Open Source Network Mapping Tools – Review

Are you looking for the best Open Source Network Mapping tools? If yes, then you are landed in the right place. If you are managing or designing a network, a detailed map or diagram of that network is quite helpful. The speed of the network connection depends on your environment. This is quite true for big networks like in office environments. In those conditions, a network map offers you tons of information in an efficient way and makes it simple to understand where everything is and how they connected.

However, you did network mapping manually. It is due to software that connects discovered devices and makes it simple for you to map your network. To get you to begin, here are some of the best open-source network mapping software or tool you can try.

Overview:

Network Mapping

Network Mapping

Network mapping is the process of designing network maps to visualize or analyze network connectivity. The map is the visual presentation of the interconnectivity between devices that are connecting with each other. Network mapping is done through software or a tool that detects all automatically connected devices and helps in network management. Network Mapping is useful for network connectivity and IT infrastructure maintenance.

In the past years, administrators draw the visual representation of their networks manually. It includes the servers, desktops, and hubs. Network engineers also draw the network to visualize it on one page, chart, or canvas as per their knowledge of their network. The whole process takes too much time.

What is Network Mapping Software?

The software or tools provides apps to map a network visually. It identifies or maps network connectivity or node relationships to all hardware or software devices. However, it sends special data packets and protocols to gather real-time data from devices that are connected to each other. Mapping systems use the data to create reports on networks. It analyzes network performance, monitors network bottlenecks or inefficiencies, and explore hidden network items.

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List Of Open Source Network Mapping Software

Nmap

Nmap

Nmap stands for Network Mapper. Well, it is one of the most top-rated network mapper and network security scanner that is used by everyone, professionals and enterprises alike. Nmap offers built-in topology options that provide you an animated or interactive network map with just a few taps. However, all networks are visualized in node graphs where the host is placed in the middle area and all child nodes are expended from that host center. Then the default view is set to localhost, you can also modify the viewpoint and check what the network actually seems like.

When needed, you can simply drag and drop various networks in the map and also able to manipulate them using the provided options. After you have the map, you can highlight the group or region’s host’s children. When you tap on host children or network, Nmap offers you extra options to get information and manipulate the target.

Platform support: Linux, Windows, and macOS.

Price: Free of Cost

Download: Nmap

Netdisco

Netdisco is another web-based mapper or network management tool. With the help of Netdisco, you can place all the devices attached to a network. Once placed, the app will automatically map them in a graphical representation. From the network map, you can collect all sport of information such as network hardware version, IP address, MAC address, installed software, and OS, etc.

Besides Nmap, Netdisco’s user interface is also user-friendly and offers tons of options when it comes to manipulating the detected networks. If you like to add more functionality, you can then install or download extensions or plug-ins too.

Remember that you want to install or download Netdisco on a server executing a Linux distribution. Once installed successfully, you can simply log in to the Netdisco from anywhere you want.

Platform support: Being a web tool, it is compatible with all platforms.

Price: Free of cost.

Download: Netdisco

Masshandra

Masshandra-Open Source Network Mapping Tools

Masshandra is both a  network diagraming or network mapping tool. However, Masshandra is used to create official or personal network diagrams in a 3D environment so that you should know what’s going on when you actually create the network. If you already have any network, Masshandra can automatically discover your network via SNMP or ping operations. Once it is successfully detected, it will create a network map quickly.

The app also compatible with drag and drop operations so that you can easily configure or manipulate the predefined objects. So, if you like an app that can create new network diagrams all the while providing you access to the existing network maps then you must give a try Masshandra.

Platform support: Linux, Windows, and macOS.

Price: Free of Cost.

Check Out: Masshandra

OpenNMS

Similar to Masshandra, OpenNMS is another diagramming or network mapper tool for any size of the network. Also, it is a full-blown network management tool that is used by professionals and the corporate world. Once you’ve successfully installed it. It’ll automatically explore your maps or network and all the available objects. From the map, you can also perform different activities such as event notifications, network provisioning, platform management, etc.

So, if you are searching for a full-blown network management tool that can both manage or map your network then this one is the best choice for you.

Platform support: Web tool. You want to install OpenNMS on a server.

Price: Free of cost.

Check Out: OpenNMS

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nwdiag

nwdiag

nwdiag is another easy or simple app. The app did only one thing. With the help of nwdiag, you can easily generate a network diagram from dot like text. Besides many other programs where you view many diagrams of your networks. nwdiag displays simple text-based maps that are easily searchable. Once you have the diagram or map, you can then embed it in Sphinx and view it for different network objects. Well, it does nothing more and nothing less. The app is very lightweight and uses any system resources.

However, nwdiag is very limited and can’t provide any options to manipulate or manage the networks. So, whenever your needs are easy and you want a network map or diagram, nwdiag is the best option available for you.

Platform support: Linux only.

Price: Free of cost.

Download: nwdiag

Nagios Core

Similar to OpenNMS, Nagios Core is another full network management tool. It handles big networks or professional environments. Also, it can easily detect your network or create a map out of it. However, the default map doesn’t provide lots of options for manipulation, you can also use the information that is available from the map to make changes through the Nagios management section.

One of the good things about Nagios is that you can easily create your own customizable network maps with a huge range of variations. Once successfully created, you can then share them with an easy URL. If necessary, you can then install extra components to improve the network maps.

Platform support: Linux only.

Price: Free of Cost.

Check Out: Nagios Core

Cacti

Cacti-Open Source Network Mapping Tools

Cacti is an open-source or free network mapping software that offers graphical representations of the network. If provide user-friendly interface, Cacti is good for both smaller networks like LAN based installations and big network with tons of PCs. The software is free of cost with a GPL license.

  • The cacti offer an unlimited number of Graphs
  • Compatible for all of RRD tool’s graph item
  • You can easily preview the display of the graph
  • It has in-built templates for network graphs
  • Automatic network discovery

Check Out: Cacti

Nagios XI

Nagios XI is a free or open-source network mapping tool application. The tool offers a comprehensive tool for networking monitoring or IT infrastructure. Also, it offers a central view of everything happening in your networks. With the help of smart GUI, it offers options to customize the app design, layout, and user preferences.

  • It provides scalable monitoring to users.
  • The dashboard offers a customizable overview of hosts, services, and network devices.
  • Administrators can also view network problems and fix them.
  • Bulk Host Import
  • Auto-discovery of networks
  • Store your current configurations

Check Out: Nagios XI

Conclusion:

That’s all about it. If you like to share anything regarding this article then let us know below. Also, if you find it helpful then share it with others. Shoot me your valuable feedback!

Till then! Stay Happy

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