Best Open Source Network Mapping Software (Free and Paid)

We are discussing the network mapping software; why they are different from mind mapping software and the intersection in between!

Mapping a network or network mapping is the process to sketch the network virtually through software, to get an idea of the placement and arrangement of the original network components. Such software works similarly to other tools used to draw flowcharts.

Network Diagram

Figure 1: Network Diagram 1

Network Diagram

Figure 2: Network Diagram 2

Network mapping software is also known as concept mapping software. These help us visualize the arrangement of network devices, mobile elements, virtual domains, device inter-dependencies that are required at the time of network monitoring and troubleshooting. Network mapping/mapper/architecture tools can be manual or automated. These make use of SNMP/ARP protocols to create network maps.

Why is a network mapper tool in demand?

Network Management Systems work in proportion to the data traffic/digital transformation needs/SDN technologies and this market is expected to experience major growth in coming years.

Why is network mapping important?

Mapping is a network before actual construction works in the same way as drawing architecture before constructing a building. It helps diagnose various compatibility issues and trace if the functionality and integration of the interconnected devices are proper. It is important to estimate the number of devices to be mapped, the types of equipment to be used, the extent of automation required, the remote administration, the cost of tools, the ease of use, the supporting platform, the installation, possible monitoring, and alteration.

Mind Mapping vs. Network Mapping

Concept Map/Network Maps connects multiple ideas and concepts/nodes. This is called a tree structure. Mind Map comes with a radial structure instead. Mind maps focus on a single problem/ one concept while concept map connects multiple concepts or ideas.

Here is a list of the Best Network Mapping Software (No Particular Order):

SolarWinds Network Topology Mapper

This tool is best for small-medium-large businesses. It comes with a 14 days free trial and is currently available for $1495. It helps in plotting the network, auto-detect the changes in network topology, automatically discovers devices and connections. This tool can be used to create multiple maps with a single scan. It automates device discovery and mapping. These feature multi-level network discovery. It also allows rescheduling updated map exports to Orion Network Atlas.

Features of SolarWinds Network Topology Mapper

  • It discovers new connections automatically and adds them to the network diagram entities.
  • It also performs multi-level network discoveries.
  • It supports various delivery methods that include Hyper-V, SNMP v1 to v3, ICMP, VMware and more.
  • Reporting is easy with switch ports, subnets and VLANs
  • Icons can be flexibly moved, grouped, or resized.
  • It can export network maps to PDF, Microsoft Visio, PNG formats
  • It saves time and increases productivity
  • It can also help out with regulatory compliance requirements of many standards such as PCI, FIPS 140-2, and more.
  • It allows exporting network maps to various other formats like PDF, PNG, MS Office Visio etc.

NetProbe

NetProbe is a network monitor with a graphical interface to trace network maps. It can be used to monitor devices attached to a network in real-time.

Features of NetProbe

  • It monitors connected devices in real-time.
  • Has a rich graphical interface that is available through a web browser as a dedicated application.
  • Along with the entities, it can include graphs, trackers, and alarms into the graphical layout.
  • It works with a wizard to detect and map network layouts
  • Performance monitor, SNMP and scripts can be used to acquire data for diagrams
  • Actions can be adjusted according to when the alarm rings and goes off.
  • The alert icon can be placed on the desktop that will inform you about the status of the items that are being monitored.
  • The pricing is divided according to four versions: the standard version that is free and has eight hosts, the pro version that supports 20 hosts and costs $40, the deluxe version that supports 45 hosts and costs $80, the enterprise version that supports 400 hosts and costs $295.

Datadog Network Performance Monitoring

This tool is very important for small to large businesses. It starts at $5 /month and offers various solutions like security monitoring, network monitoring, managing logs etc. It comes with a free trial, makes use of a unique tag-based approach, tracks the performance of on-premise and cloud-based networks, enables breaking network traffic between containers, hosts, services or any other tag. It provides visibility into network traffic, traces, infrastructure, logs, and all-in-one-place by combining flow-based NPM and metric-based Network Device Monitoring.

Features of Datadog Network Performance Monitoring

  • It gives an insight into human-readable tags
  • Maps network traffic, identifies traffic bottlenecks and any downstream effects
  • It maps the flow of traffic between containers, hosts, availability zones, and more abstract concepts like services, teams or any other tagged category.
  • It is easy to navigate and use.
  • It allows viewing metrics like volume and retransmits without writing queries.

InterMapper

Intermappers is a tool to draw networking systems. It allows customizations, colour coding, animations, and shows the status in real-time, is easy to install, easy to deploy and use. Their sales team can be approached for custom pricing.

Features of InterMapper

  • Bandwidth Monitoring
  • Dashboard
  • IP Address Monitoring
  • Internet Usage Monitoring
  • SLA Monitoring
  • Server Monitoring
  • Uptime Monitoring

EdrawMax

This software is one of the best free network mapping software that is suitable for all businesses, designers, and network engineers. The desktop version comes with a 15-day free trial + the annual license of $99 + the perpetual license of $179. The online version starts at $14.95/month. It is lightweight, powerful and is a useful resource to create basic network diagrams, Cisco network topology, and AWS network topology, LAN diagrams, physical network diagrams, LDAP, WAN diagrams, active directory and some more.

