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Vendor MIB files are widely available on the Internet as a free resource, from vendor support Web sites, provided with equipment documentation, or occasionally as part of a support contract. Combine the correct MIB file with a correctly written Device Support Bundle file (DSB) and custom network device types can be added to NetMRI for management and monitoring. This feature set is called Extensible Device Support (EDS). DSB files are written in the XML language. A full description of XML DSB files, the information they must contain, and how to write them, is provided in the Infoblox Device Support Guide under Additional Documentation.

Operations with MIB Files

NetMRI enables importing of device vendor MIB files, editing of MIB files, and general management of all MIB files in the appliance. In many cases, MIB files are bundled within the DSB, but MIBs can also be obtained elsewhere and added to the appliance. When a DSB is added to the appliance that requires one of these MIBs, and it is not bundled with the DSB, NetMRI will automatically search for the MIB in its database.
All installed MIBs are listed in the MIB Manager page. To import a new MIB file, do the following:

  1. Go to Settings icon –> Setup –> MIB Management.
  2. At the top of the table, click Import to open the Import file requester.
  3. Click Browse and navigate to the location where you have saved the MIB file.
  4. Select the MIB file and click Import. The file is added to the MIB table.

Note: System MIBs cannot be exported by the MIB manager. MIBs that have previously been installed by the operator may be exported.


Reloading MIBs into the NetMRI system can take several minutes. If a MIB or DSB is imported or removed, the procedure requires several minutes to complete.

Working With Device Support Bundles

A Device Support Bundle (DSB) is a small collection of files designed specifically to enable installed to discover, communicate with and manage new types and models of network devices that may not be included in the substantial universe of device support already offered by NetMRI. Features in the appliance enable editing, validation, and testing against managed devices for Device Support Bundles that you create. (Make sure to refer to the Infoblox Device Support Guide document under Additional Documentation for more information on DSB creation.)


Note: The text-based DSB file containing the XML code for the bundle must be in native XML format. Use a text editor that directly supports saving in the .XML file format. A plain-text file. with the file extension .TXT, that contains XML code will not be visible to the import feature.


To begin working with installed's Device Support Bundles feature set, go to Settings icon –> Setup –> Device Support Bundles.


Note: Support bundle operations require the SysAdmin role.


The Device Support Bundles page appears, displaying a table of information for any existing device support bundles. The columns in this table indicate that a given DSB explicitly supports the given data elements (not all fields will necessarily be defined):

Actions

Displays the Actions menu for the selected row in the DSB table.

Name

Name of the device vendor.

Version

Arbitrary version number for the bundle file.

Author

Author of the DSB file.

Status

Indicates the state of the DSB in the appliance. In most cases the value should read Installed. If you've created a new DSB in the DSB editor but have not yet installed it into the appliance (perhaps because you are in the process of editing it), this value will read New. If you have an installed DSB in the table, but you are in the process of modifying it, its status changes to Modified. Once this is done, you will need to re-install the DSB, or optionally discard the changes; in this case the status appears as Revert.

Valid Ind

Will read Yes or No depending on whether a validation test has been run against the DSB.

Unit Tests

Indicates whether any unit tests are part of the current DSB.

Neighbor Ind

Neighbor Object ID information, where applicable, for the DSB type.

Inventory Ind

Inventory Object ID information, where applicable, for the DSB type.

Environmental Ind

Environmental Object ID information, where applicable, for the DSB type.

CPU Ind

CPU ObjectID information for the DSB type.

Memory Ind

SNMP System memory ObjectID information, where applicable, for the DSB type.

VLAN Ind

SNMP VLAN ObjectID information, where applicable, for the DSB type.

Forwarding Ind

SNMP forwarding ObjectID information, where applicable, for the DSB type.

Port Ind

The communications port through which the device type in the bundle is reachable.

Config Ind

Config information, where applicable, for the device support bundle.


