Know your network, servers, etc., etc.

Ipswitch rolls out standalone version of WhatsConnected discovery tool

For mid and large-sized enterprises, keeping track of devices, servers and connections within sprawling environments is a big challenge -- even more so when virtualization enters the fray.

Infrastructure discovery tools such as WhatsConnected, from Ipswitch's Network Management Division, can prove a godsend to IT managers struggling to figure out what's what. Previously available as a plug-in for Ipswitch's WhatsUp Gold network management suite, WhatsConnected is now available as a standalone product.

With WhatsConnected, which provides Layer 2 and 3 discovery, network managers can quickly find and map devices, servers, VMware virtual machines, virtual LANs and port-to-port connectivity, the company says. In addition, they can visualize the connectivity among discovered items and validate archived configuration item data for documentation, inventory and compliance.

TransNet, an Ipswitch reseller, encourages customers to use WhatsConnected for three primary reasons: the ability to do detailed discovery, zoom in on problems quickly and easily correlate IP addresses to physical media access control (MAC) addresses, says Mark Seligman, a project coordinator with the company.

As an example of the tool's benefits, he relates a recent troubleshooting event related to him by the network administrator at one of TransNet's installations, a large regional high school district in New Jersey.

"Using another tool, the network administrator saw that somebody was abusing network privileges by doing a lot of streaming. Using WhatsConnected, he mapped to IP address to the MAC address and found exactly who -- mind you this is across five high schools -- the user was in a matter of hours," Seligman says. "He said he was bowled over by the capabilities."

WhatsConnected, priced at $1,995 for a 25-user license, is available immediately.

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