Managing graphs of an object

The graph in BMC Client Management is used to display the objects in the form of an image showing their direct connections. 

 The graph shows the following types of connection:

  • Network topology in the form of your BMC Client Management organization
  • Network connections by IP addresses
  • Physical network connections between the inventory assets
  • Hierarchical connections between the devices and their different roles

The graph is available for the following objects and views:

  • Device topology
  • Device groups
  • User groups
  • OSD roles
  • All types of inventory

Device topology graph

The Device Topology graph works quite differently from the traditional interfaces. You see a great many objects, each one representing a piece of the hierarchical data, joined by lines or arcs called links. You can see objects linked to their children all the way out to a horizon and to their parents back to the root object.

The graph shows data structured as objects and links. The objects are the computers on your network and the links are the relationships between these in the hierarchy. The object information is conveyed most fundamentally through the text on the object label, that is, the name of the computer and the icon next to it identifying the computer's device type. Each displayed hierarchy has its unique root object, from which all other objects descend. The root object is defined through the computer that is currently selected in the left window pane, thus this can be Device Topology, if the main topology node is currently selected, or the master server, or any other relay or client which is selected.

The links, as already mentioned before, connect the objects and ensure their connectivity to the root. They make it clear which objects are grouped under one parent node. When a link is removed, the parent node is no longer related to the child node. If the child node has no other parents, it is removed from the tree.

This view is only available directly under the main Device Topology node in the Graph tab.

BMC Client Management topology

To display the network topology of your infrastructure, select the respective option from the View box at the top left of the right window pane.

In this view you can display different parts of your network in the same way as via the Network Topology graph. However in this view your devices are reflected according to their physical connections in the network. The view displays all devices that have an IP address, that is, it will also display printers, routers, switches, and so on. For more information about the options of this graph, refer to the Network Topology paragraph following.

Network Topology

Through the Device Topology / Network Topology graph you can browse very large amounts of hierarchically arranged data. You can also draw items of interest into focus without losing their context even in a tree with thousands of items. This graph makes accessing large datasets a far more intuitive experience than is available with more traditional interfaces such as the familiar expanding and collapsing vertical trees used in many Windows applications such as the Windows Explorer.

Connectivity Topology

The Connectivity Topology node represents the device topology by IP addresses for unmanaged devices via the graph view. It shows the physical connections of the inventoried devices with their parents and children, identified by their IP addresses. Connections with devices which were discovered during a scan but are now inactive, for example, the connection was unplugged, appear as dotted lines. To hide the children click the small minus symbol at the left bottom of the IP address, to show children click the small arrow at the same location. The discovered devices are identified as well by their type icon, that is, an orange device icon with the operating system of the device.

Graph for other BMC Client Management objects

The Graph displays all the objects of the current node found on the members in the selected view in the form of a hierarchy image. Most objects will be shown in this type of graph with three levels for each main object of the entry:

  • Attributes
  • Attribute values
  • Device on which the attribute and its value was found

Actions on graphs

On a graph view, you can perform the following actions:

Notes

  • By default, the graph view displays first level of nodes.
  • If there are more than 20,000 nodes to display in a graph view, BMC Client Management console performance may slow down.

Expanding and collapsing an object hierarchy

  • Double-click an object to expand the hierarchy and view its subnodes.
    The object is highlighted with a blue border and its subnodes are displayed.
  • Double-click an object with expanded hierarchy view to collapse the hierarchy and hide its subnodes.

    Tip

     Double-click the root node to collapse all the subnodes in the hierarchy.

Zooming and moving the graph view

When you have a large network, the complete representation of it in the form of a graph can be very dense and difficult to interpret. The object, which is currently the focus of your attention, might be at the farther end of the hierarchy and thus only represented at the edge of your window. To have a closer look at it, you can zoom in the graph view to bring the desired object in the center.

  • Click the zoom in () button or use your pointing device to zoom in the view.
    After zooming in, if the object of your interest has moved out of the view, drag the graph to bring the object back in the view.
  • Click the zoom out () button or use your pointing device to zoom out the view.
    You can also click the Reset button to reset the graph to default view.

Locating an object in the graph view

To locate a specific object from a large network graph view, you might need to search a specific object. A node can be found only if the graph has been deployed before. For example, if a device to search is located under a relay and the user has not expanded the relay (double-clicked the relay) before to display the subnodes, the device will not be found. 

  1. Select the Table Quick Search option from the Search list.
     
  2.  Specify the starting letters or exact name of the object that you want to search and press Enter.
    All the objects matching the search string are highlighted in the graph with a red border. For example, searching for 10 in Network Topology view highlights all the objects that have IP address starting with 10.

Dragging an object

To find a specific object in the graph, you can move the graph within the window to locate it, especially if the network represented is very large. The view will remember the position of your graph even when you access other objects and then come back to the topology tree. You can simply drag an object across the screen with your pointing device. The graph will follow the cursor across the screen. The objects located around the selected object will follow as well and adapt their position relative to the object and the current location in the window.

Viewing a node

If you spot a node in the graph for which you need more information, you can use this function to view all the information available on the specific node.

  • To view details of a node, right-click the desired node in the graph and select View Node .
    Under the Search node in the left window pane, the selected node will be shown with all its available subnodes.

Finding a node in the tree

If you spot a node in the graph of which you want to know the location in the tree in the left pane, you can use this function to expand the tree up to the selected node.

  • To find a specific node, right-click the desired node in the graph and select Find Node.
    Under the main node in the left pane, the tree will expand up to the desired node, thereby revealing its location and showing all its available subnodes.

Switching the layout

Depending on the final aim for which the graph displays, the graph can be shown in different types of layouts, to display the network hierarchy from different angles. The focus is preserved through these layout changes and the currently centered object remains the center of the focus. The following are the possible layouts:

Layout

Description

Left (Horizontal)

The root node is located at the left and the hierarchy extends to the right side of the window with the last children at the far right border.

Top (Vertical)

The root node is located at the top and the hierarchy extends below the master server towards the bottom of the window with the last children near the lower border.

  • To switch from one type of layout to another, right-click anywhere in the graph view and select Switch Layout .
    The graph layout changes from your current layout to the next. Repeat this step until the layout you are looking for appears.
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