No individual device support XML file is likely to have every definition, or have ObjectIDs (Oids) to represent them in the MIBs. When you load a DSB into the appliance, you may see a series of information messages indicating that some definitions are not present in the XML file. This does not indicate an error.
To create a new Device Support Bundle, do the following:

  1. Go to Settings icon –> Setup –> Device Support Bundle.
  2. At the top of the table, click New to create a new Device Support Bundle from the UI. A prompt appears, requesting entry of a name for the new bundle.
  3. Enter the name and click OK or press Enter. The DSB Editor window appears. A new DSB is created out of a set of built-in templates. The DSB bundle XML file, in which you write your support file for the bundle, contains a series of XML tags that are documented in each of the development steps. Typically, a device support bundle also will include vendor MIB files, and CCS or Perl scripts to handle configuration file collection. Vendor MIB files may also be imported separately.
    See the supplementary document Infoblox Device Support Guide in Additional Documentation in the online Help for much more detail on XML DSB tags and writing DSB files, and Job Scripting for much more detail on Perl and CCS scripting.

To import a previously created Device Support Bundle, do the following:

  1. Go to Settings icon –> Setup –> Device Support Bundle.
  2. Click Import to open the Import file requester.
  3. Click Browse and navigate to the location where you have saved the Zip file with the XML file and the directory containing the needed MIB files.
  4. Select the Zip file and click Import.
  5. An Import Status dialog box showing the import file output appears. The import may take several minutes to complete, and will display the results of each import function. Click Close when the process completes.

Actions in Device Support Bundle Lists

Each table record in a Device Support Bundle list provides an Action icon. Clicking the icon displays a menu for operations working directly with Device Support Bundles in the GUI:

Edit – displays the DSB Editor window where you can directly edit the XML description and the CCS or Perl script associated with the bundle;

Validate – Validate the XML file associated with the DSB. A dialog opens and the process starts automatically (For more information, see Validating and Testing Imported Device Support Bundles);

Install – Install a new DSB into the appliance (applies only to DSBs created in the DSB Editor);

Test – Test the DSB against a recognized and managed device in the network (For more information, see Validating and Testing Imported Device Support Bundles);

Revert – While a DSB is being edited or modified, this menu option is enabled.

Delete – Remove the currently selected DSB row from the table;

Export – Export the selected DSB to the current management system as a Zip file.

Editing Device Support Bundles

NetMRI's Device Support Bundles table provides a simple GUI-based DSB Editor for making on-the-fly changes to text files in the bundle. Clicking the Action icon in a table row and selecting Edit displays the editor, automatically showing the contents of the XML file for the bundle.
The XML is for the descriptor file containing all of the vital DSB descriptor tags for the device definition. It is not related to the MIB files that may or may not be bundled in the DSB.
MIB files are usually bundled inside the tarball/Zip file comprising a DSB, that is imported into NetMRI. These MIBs do not have to be included in the bundle, but they are managed using the MIB Management page in Settings icon > Setup –> Device Support Bundles. The DSB editor does not edit these files.
You can use the DSB Editor to edit the XML configuration description and the CCS or Perl scripts for the bundle.

Supporting Custom Device Types

New device types can be created and are fully compatible with the DSB engine. In the DSB Editor (Settings icon –> Setup –> Device Support Bundle), you can begin by editing the XML file for the new Type:

<?xml version="1.0" ?>

<dsb name="Acme" version="201101010000" author="ca" NetMRI="6.4.1">

<mibenterprise number="99999" vendor="Acme" />

<devicetype name="Vending Machine" rank="75" defaultGroup="true" networkType= "true" collectIntf="true" collectARP="true" collectRoute="false" />

<versionmap vendor="Acme" variable="sysDescr" var_match="/Acme Vending Machine Model: .+ Version: ([\\d\\.]+)/" var_replace="$1" triggered="whenUnknown" />

<modelmap vendor="Acme" variable="sysDescr" var_match="/Acme Vending Machine Model: (.+) Version:/" var_replace="$1" />

<devicemap identification="%Vending Machine%" sysServices="72" ipForwarding="not-forwarding" devicetype="Vending Machine" />

<cpu vendor="Acme" cpuOid="ssCpuIdle" cpuOidType="busyTable" performanceObject="HostResources" />

...

The example is reduced for brevity. The XML changes are reflected in the Device Viewer:

Further changes require editing of Perl or CCS files, and possible inclusion of MIB files.

Validating and Testing Imported Device Support Bundles


Note: If a device of the desired type is not currently discovered by NetMRI, the Test option in Device Support Bundles is disabled.


