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Network Administration Visualized is an advanced software suite to monitor large computer networks. It automatically discovers network topology, monitors network load and outages, and can send alerts on network events by e-mail and SMS, allowing for flexible configuration of alert profiles.
NAV was developed at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). Development started in 1999. It originated as a collection of scripts used internally at NTNU's ITEA Network group. In 2001 UNINETT became interested in its development, and has since been funding NAV development at NTNU on behalf of all universities and colleges in Norway.
As of 2004 NAV is made freely available under the GNU General Public License. NAV runs on a unix platform, software packages are currently available for Redhat, Debian and FreeBSD.
The figure below gives an overview of NAV. As shown, the NAV database is the heart of the system (background processes are on the bottom of the figure, foreground web tools are on the top).
With reference to the figure, and in summary, NAV contains the following functionality:
Please note that all statistics are stored using RRDTool and Cricket is used as the main statistics collector. RRDTool and Cricket are not a part of NAV, they are third party GPL software. NAV will however auto generate the Cricket configuration tree based on data from the NAV topology database.
NAV is developed by network engineers with years of experience, operating large campus networks. NAV development has been going on for more than five years. Our priority has always been; implement the feature we lack most first. The overall objective has been indisputable:
To illustrate how NAV might help you in your work environment, here are some questions you might ask yourselves. NAV can answer them for you:
NAV helps you with many things, but not with everything (surprised?). You will always need a set of tools, no tool will cover every aspect of network management. And, of course, above all, you need knowledge of how to design and configure your network, how to troubleshoot etc.
Here are some areas where NAV does not help you: