Software for network modelling / documentation / GIS

Israel G. Lugo israel.lugo at
Fri Feb 24 03:31:45 UTC 2017


Does anyone have any recommendations for software to do network
modelling / documentation / GIS, for a campus network? Mid-scale, a few
campuses with the largest being around 25 buildings. Free/open source
would be excellent, but commercial is also an option.

This is a live network, with very little documentation.

At the very least, I would like to document things. Ideally, though, if
I were designing the software, I would like to have an intelligent model
of the network from L1 to L3, serving not only for documentation but
also to validate existing configuration and creating new work orders.
Something like this:

  * conduit
      o has vertices (locations on the campus plant)
      o has a cross-section area
      o has links
  * link
      o has 1 port on each end
      o has media types (OS2, OM3, ...)
      o may have a cross-section area (when inside a conduit)
  * node
      o can be a switch, a router, a patch panel, an access point, a phone
      o has ports
  * circuit
      o can be a VLAN, or a VPN, etc
      o spans multiple links / nodes / circuits
      o has 1 port on each end (logical port, circuit endpoint)
  * port
      o has physical characteristics (E2000, SC, LC, ST, 8P8C, logical
        endpoint ...)
      o may have other properties (link speed, PoE)

User Bob requests activation of the network socket D-78 in his office on
building A, floor 5, room 29. An operator will use the software to
connect port D-78 on the corresponding patch panel to an available port
on a switch, and specify the desired VLAN (circuit).

The software knows where the VLAN exists and will provide instructions
on how to propagate it, taking into account redundant links. It will
also provide instructions for the physical part: take one 2m patch,
connect panel port D-78 to switch 2 port 17. Remember to bring the
keyring because that cabinet opens with a non-standard key.

If the cable guy goes on site and sees that switch 2 port 17 is already
used, he will flag an inconsistency and request another port.

Periodically, the software will go crawl the active equipments via SNMP
or somesuch and detect existing state (port VLAN assignments, port
state, link speeds, switch capacity, LLDP neighbors). If it finds any
inconsistency with the configured model, it will alert an operator.

Of course, all that is an ideal case. I would be happy if I can just use
this for static documentation: on building A, network socket D-78
connects to switch 2 port 17, and is on VLAN 30.

Does anyone know of something similar to this exist in commodity
software, outside of custom solutions developed for a specific network?
Anything between "purely for static documentation", and "this
autodetects your cables, configures your switches and sends a robot to
connect everything".

Thank you and best regards,

Israel G. Lugo

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