Users can test new or currently installed Device Support Bundles. Validation functions, which test the bundled files for syntax errors and for well-formed XML syntax, include the following:

  • Validate a DSB XML file against a pre-defined W3C XML schema;
  • Validate a CCS file against syntax errors;
  • Validate a Perl file against syntax errors.

In a separate operation, NetMRI also tests the DSB against a live device. In the GUI, NetMRI allows users to select a Device Support Bundle, and choose a live device to test against (this device must be discovered and managed by NetMRI). The test includes SNMP and CLI sessions against the real device depending on how respective support is specified in the Device Support Bundle.
A Device Support Bundle must be installed into NetMRI before it can be validated and tested. When finished, the appliance reports the validation and testing results to the user. Should either operation fail, the corresponding status is set in the Device Support Bundles table for the DSB.
Examples in this section assume a bundle is already installed. To validate a Device Support Bundle, do the following:

  1. Go to Settings icon –> Setup –> Device Support Bundles.
  2. In the Actions column, click the Actions icon for the bundle you want to test.
  3. From the drop-down menu, choose Validate.
    Two validation tests are run: one against the XML, and one against the Perl or CCS script.
  4. Click Close when finished.

To test a Device Support Bundle, do the following:

  1. In the Actions column, click the Actions icon for the bundle you want to test.
  2. From the drop-down menu, choose Test.
  3. In the Test DSB dialog, select the device against which you want to test the DSB.
  4. Click Test to begin.
  5. Click Close when finished. The test results will appear in the Device Support Bundles table.

Automating Device Support Request Data Collection

A wide variety of devices exist in enterprise networks. NetMRI offers the ability to create a complete and detailed Device Support Request package for network devices, or device OS versions, that are not directly supported by NetMRI.


Note: You may use a standalone NetMRI appliance or an Operations Center (OC) system to perform Device Support Request data collection. If you are using an OC, discovery and data collection is automatically delegated to the correct appliance.


You may have devices in your managed network that are part of NetMRI's list of officially supported devices. NetMRI provides a simplified tool for creating a comprehensive Device Support Request for dispatching to Infoblox to develop a full Device Support Bundle for unsupported devices.
To begin building a Device Support Request, the only absolutely required piece of information is the device's IP address.
For more detailed device support, NetMRI offers the ability to enter a series of command-line strings based on the operating system of the device in question, during creation of the new Device Support Request. The only requirement is that NetMRI must be able to reach the device on the network and be given a correct administrative login account to allow for successful command-line data entry.
This feature, called CLI Capture, leverages NetMRI's CLI command capturing, configuration collection, and built-in SSH client features to allow a detailed breakdown of the most obscure and unusual devices and their command systems. All you need is a successful SSH or Telnet connection, and the admin login tuples (including Enable passwords) required to establish a working command-line session. Knowledge of the command line for the device in question is also necessary.
If a device is reachable, the device support request process uses both SNMP and CLI data collection features in tandem.


Note: In some cases, completing a Device Support Request will require the availability of vendor SNMP MIBs. If NetMRI cannot access the device by Ping (thereby knowing the IP address) or by SNMP, automated device data collection is not possible; you may still manually enter device support information.


The information comprising an automated support bundle includes the following:

  • Device IP Address
  • Device Vendor and Device Model
  • Operating System Version
  • Device Type (as reported by NetMRI)
  • Discovery Diagnostics
  • CLI Session Logs
  • Discovery Logs
  • Vendor documents including vendor SNMP MIB files, administrator guides or other device-related information. These latter files must be in an accessible format such as an Acrobat .PDF file.
  • Customer Contact Information

You can choose to edit out any sensitive login strings from the package that is sent to Infoblox for development purposes.
To execute the process of device support collection, do the following:

  1. Go to Tools icon –>Device–>Device Support Request.
  2. Click New at the top of the table. Click Next to proceed to the first data input step.
  3. Enter the IP address in the Device IP field, and press Enter on your keyboard. This value is required to initiate the gathering of device information.
    After entering the IP address, the Description fields may update with previously discovered information from the device, including the Vendor Name, Model, OS Version, the Device Type and the configured Capabilities for the device.
    If no data exists in NetMRI for the device, you will need to enter the values for the Description fields. Because you are building a Device Support Request, it is likely that you will need to do so.
    Also make sure to choose the correct Capabilities for the device.

