The topology screens on HP’s Intelligent Management Center can be fun, informative, and very intuitive for lower-skilled technicians. Granted, I’m not one for alot of eye-candy. Having graphical representations on a wall or screen is not very informative for me personally. I’d rather see an alarm or event listing. But, from a technical support standpoint, it’s useful to give support personnel a high-level overview of the entire network (or, at least, a view of their respective responsibilities).
IMC has multiple levels and views for Topology:
- Datacenter Topology – This topology view shows the datacenters that are managed by IMC. Each datacenter is colored based on the highest-level alarm. You can drill-down from the datacenter to identify the alarming cabinet, and even drill down to the U-location inside the cabinet, depending on how granular you designed your topology.
- Virtual Topology – This topology allows you to see your virtual environment, including your virtual hosts and their vSwitch connections. Double-clicking on a VM Host, will auto-expand it to show vSwitches and guest OS’s.
- Network Topology – This is pretty self-explanatory, and is the general use-case. This view displays your topology of the network, along with connections and links. The faster the link, the fatter the line. When a link goes down, the line will turn red (in near real-time of < 1 minute). Hovering over the links will display the interface name at each end of the link, making it fast to spot. If you have a very large topology, you can “group” devices together, and then double-clicking will auto-expand that group to see the details.
Overall. The topology maps make it easy for technicians to view, dig, and troubleshoot infrastructure systems without knowing the details behind them. An incredible feature for your team. As for me, I have a few screens mounted on the wall displaying topology maps. But, there are a few caveats:
- When displaying the topology maps, make sure you have a “Custom View” built with pre-defined devices, and use the “Custom View Topology” to view the map. This way, you are using HTML5. Going straight to Resources –> Toplogy Map will launch a Java Applet. While not necessarily a bad thing, Java applets are CPU intensive and can have erratic behaviors based on your JRE version and browser.
- You are limited to showing 2 screens from the same browser. So, if you want to load up more than 2 screens from a central display (like I do), either use multiple machines, or use multiple browsers.
- Links do not always show up. There have been multiple reports in forums that links don’t always show up in the topology view. Most of the time, this is due to improper configurations of SNMP or that imcl2topodm.exe is not running. But, occassionaly, there doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason why it does. If you look at my diagram below, you can see that the links do not show up in Topology View, but, if I choose the device and show “Neighbor Topology” from that device, it displays the links fine.