n-central topology map summary

Map and monitor complex networks with ease

With network mapping software available within N-able N-central®, you can conduct in-depth assessments and visualize your managed ecosystems in dynamic new ways. This tool automatically discovers your network and creates comprehensive, detailed topology visualizations to give you an excellent understanding of the whole environment. There’s no need to spend hours creating and maintaining error-prone spreadsheets. When you have up-to-date visuals, it’s easier to provide high-quality service to your clients.

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Easily visualize your managed networks with automated features

N-central includes best-in-breed network mapping software designed to help managed service providers (MSPs) and IT professionals create comprehensive and detailed network topologies. Automated features make the mapping process faster and more accurate. The auto-discovery functionality automatically detects new devices in your environment and any devices that have been removed. When changes to your topology have been detected, visuals will be automatically updated to reflect this new information. These features help you effortlessly stay up to date and ensure you don’t miss any additions or modifications.

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Troubleshoot effectively with precise network maps

Once you have a bird’s-eye view of the elements in your managed network, you can use that information for further optimizations. An accurate and up-to-date layout helps you pinpoint performance issues immediately, so you don’t have to spend hours hunting for the underlying problem. Also, the N-central maps summarize important connections between elements, which helps you uncover key insights you might have missed before. By seeing how your network is laid out and connected, you can quickly identify where an issue is located for faster troubleshooting, minimal downtime, and higher customer satisfaction.

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Maximize your time and effort with scheduled scans

Network maps are only effective if they match the current state of your clients’ environments. N-central scans for changes automatically but you can also set up scheduled scans to track modifications to your customers’ configurations. You can trust that you’re looking at the most up-to-date visual representation of your managed networks—no manual tracking required. Also, the N-central tool automatically applies the appropriate service templates to any new device based on your own pre-set rules and filters.

These features can be especially helpful when it comes to onboarding. When getting a new client set up, topology mapping saves you a trip to the site, and it saves you from manually taking inventory of devices.

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Reasons to use network mapping software

Automated mapping software does much more than provide you with critical visibility into your managed networks. Here are some key reasons to use this tool:

  1. Quickly onboard new clients and gain insights into their environments during presale
  2. Audit and manage inventory
  3. Easily track changes to existing clients’ networks
  4. Troubleshoot or investigate connectivity issues quickly and effectively

N-central allows you to do all this from one centralized dashboard in a fraction of the time and for a fraction of the cost.

Get more on Network Mapping Software

Frequently Asked Questions

Three types of maps you should know

Three types of maps you should know

There are three basic types of network maps: physical, logical, and functional.

Physical network topology maps are like floor plans, showing the actual physical layout. They include assets like cables and hardware. Logical maps show how information flows through the physical elements and visualizes how devices communicate with each other, including subnets, devices, and routing protocols. Functional topology maps show how application traffic flows through the environment.

Since physical, logical, and functional maps all tell you something different, most companies use a combination of all three to get a truly comprehensive picture of their managed networks.

Common examples of network topology

Common examples of network topology

Many networks use a star topology which shows how all nodes are connected to a central hub and how data is transmitted. This topology is one of the most common because it allows for centralized control and all nodes operate independently, meaning that if one device fails the others won’t be affected. This topology also helps prevent data loss. However, this configuration also means that if the central hub fails, the entire network will fail as well. You need to make sure that star topologies are properly configured to avoid performance issues.

Other common examples include bus, ring, tree, mesh, and hybrid topologies, which each offer different advantages and disadvantages. Which network topology is best may depend on the size, usage, downtime tolerance, and other factors.

Be sure to read our guide on the most effective types of network topology.

How do you create a network map?

How do you create a network map?

Creating a network map typically follows these basic steps:

  1. Identify what needs to be mapped. Every map doesn’t have to encompass your entire ecosystem. Many MSPs have smaller maps for individual subnets or IP address ranges. No matter what you map, make sure you show connections between devices, whether physical or logical.
  2. Pick an approach. You can draw maps manually, but that takes a significant amount of time and energy. Automated software is a much faster and efficient option.
  3. Optimize your map. Ensure your map is intuitive and easy to understand by adjusting color and layout.
  4. Update your map. Make sure your maps reflect the most recent changes to the environment.

Using software simplifies and centralizes this process so you can quickly create multiple maps, showing the elements you choose, to help boost your team’s productivity and ease troubleshooting.

To get a better understanding, feel free to read this handy guide on our blog: Network Map Creation—5 Simple Steps.

Try powerful network mapping software

  • Automatically discover devices to be included in network maps
  • Enable fast and effective troubleshooting with a visual representation
  • Perform scans on a regular schedule to keep maps updated