Congratulation on the decision to use iTransformer. It will move your network experience to a new level. iTransformer is the tool that will transform your network infrastructure to your current business needs. Read this chapter to help setting up your iTransformer.
What is iTransformer?
Each network at each moment is in certain state. That state could be described in a graph data model. The network consists of network devices that have certain hardware and software, configured in certain way. Actually nowadays almost everything is hooked up to a network. The devices are linked to each other and support certain network services. All that could be captured and uploaded in certain data model. Once captured the network state could be previewed so you can reason about it. If there is a need, you can even change it. The change is actually a transformation to another state. After the change, happens you might want again to review your current network state, to reason about it and so on. The network lifecycle is nothing else but a transformation from one state to another. The transformation could happen in many different ways. For example, something might happen and the network could transform itself into another state. An example for such transformation is link to go down and the routing protocol to reroute the network traffic. Another example for network transformation is a network configuration to be modified and that to trigger a change into device behavior and performance. The pre-configuration could result in simply changing the state of a particular interface, introduction of a new customer or something more general as application of mechanism part of a network strategy for IPv4 to IPv6 migration.
iTransformer is an POJO java application. It is platform independent and runs and performs equally well on Linux, MacOS and Windows operating systems.
Ready, Set and Go
iTransformer is designed to setup quickly and without almost any effort. The next couple of pages will show you how to do this in a couple of easy steps.
- You need java (JRE 1.6.x or newer)
- There have to be a network. The network has to speak IP protocol. Into the network, there has to be some interconnected devices that speak SNMP. The devices have to have common SNMP read community. If you do not know what that is… Hmm read here first…
- The iTransformer node has to have full connectivity to the network and the ip subnets inside it. Partial will also work but the you obviously won’t be able to manage those parts of your network that are hidden from the iTransformer host.
- You have to count to three and to cross your fingers :)
This guide covers iTransformer v.05
Step 1 Fire up iTransformer
First and most important step is to fire up the iTransformer. It will discover your network and will populate your inventory data model. Depending from your opreation system go to iTransformer\bin and execute from the command line the following:
! On Linux/Unix
Step 2 Create a new project
Go to the file menu and select New Project.
Then choose the path where the new project will reside.
Step 3 Configure Discovery Resources
Go to the Discovery menu and select Configure Resource.
Once the item opens you have to change the SNMP community strings of the SNMP resource in order to fit to the one in your network.
If you have CISCO devices in the network ensure that you go to the CISCO resource and change also its communities.
The same should be done for each of the other device types you have in the network. Once you are done with those proceed to the next step.
Step 4 Start Discovery
Go to the Discovery menu and select Start Discovery. Enter the IP address of the initial network device leave the Label empty and hit the Start button.
If you have connectivity to the device and if you got the SNMP communities section right the discovery process will fire up. In the low left corner you will be able to track the how many devices are discovered.
Step 5 Open and review Network Topology
Go to the File Menu and choose open graph.
it will show you the folder containing the version1 of the network. In this one the discovery process has captured the current network state.
Navigate inside the version1 folder and select a .graphml file.Typically a better network view is created by selecting the undirected.graphmls file.
Once you hit the open button the network topology will be visualized.
iTransformer allows users to open the network in different tabs and to apply different filters in each of the tabs. Filters allow you to reason about the network based on particular information inside it. For example you would like to review only OSPF or only BGP network topologies or for example only physical links. Filters are located directly under the graph in the middle of the screen. As per the example it shows a filter that selects all Data+IPLinkLayer links and all the nodes that has responded to iDiscover requests. Bellow are presented the buttons part of the current iTransformer Network Graph Management panel.
Save – saves the topology graph layout to a file.
Load – loads the saved layout
Move graph – allows the user to move of the whole topology
Filters Selection – allows selection of different topology filters. Filters give you the possibility to reason about the network as per certain topology view. For example there are filters that will allow you reason about your Layer 2 topology or about your OSPF or BGP topologies.
Refresh - Redraws the current topology picture
Reload – Reloads the network inventory information. If there are newly discovered devices they will be picked up and displayed on your screen next to the current one.
Plus/Minus - Zoom in/Zoom out
Redraw Around – redraws the network to a certain number of hops around one or more selected nodes. The feature is useful when you want to reason only about a particular set of nodes.
The third major group of functionalists that iTransformer provides to you are the so called device “RightClicks”. If you click with the right mouse button on any of the devices in your network you will notice that a menu will appear. From here, you may open a new tab, to review various device reports to remove the device and so on.
Getting additional information
If you still feel uncomfortable about something and something or have any other questions please visit our web page http://itransformers.net and do not hesitate to contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org.