How Many Layers are there in Network Discovery, Anyway?

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Do you ever wonder what your network discovery and mapping tool is actually doing when you initially deploy it into your infrastructure to find all of the devices and machines within your network to create a map? I mean, I guess it really can’t be that simple of a process, but with tools available to you that will automatically do all of the work for you, there’s really no reason to worry or think about it. However, if you used to watch the GI Joe cartoon like I did, then you are aware that knowing is half the battle.

When it comes to network discovery, WhatsConnected offers two levels of granularity to give you the most detailed and accurate landscape of your network as possible.  The first level you get is Layer 3 discovery. This component will go in and discover every device or machine that is in your network as long as it is connected, and the actual size of your network does not matter.

Taking things a bit deeper, WhatsConnected also offers the advanced discovery and classification with Layer 2 tracing. Aside from just getting a clear picture of your Layer 3 infrastructure data, Layer 2 trace will go in and map out the connectivity between all of the devices on your network. With Layer 2 capabilities, WhatsConnected is able to access the physical infrastructure information which is embedded in network devices to provide additional detailed topology information beyond what Layer 3 discovery can provide.

So there is just a brief, high level overview of what Layer2/3 discovery brings to the table and how it can really benefit your network monitoring efforts. It is easy to take automated network discovery and mapping tools for granted because of their ease of use, but knowledge can be powerful and I believe it is good to understand as much as you can about network monitoring and all of the tools available to you.

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