• United States
Neal Weinberg
Contributing writer, Foundry

Neon Software’s LANsurveyor

Jul 22, 20042 mins
Enterprise Applications

* Understanding the basic layout of your network with Neon Software's LANsurveyor 8.5

With the complexities of today’s network environment, it’s always good to have an understanding of the basic layout of your network. Neon Software’s LANsurveyor 8.5 for Windows provides the network map you need, and some desktop management and basic security tools.

The software includes a network mapping tool and client software that it calls Neon responder. You don’t need to install the Neon responder client for basic network mapping, although the management functions do require it.

Navigating through a large network map with this product to find a specific node or device might be difficult without a way to filter or search. To help with this issue, LANsurveyor includes a navigation pane for displaying map items in a hierarchical tree view.

Another feature directly related to creating a map is the poll list. A poll list includes routers and other map objects that LANsurveyor polls at a user-defined rate. Using the poll list, we really liked being able to keep tabs on the status of key network components, along with performance statistics.

Neon doesn’t market LANsurveyor as a desktop management tool, but it does provide the same functions as you might find in products such as LANdesk or Microsoft’s System Management Server. Functions include system shutdown or restart, synchronize clocks, send file or folder, send instant message, store notes about a specific node, stop a running process and launch an application. Other features include hardware/software inventory and software metering.

A continuous scan add-on to the basic version delivers a security tool for intrusion detection. With more companies deploying wireless  access points, the need to detect rogue nodes on the network becomes even more important. Continuous scan uses an existing LANsurveyor map as the baseline for the network, and then looks for new nodes.

Newly detected nodes show up in a threat list. Information for each newly detected node includes modified time, name, connection status, authentication (via SNMP community string or Neon responder), IP address, media access control address and hub/switch name and port number.

LANsurveyor assumes that any newly detected node that doesn’t have the client software installed (or with an unknown SNMP community string) doesn’t belong on the network. For legitimate new nodes, you can update the baseline map with the new information.

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