Note: A device may support more than one Capability, or a given device may be known as a specific Device Type but be configured for a different Capability. Press the CTRL key and click to select multiple Capabilities for the given device.


4. Define the Access values for the device, which determine the protocols to be used for CLI and SNMP access:

    1. Preferred SNMP: Choose the recommended SNMP protocol for device access: SNMPv1, SNMPv2 or SNMPv3. Based on the chosen protocol, enter the following:
      • Community String: Enter the read community string for the SNMPv1 or SNMPv2 device;
      • (If you select SNMPv3 only): Enter the admin user account name, and the authentication and privacy password/protocol tuples for the SNMPv3-compliant device. Note that some devices may use only the authentication or privacy settings, but not both.
    2. Preferred CLI: Choose SSH, Telnet, or Other. After you enter the login information and click Next to go to the next step, NetMRI tests the specified connection to the device to ensure reachability. Also note that if CLI is a data collection method, you may need to enter a sequence of command-line functions from the operating system of the device.
      • SSH: Add the admin User Name and Password.
      • Telnet: Add the admin User Name and Password.
      • Other: Choose this value if you expect to use SNMP as the primary means of device access. CLI access through SSH or Telnet will not be attempted if you choose this option.

If you do not select Other, you enter the device's CLI admin credentials in the terminal screen.

c. Methods to Support Infoblox Testing: Infoblox Support requires access to your device, using your chosen method, to verify the new device support information. Choose from the following:

      • VPN to Device.
      • Access Through NetMRI.
      • Loan of Device.
      • Other (requires a directive by the user to make arrangements for the testing).

d. Contact Info: Enter customer contact information, preferred method of contact, and contact details.

      • Preferred Contact: Specify the preferred method of contact. Select E-mail to contact customer through email message or select Phone to contact customer by phone.
      • Customer Name: Enter the customer name.
      • Contact Name: Enter the name of the contact person.
      • Email Address: Enter the email address. This field is displayed if you select E-mail as preferred method of contact. You can enter up to 50 characters.
      • Phone Number: Enter the phone number. This field is displayed if you select Phone as preferred method of contact. You can enter up to 50 characters.

Note: The customer name will be included in the file name that is downloaded to the local machine or when it is uploaded to external servers through FTP and other methods.


5. Click Next. If you are using SNMP, you will receive a message as follows:

SNMP data for the device will be collected in background and this process may take time.

a. This message also indicates establishment of successful SNMP communication. CLI reachability is not tested. Click OK to proceed.

6. In Step 3 of the tool, CLI Capture, the page divides into two panes: a scrolling list of configuration tasks on the left that you perform for the device in question; and a terminal window on the right pane showing the SSH or Telnet interactive session to the device.

    • The list in the left pane provides a list of key tasks to perform a full configuration capture of important command-line processes in the device. This list of tasks changes according to the device type, and to the capabilities chosen by the user.

The first task, Configure Device to send Syslogs to NetMRI, is automatically selected. For many devices, some descriptions may not be relevant.
Most, such as Display Device's IPv4 ARP information or Display Device's IPv4 Route information, are relatively straightforward. All commands are mandatory except for the ones that you explicitly skip by clicking Not Applicable and choosing from the following options:

      • Device does not support this function;
      • Current configuration does not support this function;
      • I'm not permitted to do this function;
      • Other.

NetMRI collects the responses to each command as you enter them.

    • Log in to the device using the terminal window on the right pane. Enter each configuration command in the sequence listed on the left. After each command and its displayed results (assuming the results are satisfactory), click the Done button. A green checkmark appears by the selected command and the Wizard selects the next list item.
    • If a command is not relevant for the device type, or is not available, click Not Applicable to go to the next one, and enter that command in turn. Continue until you have finished entering all the commands that you will send in the Device Support Request package.

You can return to any listed command function to correct an error.

