column opens the Network Viewer window.

  • To view detailed data for an interface, click the interface hyperlink in the center panel. The Interface Viewer appears.

Viewing Network Operating Systems

The OSs section lists operating systems running on devices in the network, including routers, switches, load balancers, Infoblox NIOS systems, and other devices from numerous vendors discovered on the network.

  • To list devices running a given operating system, click the operating system in the left panel. All discovered devices running that particular operating system appear in the right panel of the Inventory page.
  • To view detailed data for a device from the OSs page, click the IP address hyperlink in the center panel. The Device Viewer appears, listing any current Issues associated with the selected device.

The Device Viewer is not limited to this information. Seven categories of detailed information are provided by the Device Viewer for the displayed network entity. For more information, see Inspecting Devices in the Network.

Viewing Network Device Models

The Models section lists model names of devices in the network.

  • To list devices of a given model, click the model name in the left panel.
  • To view detailed data for a device from the Models page, click the IP address hyperlink in the center panel.

The Device Viewer opens, listing any current Issues associated with the selected device.

The Device Viewer is not limited to this information. Seven categories of detailed information are provided by the Device Viewer for the displayed network entity. For more information, see Inspecting Devices in the Network.

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