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  • How do I use the NDNA diagram generator?
    It's real easy to use. You first install it on a Windows machine that has Visio running with all our pre-requirements listed within the FAQ section here (There's specifically a FAQ that goes over software and hardware requirements). The installation is a standard installation. Launch the setup program and follow the prompts. After that, you'll have it available in the Visio application as shown below: From there, you can review our instructional videos on using the diagram generator. These videos go over general use, features, and address dealing with large environments. We also go over how to approach building diagrams for large environments (with demos), e.g. what our recommended approach and recommended methodologies are. See the following page to view these videos (And review all our FAQs):
  • Can VNAD data be used to generate diagrams?
    No. Only NDNA discovered Data-Centers/Sites can be used to automatically generate diagrams using the NDNA Diagram Generator.
  • Will the diagram generator be able to draw my Nexus 2Ks?
    The diagram generator will draw everything that can be seen via CDP, so N2Ks will not be drawn, since they are not seen via CDP (They are an extension of a parent switch, e.g. an N7K, or N5K), and thus, will not be in the xml file. The xml file includes all router and switch devices that can be seen via CDP. NOTE: This DOES include devices that are in the BAD IPs, e.g. devices that you could not log into sucessfully when the NDNA discovery was run. If the device is seen by another device via CDP that you did sucessfully authenticate to, then it'll be placed onto the diagram by the NDNA diagram generator. This is a good thing! Regarding N2Ks, these can be identified and manually put on your diagrams very easily. Just run automation on all of your Nexus devices, issuing the command "show fex". You can then parse the output files to quickly identify which Nexus devices have N2Ks attached.
  • Will the diagram generator be able to draw all devices NDNA see's via CDP? e.g. even the BAD-IPs?
    Yes. A few important notes: The NDNA-DG only draws routers and switches. Note that anything that advertises itself as a router or switch will be drawn, e.g. UCS FIs, and certain WLAN controllers will be placed onto the diagram too, e.g. WLCs will be placed on the diagram if they advertise: Capabilities: Switch Another important note relating to BAD-IPs: The NDNA diagram generator will pickup and draw *all* router and switch devices that can be seen via CDP This even includes devices you couldn't authenticate to, which is a good thing! These devices will have limited information shown in the Visio "shape-data", e.g. the shape data on the devices you couldn't authenticate to won't have: 1. Local IP info 2. Code version 3. Image information 4. Flash information 5. Serial number This is due to the fact that you didn't actually log into these devices, so no automation was run on them to pull the above information.
  • How do I enhance my diagrams, e.g. with Firewalls, APs, phones, WLCs, clouds, L3 adjacencies, trunks, port channels, etc.?"
    That's real easy! Remember, you are working directly inside Visio! So, the approach with the diagram generator is this: 1. it's going to save you ALLOT of time automatically generating diagrams of your NDNA discovered routers and switches. 2. Once you have this, you can use automation quickly see your L3 adjacencies and use this information to enhance existing diagrams or copy and work on separate diagrams, manually adding in L3 specific info, e.g. add in an ellipse object and AS numbers, etc for your routing protocols/L3 adjacencies. 3. Spice up your existing diagrams easily, referencing your CDP neighbors flat files, adding in APs, WLCs, etc 4. Spice up your existing diagrams easily, adding in cloud objects, port channels/trunk information, etc...Just grab this information from the network via automation! Fine tune your diagrams.... What the diagram generator will do is get you 70 to 80% there. Then, you can customize your diagrams with firewalls, everything mentioned above, etc... Remember, now you can learn about the network, perform discovery "at scale" using automation. No product on the market is a silver bullet, e.g. one shot and it's done...especially if you are a discerning engineer and like to have nice, detailed diagrams. Also, other products that might add in objects like FWs, APs, trunk information, etc. also cost 15 to 100 times more (or even more than that, depending on node license counts). This is simply out of the price range for most individual engineers to have in there personal tool-set. That's where we come in... The NDNA diagram generator takes the bulk of the tedius, time consuming work and does it for you via automation. In addition, it adds in allot of information you might not normally take the time to add into diagrams, e.g. in the Visio shape data, your routers and switches will have: 1. IP info 2. Code version 3. Image information 4. Flash information 5. Serial number 6. Platform 7. Device type Check out our NDNA diagram generator videos here:
  • What are the minimum hardware and software requirements for the NDNA diagram generator?
    We recommend having at least 8GB of RAM installed and an I5 or better CPU where you are running Microsoft Visio. You should be running Visio 2013 or later with the following dependencies installed: .NET Framework 4.6.1 or later, Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 tools for office or later, and Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable components. As long as you have all of your Windows updates installed, you are probably already good to go.
  • How long does it take to generate a diagram?
    That REALLY depends on the size of the diagram (e.g. the number nodes and also, generally more importantly, the number of connections between the nodes) Times can vary greatly depending on size and the processing power of the PC running Visio. If you have a diagram with 10 routers and switches and a few connections between them, it'll generate in a few seconds. If you are drawing a massive DataCenter with hundreds of connections between the devices (doesn't really matter how many devices either, e.g. could still be hundreds of interconnects on large L3 switches) - Then this could take a very long time. See our instructional videos Just be patient and let it complete. You PC might show as "not responding", but it should still complete. This is a Windows and Visio application related occurance. Again, s
  • If I save a diagram in Visio, then reopen it again, can I continue to work on it as an NDNA diagram?"
    Yes! You can save your diagram and then continuing to work on it using NDNA automation features at a later time. To do this, you must ensure that the xml file you originally built the NDNA diagram from exists in the same folder location for the NDNA diagram generator to locate it. Examples of this are covered in our instructional videos
  • What does the built-in error checking do? (Check Connectors Feature)
    It checks to make sure the connections between devices are valid and up to date on the xml (via the Check Connectors Feature) This feature also provides automatic updates to the "remote neighbors shown" count in the "shape data" window in Visio to ensure the number is valid. Please see the NDNA Diagram Generator video "General Use and Features Videos"
  • What are the green circles I see around certain diagram objects?
    The darkest green circle is always around the root device, and other, slightly less dark green circles are around objects that you expand out from. This is why it's not recommended to use the feature "clear all highlights" until you are done with the diagram, since that will also clear the green circles. These should be kept on the diagram while you build out the network to reference what your original "root" device is and what devices you have "expanded" from.
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