7. Click Next. Doing so compiles the command sequences into an encrypted data file. (This does not apply if you are using only SNMP.) In Step 4 of the tool, the Document Attachments phase, you upload any documents that may be available for the device in question. Clicking the Add sign allows loading for the following:

    • Device Admin Guide: Vendor documentation for the network device.
    • Vendor MIBs: typically a text-format file that contains the complete listings of the vendor-defined SNMP Object IDs and other information required to interact with the device using an SNMP-compliant management system (such as, of course, Infoblox NetMRI).
    • Device Change Syslog: Upload a text or word processing file listing a series of Syslog messages that appear when interacting with the device.
    • Screenshot: Any screen capture graphics that may prove useful in support development.
    • SNMP Logs: A text or word processing document listing the series of SNMP logs that appear when the device is probed by NetMRI through the SNMP protocol.

8. Click Next. The tool offers a chance to remove any sensitive account data (accounts and passwords, community strings) from the sent Support Request. Any credentials that you previously provided for the initial testing and device interaction can be removed in this step.

    • Click Show Strings to verify the contents of the values you enter.
    • Click Add to add and enter more strings to the list that you want excluded from the Device Support Request.

9. Click Next. Step 6 of the tool provides a list of the items provided for the Device Support Request: Device Information, Document Attachments, CLI Command Capture, Change Detection Syslog, Discovery Test and SNMP Data Capture. Some items may show a status of Complete or Missing. Click on the Document Attachments or CLI Command Capture links to return to their respective tool pages.

If necessary, click the links in Step 6 to perform any of the following:

    • Rerun SNMP Walk: Execute another SNMP probe to the device using the credentials you supplied, to perform data collection.
    • Rerun Discovery: Execute the NetMRI discovery process on the device to perform data collection.
    • Refresh Status: Refresh the contents of the Step 6 tool page to verify if a particular task completes.

10. Click Next. Step 7 of the tool requires definition of the means of Device Support request delivery to Infoblox:

    • Secure Transfer to Infoblox: Chooses automatic secure file transfer to Infoblox Support. The Infoblox Support FTP server must be reachable by NetMRI. You can test connectivity and settings in the NetMRI command line using the steps in External server import/export using FTP .
    • Email: Chooses automatic email attachment to Infoblox Support, with the option to enter other email addresses.
    • Download to Local Machine: Save locally to allow the user to manually send the package file.

11. Click Next and click Finish. After a moment, the Device Support Request table reappears, displaying the status Finalizing Request. The Request entry will eventually refresh to show Complete status. If you choose Automatic Secure Transfer to Infoblox or Email, the bundle request file is sent to Infoblox Support. Otherwise, the Wizard saves the bundle request file to your hard drive.

You can click the Action icon for any Request entry, and choose Edit or Delete.

Defining and Using Custom Fields

The Custom Fields page (Settings icon –> General Settings –> Custom Fields) enables you to define custom data fields for uncovering and recording any information about network devices, changes and jobs. For devices, custom fields are useful for recording important c ontextual data such as asset tag numbers and physical location — information that NetMRI does not gather on its own.
Administrators can add extensible data in the following contexts, with examples suggested for each:

  • Interfaces — Creates Interface Custom Fields. Update and augment information on interfaces with usage codes, or allowing usage designation of interfaces for Tier 1 tracking;
  • Components — Creates Components Custom Fields. Update information for components such as line cards with serial numbers that are collected by custom CLI interrogation or asset tag numbers;
  • Jobs — Creates Job Custom Fields. Update job definitions with custom information, including trouble ticket values or simple 'notes';
  • Devices — Creates Device Custom Fields. Custom data can apply to almost any phenomenon involving devices, such as provisional IPv6 values for devices whose kernels do not yet support IPv6; custom output messages, different identification fields, and other information. You may use device custom fields in device group definitions to help match discovered and managed devices against logically named device groups. For information on how do so, see Understanding Device Group Membership Criteria and its subsection Device Group Criteria and Device Custom Fields;
  • Changes — Creates Change Custom Fields. Add new fields to help keep track of changes in the network.

The entire Custom Fields feature set enables association of NetMRI to other operational systems and operational data, for better integration into organizational processes for asset management and other purposes.


Note: For jobs and changes, custom fields can be used to record information such as ticket numbers.


Custom fields you define in this page can be populated with data in the following locations:

  • For devices: Device Viewer –> Device/Network Explorer section –> Custom Data.
    • As noted, you can edit the Device Group Criteria field for any device group to enable the use of custom fields as matching criteria in devices;
  • For jobs: In the Job Wizard available via the New button; and the Edit button in Configuration Management –> Job Management –> Scheduled Jobs.
  • For changes: In Network Analysis –> Changes.
  • For Interfaces: Interface Viewer –> Interface –> Custom Data.
  • For Components: Device Viewer –> Device/Network Explorer –> Component Inventory.