Features of EdrawMax

  • It comes with 3D with smart buttons and handles.
  • It is robust, easy to use, has an MS style interface
  • It comes with free design templates for AWS, Basic network, Home network, Cisco, Rack etc.
  • It is simply due to drag-and-drop and file compatibility

Microsoft Visio

It is an open-source network mapping software that comes with a detailed diagram template to create a visual representation of how various devices are interconnected within a network. It comes with preloaded templates, supports many file formats and diagrams are easy to share.

Features of Microsoft Visio

  • Its diagrams are in alliance with industry standards (UML, BPM, Notation 2.0, and IEEE) etc.
  • The diagrams are secure with data protection policies in place.
  • Visio diagrams can be shared via office 365 or Sharepoint.
  • It comes with two pricing plans – $5/month with 2GB of OneDrive storage; the second plan is suitable for businesses to meet the needs to remain data connected in real-time and meet all compliance requirements of different standards with a tag of $15/month with an annual commitment.

Paessler PRTG Network Monitor

This is a free network mapping software that fares well for small to big businesses. It comes with a free version, offers a 30 days free trial and has six pricing plans to go with – PRTG 1000 (Starts from 2850), PRTG 5000 (Starts from 10500), PRTG 500 (Starts from 1600), PRTG 2500 (Starts from 5950), PRTG XL1 (Starts from 14500), and PRTG XL5 (Starts from 60000). It comes with all required functionalities therefore it does not require plugins. It also helps to keep track of the entire local network.

Features of Paessler PRTG Network Monitor

  • This network mapping software helps track bandwidth usage by the devices and applications.
  • It also monitors specific data sets from the database.
  • It keeps a track of server availability, capacity, reliability and accessibility.
  • It helps monitor and manage cloud computing services from a central location.

Dia

It is free to open source network diagram software that works in the same way as MS Visio.

Features of Dia

  • It comes with networking equipment templates, custom XML formats that make it easy to draw network diagrams.
  • It can run on Windows, OS X, Linux, and Unix.
  • It is 100% free to use.

Spiceworks Network Mapping Software

Spiceworks network mapping software is completely free to use and is fit for small-medium-large businesses. It is extremely useful for creating network maps –diagnosing any network issues – and add/delete nodes as per requirement.

Features of Spiceworks Network Mapping Software

  • It allows creating an interactive network, modifies it, creates a detailed graph of the bandwidth usage over time, and provides all the requisite information like IP address, serial number, bandwidth usage and more.

LucidChart

It is a web-based Network mapping software open source that allows creating network charts, process maps, flowcharts, organizational charts and shares them all.

Features of LucidChart

  • It supports HTML5 browsers
  • It does not require Flash software
  • Connects live data to the diagrams
  • Can integrate with MS Office, G Suite, Atlassian, and more
  • It can edit any pre-existing templates
  • Diagrams can be customized to suit the needs
  • Sharing in real-time
  • Data encryption and backup
  • Has templates
  • Comes with the free and pro version
  • Costs $9.95/quarterly and $11.95/paid monthly

ManageEngine OpManager

This network topology mapper is good for small to big businesses. It comes at a starting price of $245/10 devices – $345/10 devices pack. It also offers a free trial.

Features of ManageEngine OpManager

  • It offers real-time monitoring
  • Physical and virtual monitoring
  • Multi-level thresholds
  • Customizable dashboards
  • Latency, jitter, RTT
  • Monitors CPU, Memory, Disk Utilization of Windows, Linux servers
  • Analyzes performance bottlenecks
  • Device-based pricing model

jNetMap Network Monitor

It is a free automatic network diagram software. It can ping all registered devices, has plugins, port scanner support, and supports Windows, Mac and Linux platforms.

Features of jNetMap Network Monitor

  • Graphical representation of your network
  • Pings devices regularly
  • Scans network to find new devices
  • Port scanner
  • Plugins

Device 42

This network mapping software is best for medium to large businesses. It has multiple add-ons and the starting price is $4500. It comes with visual cable management for recording and tracing cable connections, automatic discovery of network devices using SNMP (drag-and-drop), mover servers, and patch panel connections.

Features of Device 42

  • It is good for performing Enterprise App mapping.
  • Device and IP discovery
  • ITAM features
  • Easy export
  • Adding custom fields
  • Mobile friendly
  • Auto-discovery, DCIM, ADM, Security, IPAM, ITAM, and Integrations and API

ConceptDraw Pro

It is one of the best free network mapping software that can be used for creating business drawings, diagramming solutions. It supports MAC and Windows OS. It is compatible with MS Visio and can be used for rapid flowcharting, creating presentations and communication diagrams. It offers a free trial and comes with some premium solutions and packages ranging from $49-$367.

Features of ConceptDraw Pro

  • It helps to import and exporting various Visio files.
  • It is additive to drawing tools and comes with Live Objects Technology and plans designer.

Hope this discussion on network mapping tools will help you in making better decisions. Please share your suggestions at [email protected]

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