Revolutionizing network administration: the top network discovery software tools you need to know

Mar 6, 2024

Manually managing networks and spending countless hours troubleshooting and monitoring, well, we know the pain here. And also we know a solution. Look no further, read this article ahead!

The world of network administration is no new. But network discovery software, many still don’t vouch for it. And if you are someone in this category, you are missing out on much. Whether you are a small business owner or an IT professional, these tools have a way for you (obviously for network management) to save you, both time and effort.

From powerful features to user-friendly interfaces, you get a lot. All of this together simplifies the process of identifying devices on your network. Also, let’s not forget performance monitoring, and troubleshooting, you will get help with everything.

Gone are the days when you manually had to map networks and deal with tedious tasks. The features and the benefits down below of network discovery software tools below will tell you the reason why. Let’s dive in!

But before that, What is Network Discovery?

Organisations these days are dependent on networks for their administration. A well-managed network ensures smooth operations, optimal performance, and better security. But here’s the trick. Visibility into the network is required. And here’s where network discovery software comes into play.

To answer the questions above, network discovery tools, in general, allow organisations to identify and map all devices connected to their network. They basically get a comprehensive view of their infrastructure. That means, they get visibility, the topic which we are talking about above.

After getting visibility, the organisation can monitor overall performance, discover vulnerabilities (if there are any), and can also ensure proper resource allocation.

Now, what is network discovery software?

It’s a tool, powerful enough to automate the process of identifying and mapping devices on a network. It scans the network, collects information about specific devices, and creates a detailed inventory. With inventory we mean details like IP addresses, MAC addresses, device types, and operating systems.

Benefits of Using this Software

This software comes with a multitude of benefits both for network administrators and IT professionals, some major ones being:

Improved Network Visibility

As mentioned previously, this software offers users a view into their network infrastructure. Hence they can easily identify and track all connected devices. This enhanced visibility helps them to check out the device’s performance, identify bottlenecks, and ensure proper resource allocation.

More Security

Next thing, security. The software helps users to identify unauthorised devices on their network. They detect any potential security vulnerabilities and track changes or additions (if anything happens suddenly) to the network infrastructure. Overall, mitigating the risk gets easier.

Time-saving

Manually mapping networks is difficult, and more importantly, it’s a labour-intensive process. But this software automates all the processes, saving you time and effort. With just a few clicks, you can obtain an up-to-date inventory of any device on your network.

Features to Look for in this Software

Now that you have explored the benefits, why not check out the features too? Every business has unique network requirements, and even the software differs. However, some key features you can look for are:

  • Automated device detection
  • Comprehensive device information like IP addresses, MAC addresses, device types, and more
  • Real-time monitoring
  • Alerts and notifications for events like device failures, abnormal behaviour, or security breaches
  • Integration with other network management tools like performance monitoring systems (if you are using any).

How this Software Works (Steps)

Above you have already seen the core way in which these software work. But let’s get into details by checking out the steps followed:

Scanning: The software initially scans your network. It sends out packets to discover devices. Protocols used here are different, either ICMP, SNMP, or ARP to communicate with devices

Device Identification: Once the scan is complete, the software next analyses the responses received from devices. Then it identifies all the responses based on their unique characteristics like IP or MAC addresses.

Data Collection: After identifying, next comes the relevant information collection part. This is done for each identified device, including details like device type, operation system, and other attributes.

Inventory Creation:  Using the data collected above, the software then creates a detailed inventory of all devices. Once done, users get a clear overview of their network infrastructure.

Continuous Monitoring: One of the features stated above for you to look into was – real-time monitoring. Hence, once all the above steps are completed, this software further continuously monitors all the devices. With this, you can easily track device performance and detect any changes or issues that require attention.

Popular Network Discovery Software Tools

Now that you explored the features, why not actually look for the popular this software tools available out there? Some popular options you can check are:

SoftwareKey Features
Slurp’itAutomatic device detection, Advanced Data Collection
SolarWinds NPMReal-time monitoring, automatic device detection
ManageEngine OpManagerPerformance monitoring, network troubleshooting
Cisco Network AssistantCisco device management, network discovery
SpiceworksBasic inventory management, network scanning

Lastly, to make the most out of your network discovery software – scan regularly, monitor proactively, and keep track of changes. These softwares are literally a game changer when it comes to network administration. You have already seen the benefits above. Now it’s time to unleash the power yourself. So are you ready for it?

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