To create a custom data field, do the following:

  1. In the upper left corner of the Settings icon –> General Settings –> Custom Fields page, open the Type menu and select a custom data type (Changes, Devices, Interfaces, Jobs or Components). For device group matching, for example, choose Devices.
  2. Click New. The Add custom field value dialog appears.
  3. Enter a new Name for the field.Open the Type list and select a field type (Date, Number or String) appropriate for the kind of data to be recorded in the field.
  4. To create more than one field, click Save. The new field is added to the table in the background. You can enter another custom field using steps 4 & 5.
  5. When finished, click Save & Close.

Consider the following regarding custom field names:

  • Do not use suffixes “_changed?”, “_change”, “_will_change!”, and “_was” in custom field names as such names cannot be created in NetMRI.
  • If you use spaces and hyphens in custom field names, replace them by underscores in jobs or other places where they are used. This is due to internal NetMRI mapping of spaces and hyphens in custom field names to underscores. For example, if you define a custom field name as “external device” or “external-device”, specify it as “external_device” for a device group membership criteria, otherwise the field will not be accepted.

To edit a custom data field, do the following:

  1. In the upper left corner of the Settings icon –> General Settings –> Custom Fields page, open the Type menu and select a custom data type: Changes, Devices, Interfaces, Jobs or Components.
  2. Click the Edit button for the field. The Edit custom field definition dialog appears.
  3. Change the Name and/or Type as needed.
  4. Click Save & Close.

To delete a custom data field, do the following:


Note: Deleting a custom field deletes all data stored in that field. Deleted data cannot be restored. The related custom fields will also be deleted from the contexts in which they are used.


  1. In the upper left corner of the Settings icon –> General Settings –> Custom Fields page, open the Type menu and select a custom data type.
  2. Click the Delete button for the field.
  3. Confirm the deletion.

Importing Custom Field Dat a

As a labor-saving move, and a way to enforce a design and data standard for all custom data fields you wish to define in the appliance, you can create one or more device custom data fields in any of the six categories (Changes, Devices, Interfaces, JobNews, Jobs or Components), or import bulk data to populate the fields for Devices, Interfaces or Components data types. Each record is comma-delimited. Place the data in a CSV file having the following syntax:
For Devices:

<VirtualNetworkName>,<DeviceIPAddress>,<CustomFieldName>,<CustomFieldValue> first_network,192.168.2.1,Numeric_ID,2

For Interfaces:

<VirtualNetworkName>,<DeviceIPAddress>,<InterfaceName>,<CustomFieldName>,<CustomFieldValue> first_network,192.168.2.1,eth3,Identifier,inbound_marketing

For Components:

<VirtualNetworkName>,<DeviceIPAddress>,<PhysicalName>,<CustomFieldName>,<CustomFieldValue> first_network,192.168.2.1,eth3,Identifier,inbound_marketing

For all custom field entries, the VirtualNetworkName field is optional in single-network deployments and is required in multi-network environments. The value will be ignored by NetMRI if the data is imported into a single-network NetMRI instance.
Examples:

first_network,192.168.1.2,lo,integer_custom_field,2

second_network,192.168.1.3,eth0,string_custom_field,something_cool

When imported into a single-network NetMRI instance, the first value in each of these records is ignored. The first value is mandatory for multiple-network NetMRI environments.
To import bulk custom data of any type, do the following:

  1. In the upper left corner of the Settings icon –> General Settings –> Custom Fields page, open the Type menu and choose Devices, Interfaces or Components depending on the application. These are the only three Custom Field categories that support
  2. Click Import. The Import Custom Field Data dialog opens.
  3. Click Browse, then locate and select the bulk data CSV file.
  4. Click Import.
  5. Under Network Analysis–> Changes, view the table of recent changes to devices in the network.
  6. Move the mouse over any column in the table, and click the down arrow at the right end of the column heading.
  7. In the drop-down menu, hover over Columns.
  8. In the Columns submenu, check the custom field column(s) you want to appear in the table. The table will update to display the new column of data.

