Forum Discussion

AJWatsonLCT's avatar
9 months ago

Needed Features for Network Topology Mapping

We need the ability to create topology map of our switches and routers showing the actual links between interfaces on the devices and showing the latest InMbps / OutMbps datapoints for each interface.

The goal is to have a live network map for networks like Internet Service Provider networks, to be able to visualize the active state of the network and the bandwidth utilization and alert status of each device and interface / link.

We need to be able to do the following:

- Manually add the switch and router resources to the map.

- Once the resource is on the map, click on the resource on the map and select an interface instance from the "network interfaces" LogicModule to add to a "Link". Then drag over to, or select, the connected resource, and select the associated interface instance from the "network interfaces" LogicModule on the second device.

- This will visually show a link between the two devices, and the InMbps and/or OutMbps datapoints should be displayed over the link on each end of the link.

- The color of each half or end of the link should also change based on the highest active alert level for the associated "network interfaces" instance on that end of the link. So for example, If we have Router1 interface GigEth0/1 connected to Router2 GigEth0/2, and Router1 GigEth0/1 has an active warning level alert for InBroadcastPkts, then that half of the line representing the link, should turn to yellow.

- It's not enough to simply outline the resource with a color based on the alert level of the resource. We need to visually see each desired interface / link on the map and see visually which interface(s) is/are alerting.

LogicMonitor has done an absolutely outstanding job of giving us immense flexibilty in how we can represent any datapoint on widgets on dashboards. But when it comes to the Topology mapping, we’re severely limited in how we can represent the exact same datapoints visually on the map. Also, for these kind of use-cases, people managing these kinds of network generally already know how their devices are connected, or can easily identify the connectivity. We don’t really need LogicMonitor to automatically detect connections between devices, because that’s too big of a challenge to automate that well. We just need to be able to manually say, “This interface on this device connects to this interface on this device. That’s a link.” The link itself is actually comprised of two sides, each being an instance on the resource’s LogicModule. And it could be “Interfaces 64 bit” or “Network Interfaces” or whatever other LogicModule we need. When we make w widget, we can select whatever LogicModule and Instance we need. We should be able to do the same thing on the topology map.

12 Replies

  • We’re currently working on some things that will help facilitate this kind of functionality (showing status of individual interfaces, and other instances, on the canvas).

    We’re focusing first on showing current link utilization percentage overlaid on the links as a color. We’ve had lots of users ask for this (or related functionality) as part of basic network troubleshooting.

    Ideally, we’ll have some configurability so you can choose to see various metrics on the lines (throughput, % utilization, errors, other datapoints). The groundwork we’re laying for this should also allow us to do things like show the alert status of a link by coloring the line.

     

  • I wrote up a fairly large design doc when i was at LM about using OpenGL and GlobeGL to visualize this stuff along with latitude and longitude data. Device metrics would be on the node, interface metrics would be on the arc (half nearest each node for that interface), color coding, alternate views, etc. Very similar to some inhouse stuff Blizzard was doing about 10 years ago. AFAIK, it went no where. 

    FWIW: you shouldn’t have to specify both ends, but it would be nice to be able to just add the device, then pick the interfaces to display and it pop out the interface nodes, allowing you to just follow the trail to choose how much of the spider web to lay down. Some of that works today, but it’s not on the interface level. I hate to say it, but CA Spectrum had mapping that was light years ahead over 10 years ago.

  • @Stuart Weenig it will be flexible enough to allow for other types of data to be shown. The out-of-box experience will focus on some network use cases, but it will be extensible (probably my favorite thing about LM) if you want to map other data to line colors.

  • We’re focusing first on showing current link utilization percentage overlaid on the links as a color. We’ve had lots of users ask for this (or related functionality) as part of basic network troubleshooting.

    Statically adding datapoints is not what a platform does. Platforms built the ability for other things to be built on top. Platforms do not build the foundation and the building, only the foundation.

    Do not think so small as to assume that just because you heard that someone wants utilization percentage as a color on the edge, means that everyone wants it. We would be more concerned with interface status (up/down). Others might be more interested in errors/discards on one map and utilization on another map. 

    Focusing first on utilization is like putting all your engineering into the wheels of a car, without realizing that there are many different kinds of tires for many different purposes. 

    Ideally, we’ll have some configurability so you can choose to see various metrics on the lines (throughput, % utilization, errors, other datapoints). The groundwork we’re laying for this should also allow us to do things like show the alert status of a link by coloring the line.

    This should be your first target, with emphasis on “other datapoints”. But, building it out only for SNMP_Network_Interfaces is also a mistake. Build it so that it works no matter the datasource, no matter the relationship type, no matter the datapoint. 

    • Mike_Rodrigues's avatar
      Mike_Rodrigues
      Icon for Product Manager rankProduct Manager

      Hi, I'm actually no longer the lead PM on Topology, but the "showing data by coloring edge lines" feature is scheduled to ship in early Q3. It will likely be called "Topology Edge Status".

      • neilticktin's avatar
        neilticktin
        Icon for Neophyte rankNeophyte

        Stuart_WeenigSorry -- should have been more clear. I knew you didn't work for LM, but figured would ask as well.  Were you able to get a working topology solution in place for your needs?

  • I have not gotten LM topology to approach the utility of other products' topology capabilities (like CA Spectrum). 

    • Mike_Rodrigues's avatar
      Mike_Rodrigues
      Icon for Product Manager rankProduct Manager

      Other than what you've already laid out, are there any other capabilities you'd want to see in LM Topology to make it more comparable to something like CA Spectrum?

      • Stuart_Weenig's avatar
        Stuart_Weenig
        Icon for Legend rankLegend

        The main reason we don't rely too much on mapping is because it's hit or miss. It may have some of the relationships, but i couldn't say with more than 60% confidence that the map is complete, even from a L2/L3 perspective, even if I knew all the devices were in LM.

        We need OOTB TSs that link all instances to their devices. Actually, it would be best if instances were related to their instance group, which is related to the datasource, which is related to the device, which is related to all the groups they're in. Basically the resource tree in topology form. LM has all that data already, just need to allow instance groups, datasources, and resoruce groups as nodes. 

        That would go a long way since it would meet the use case of showing the device connected to the interface connected to another interface connected to another device. 

        Like give me 4-10x the number of topology sources than you have right now. You'd get close to the 30+ years Spectrum has building their topology sources.

        • an OOTB TS that connects devices to their assigned collectors for better RCA (I forget the new name). 
        • Device -> IPSEC tunnel -> Interface

         

        Pie in the sky idea (if LM really wants to be powered by AI):

        Let me draw a connection between two objects and have AI suggest a topology source that would automatically map other objects that are similar. The AI would at first suggest 10 more pairs of objects it thinks should be mapped together. I'd tell it which pairs it got right and which it got wrong (and which i'm not sure of). Repeat enough times to get enough "yes this pair of objects belong together" responses to train the AI. Then pop out the TS. 

        Prompt me every once in a while to continue training the AI the same way Google Photos prompts me "Are these the same person?". Just pop up a notification that asks to help the AI get better. When I click the notification it presents me a series of pairs of objects that it thinks are the same. I click yes/no/idk on each one, which trains the AI, which then tunes the TopoSource.