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Study of Tools for Network Discovery and Network Mapping

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The work presented in this report is related to the DRDC Joint Network Management and Defense System JNMDS Technology Demonstrator Project. This work is an investigation of the currently available tools that are capable of performing automatic network discovery in an IP-based network. For the proposed system, it is required to provide an assessment of the existing tools capabilities in identifying the network topologies map of physical links and logical links, the network resources network elements and the configuration information and the network services network applications and system support. In particular, the study addresses the following issues how is automatic network discovery achieved by the existing tools, and what is discovered. A number of tools from the commercial sector COTS, the open-source community and the researchacademic community were identified. Based on the main auto-discovery techniques that are implemented by the tools, four tool categories were defined. These are the Active SNMP-based, the Active Hybrid, the Passive only and the Inventory Audit tool category. For each of the four categories, a number of tools from the three sources were selected for further study. For the selected tools, a documentation-based evaluation of their auto-discovery capabilities was performed. The report presents the detailed evaluation of seventeen tools. The results of the evaluation are summarized in two characteristic tables. One thing that is apparent when looking at the outcome of the study is that although some tools present good capabilities, they all have their strengths and weaknesses. Within the scope of interest, the one tool does it all solution does not exist. It is reasonable to expect that for the Technology Demonstrator Project system, the solution is likely to consist of an integrated suite of tools where functionality of each tool will be combined to achieve the desired capability.

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  • Computer Systems Management and Standards

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