Also see Viewing Changes in the Network for more information about the Changes page in NetMRI.

Adding Custom Data Fields in Network Explorer Inventory Pages

NetMRI enables custom information to be applied to the Inventory pages for any category within Network Explorer > Inventory –> (Devices, Interfaces, OSs and Models.).
For example, under Devices, all four categories of table information—Devices, Device Components, Connected End Hosts and Connected IP Phones — can display custom data to provide further insight into the state and details of a given device, host or other inventory component.
Some custom fields, depending on the information provided by them, may or may not be applicable to specific tables of information.
To add custom fields into tables within Network Explorer's Inventory pages, do the following:

  1. Under Network Explorer –> Inventory, select any of the four categories of information (Devices, Interfaces, OSs or Models.)
  2. Choose any of the sub-categories of information and the corresponding table appears. For example, under Devices, choose Device Components (you are not limited to this choice).
  3. Move the mouse over any column in the table, and click the down arrow at the right end of the column heading.
  4. In the drop-down menu, hover over Columns.
  5. In the Columns submenu, check the custom field column(s) you want to appear in the table. The table will update to display the new column of data.

Adding Custom Data Fields in Job Management

Job Management accommodates custom data fields to provide extremely flexible ways of reporting data and presenting different types of information beyond job defaults.
To define and use custom data fields in jobs, do the following:

  1. In the upper left corner of the Settings icon –>GeneralSettings–>CustomFields page, open the Type menu and select the Jobs custom data type.
  2. Click New at the bottom right of the Custom Fields page.
  3. In the Add Custom Field dialog, select the Type (Date, Number or String) and enter the Name for the new data field. Save your work.
  4. To create more than one field, click Save. The new field is added to the table in the background. You can then enter another new field.
  5. When finished, click Save&Close.
    Custom fields can be displayed in the Scheduled Jobs page of Job Management (ConfigurationManagement–>JobManagement tab –>ScheduledJobs tab).
  6. Move the mouse over any column in the table, and click the down arrow at the right end of the column heading.
  7. In the drop-down menu, hover over Columns.
  8. In the Columns submenu, check the custom field column(s) you want to appear in the table. The table will update to display the new column of data.

Adding Custom Data Fields in Network Analysis

NetMRI tracks all configuration changes made to managed devices in the network. Custom fields are used to display new data types that are not present in the Change Summary dashboard.
To add custom fields onto the Changes page, do the following:

  1. Under NetworkAnalysis–>Changes, view the table of recent changes to devices in the network.
  2. Move the mouse over any column in the table, and click the down arrow at the right end of the column heading.
  3. In the drop-down menu, hover over Columns.
  4. In the Columns submenu, check the custom field column(s) you want to appear in the table. The table will update to display the new column of data.

Also see Viewing Changes in the Network for more information about the Changes page in NetMRI.

Enabling Custom Data Field Editing for Non-Admin Users

You may enable non-Admin users with limited privileges to edit custom field data within device groups, jobs, interfaces, network components or change events for which they have responsibility.
This feature is useful, for example, when a non-Admin NetMRI user needs to add notes on a regular basis to device records in the groups that they administrate, or descriptive notes on interfaces they manage.
For purposes of this section, we assume previous definition of a non-Admin user account with the necessary Roles and device group assignments needed for the user. (For information, see Understanding Users and Roles and its sub-topics.)
To add custom field editing privileges to a non-Admin account, the admin user does the following:

  1. (For Admin users) Ensure you have the needed non-Admin account in your user database.

Note: Check assigned Roles for the user in the Settings icon –> User Admin –> Users page.


2. Open the Role for the non-Admin user account from the Settings icon –> User Admin –> Roles page.

3. Begin editing the Role by clicking its Action gear icon and choosing Edit from the menu.

For example, a user 'jsmith' manages the Routing and Switching device groups, and possesses the Roles ConfigAdmin and Switch Port Administrator. For custom data editing, you add the Custom Data: Input Data privilege to one or more Roles for the non-Admin user.

4. Click the Privileges tab in the Edit Role dialog, and click Add.

5. Enable the checkbox for the Custom Data: Input Data privilege, and click OK.

6. Click Save & Close. NetMRI saves the new custom data privilege into the Role.The new Privilege automatically applies to any user accounts to which the Role is bound. (You will note that custom Roles can be defined in the Roles page.)

As an example, consider a case where an interface on a high-end distribution switch is dedicated to a particular department circuit, and you want the non-Admin user to add notes to its records. Do the following:

  1. Have the non-Admin user log in to the NetMRI instance.
  2. Open the Network Explorer –> Inventory –> Interfaces –> Interface Config and click an Interface identifier. The Interface Viewer appears for the chosen port.
  3. Open the Interface –> Custom Data page.
  4. At the bottom of the page, click New. (This indicates that the non-Admin user can work with this data set.) The Add Custom Field dialog appears.
  5. From the Name: dropdown, choose the desired Custom Field to be added to the port information display.
  6. In the Value field, enter the notes or other information for the custom field.
  7. Click Save & Close.

The custom field is applied on a granular per-interface level. In the Device Viewer, you apply custom fields from the Device/Network Explorer –> Custom Data page.
If a non-Admin user does not find an active Add button at the bottom of a feature set's Custom Data page (for example, in the Interface Viewer, in the Device Viewer, or for a Job), two possible issues may apply:

    • The Custom Data: Input Data Privilege has not been properly added to the user's Role;
    • Custom Field definitions have not been defined by the holder of the admin account. As noted above, five types of custom fields may be defined: Changes, Devices, Components, Interfaces and Jobs. For more information, see Defining and Using Custom Fields and its subsections for details of all five custom field types available in the system.

The Device Viewer's Device/Network Explorer –> Custom Data page is not enabled for non-Admin users unless the admin creates a Custom Field for the type Devices; and adds the Custom Data: Input Data privilege to the user's Role.
For Jobs and Changes types, custom fields could be used to record data such as trouble ticket numbers. Admin users may define new Custom Fields in the Settings icon –> General Settings –> Custom Fields page.

Verifying Field Content In Device Viewer & Interface View er

After any custom data fields have been created in the Settings icon –> General Settings –> Custom Fields page, you can verify them and begin using them in the appliance by doing the following:

  1. In Network Explorer, click the IP address of a device. The Device Viewer opens.
  2. Under Device Viewer –> Device/Network Explorer–> Custom Data, check the list of custom fields in the device context.
    The Custom Data fields in this section will differ from those in other sections of the Device Viewer, such as Component Inventory. These fields are created under Settings icon –> General Settings –> Custom Fields –> and selecting the Devices type.
  3. In the Device Viewer –> Device/Network Explorer –> Component Inventory, select a row in the Component Inventory table for the selected device.
  4. Click the Edit Custom Fields button just above the Component Inventory table in the Device Viewer.
    The Edit Custom Fields dialog appears, displaying the list of one or more custom fields (defined under Settings) for this data set. Remember, these fields are defined under the Components type in Settings icon –> General Settings –> Custom Fields and all fields you define in this category will appear in the Edit Custom Fields dialog box only in this context.
  5. Enter the necessary values in the custom fields for the selected inventory row.
  6. Click Save & Close to save changes and return to the Component Inventory. Or, click Save to select another custom field and enter another value.
  7. Filter the table of inventory information by clicking Filters above the Component Inventory table, and select the desired fields/columns by which the table is filtered. Any custom fields you have created for this category will appear here.

To check Custom Data field configuration in the Interface Viewer and use custom fields therein, do the following:

  1. Under Device Viewer –> Interfaces–> Configuration, click an entry in the Interface column. The Interface Viewer appears in a separate popup window.
  2. Under Interface–> Custom Data, click New. The Edit Custom Field Value dialog appears.
  3. Click the Name dropdown list. The custom data fields for the Interface context will appear in the dropdown.
  4. Select the desired custom field and enter the correct value for the field.
  5. Click Save & Close to save changes and return to the Interface Viewer. Or, click Save to select another custom field and enter another value.

To delete locally-used custom fields from the Interface Viewer, do the following:
Custom Fields information can be deleted locally in the Interface Viewer context without removing the Custom Fields configuration from the entire system.
Under Interface Viewer –> Interface –> Custom Data, click the Delete icon in the table for the field information you want to remove. Confirm the deletion. (You can add it back at any time, but any locally defined values are lost.)

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