What The Snapshot Consists Of
Network snapshot records:
The state of the network at the moment of the initialization of the snapshot.
All service logs -- logs used internally by the IP Fabric system as well as a log of commands issued on every network device.
Connectivity issues that had occurred during the retrieval of the snapshot.
A network snapshot is a fully functional software copy of your network, including all configuration and state data. It enables to retrieve historical information, to follow network state changes, analyze connectivity issues, and more.
Information about the network displayed in IP Fabric corresponds to the network snapshot selected in the Snapshot selector drop-down menu in the top left corner of the Main User Interface.
Available Snapshot Operations
During the initial configuration of the IP Fabric VM, automatic snapshots can be scheduled. Initial snapshot of the network may not include all information about your network. There might be user privilege level issues, connectivity issues related to firewall rules, etc. A new snapshot can be taken at any time by clicking the "New Snapshot" button in the "Discovery Snapshot" menu entry. The system then automatically starts a new snapshot of the network with globally set parameters in the "Settings" menu entry. If you need to make some changes to the discovery process -- add a new network seed, change login credentials, etc. -- it needs to be done before a new snapshot is taken.
Inspection of Network Issues
After the snapshot is taken, there might be some devices not showing in the discovery table. You can then go through the Summary of Issues/Connectivity Report tables to see where this device in the discovery process failed.
Each connection attempt -- successful or unsuccessful is logged (see the following picture). Log for each device can be found in the Connectivity Report. These logs are especially helpful when an error occurs. By examining them you can find the reason why the device wasn't correctly or fully discovered or what led to a connection failure.
Add a New Device/Changing Snapshot Settings
A new device can be added to an already existing snapshot. This might be desirable if you performed almost a full snapshot of the network but only a few devices were not included or had connectivity issues that were resolved (for example wrong AAA configuration, firewall rules, forgot to include a network seed, etc). When adding a new device to an existing snapshot, the discovery setting for that particular snapshot will be applied. If you need to change some settings (for example new network seed, login credentials, etc.) in order to add a new device to an existing snapshot, you need first to change settings for that particular snapshot and then add a new device.
Because of database maintenance, only up to 5 snapshots can be loaded into the memory. By locking a snapshot, IP Fabric won’t unload the selected snapshot automatically to the hard disk and it will keep it in the memory.
Because of database maintenance, only up to 5 snapshots can be loaded into the memory. If the maximum number of loaded snapshot is 5 and 6th snapshot is created, the IP Fabric will automatically unload the oldest snapshot from the memory and save it to the hard drive. This can be done also manually on a selected snapshot by the "Unload snapshot" button.
When a snapshot is unloaded, it's safely stored on your hard drive, but the data from a snapshot cannot be accessed directly through the IP Fabric user interface. To browse an unloaded snapshot, it needs to be loaded again to the memory by "Load snapshot".
button accessible on an unloaded snapshot.
If needed, a selected snapshot can be downloaded directly from IP Fabric to your hard drive by the "Download snapshot" button.
This snapshot can be loaded back to the IP Fabric platform by a "Load From File" button.
Loaded as well as unloaded snapshots can be cloned by the "Clone snapshot" button. This is handy in case you want to make some changes to the snapshot (adding a device etc.) but you want to keep the original file as a backup.
Snapshots can be deleted by the "Delete snapshot" button.
If you want to learn more about how network discovery works from a technical point of view, read this article.