Impact Charts

Viewing Impact Charts

Impact charts enable you to see, at a glance, the impacts of an outage scenario, locate potential performance issues, and identify relevant security issues around data center objects. Impact charts are available from the “view” page for any building, room, rack, device, or application component. Simply select the “…” menu button and choose “Impact Chart”:

View impact chart menu button

Device42’s powerful, agentless auto-discovery uses native WMI and SSH in combination with other platform-dependent technologies to identify the details around running services, listening ports, and the relationships between those services and ports or executables and ports. This provides a clear picture of exactly what services/executables are listening on what ports on that machine. Device42 also goes on to capture a point in time snapshot of the IP addresses that are connected to each listening port. Should these communicating IP addresses already exist in Device42 and be mapped to a device, the system automatically shows the device when drawing the dynamic impact charts.

Impact Charts for Buildings, Rooms, and Racks

Impact charts are a great way to quickly visualize deployments and understand dependency chains. The following is a sample Building Impact Chart:

Impact Chart Sample, bldg A

Notice that at the top of the chart is the building or room we selected (the “Building A” in the example above, “Corner Room” below). The Building A impact chart shows there is only one room in the building (“Room A”), which has 3 racks (Racks ‘A’, ‘B’, & ‘C’).

The following is a sample Room Impact Chart for the room called “Corner Room”:

Room impact chart - example

Looking at the impact chart for the “Corner Room”, from left to right we see the orange “Corner Room” itself, the list of racks (“CHI-DC1-13” is selected), and then all servers that live in selected rack “CHI-DC1-13”: “USOXIS-P0022” and eight other servers. You can view a legend via the “legend” button above:

Impact chart legend

Now, let’s go ahead and get some more information about one of the servers! We can do this easily by hovering over it, or any item in this chart, as such:

Hover over server for details demonstration

Hovering over any object will present a quick overview and relevant options. Hovering over server “USOXIS-P0034”, we can view the individual server’s “Topology’, or by clicking the “Device Page” button, head straight to the Device Details page for “USOXIS-P0034”:
USOXISP0034 Device Details

We now know that we are looking at an HP Proliant DL560GB, which was added all the way back in Feb 2014! (its useful life might be up were it not a lab machine!) Notice we can also get right to the “Topology” screen (our other option when we hovered) from the details screen, as well!

Topology Charts for Devices

Topology Charts for Devices have more detail than for other objects like buildings, rooms, and racks. In particular, device topology charts show Services, Executables, and Ports.

Below is the topology chart for a device. (Don’t try to read the details. We’ll zoom in below.)

webserver Toplogy Chart

A device topology chart displays information in three categories:

  1. See what Services, Executables, and Application Components are running on a given device. Both services and their respective executables are detected automatically. Information about Application Components will be entered by you. Application Components are explained in more detail below.
  2. See what ports are in use, including details about which services and executables are providing information over those ports. You can also see detailed information about which services and executables on remote devices are accessing data from each in-use port.
  3. Get a full picture of exactly what would be impacted were a performance or security issue to exist on a given device, which can help you determine if you need to remove a given device from service, either temporarily or permanently.

Topology charts provide a full picture of all the services, executables, and applications that could be affected both on the device itself, and more importantly, you will be able to see all services, executables, and application components on other related devices that depend on this device. As an example, if the device is a blade chassis or a virtual host, all the blades and/or virtual machines would be dependent on this device, and you would see those dependencies. Similarly, if Device42 discovers that a remote device is connecting to a port on the device, you will also see the remote device (and its services, executables, and application components) in the topology chart. You can also define which Application Components depend on which other Application Component manually (see below), and those custom dependencies will display in the chart as well.

Topology Chart Options

Topology chart display options

Just above the legend, users will find a set of display options. For example, checking “Hide services with no listening ports” will simplify the diagram as follows:


Downloading Images from an Impact Chart

Most Impact and Topology screens have a “Create Image” button that allows you to download an image in your chosen format of the graph:

Create imact chart image

The create image button allows you to choose from two layout options; You may choose the Global or the Local view pane, and can also choose either PNG format or SVG (vector) image format. Simply click the “Download” button to choose your save location, saving the file wherever is convenient for you.

Service Dependencies Reports

The topology chart view screen offers users a “Service Dependency Report” as well. Service dependency reports are generated in real-time, as soon as the button is clicked, and delivered as an excel file containing a list of all source machines, listening ports, services, and any remote machines that are connected to those services. Users may also download previously requested service dependency reports by visiting the Reports menu → Excel Reports Status:

Excel Reports Status and Download page

Impact Lists

An Impact List is simply a list version of an Impact Graph. Impact lists are typically available for view on most devices. The following is an example of the entire impact list for the device “”:

view device impact list

The full impact list for Sometimes, it is useful to hide services without connections, thus significantly reducing clutter by hiding services you might not be concerned with (many services that fit this criteria are standard operating-system components). See the example following the full list for more details:

Device Impact List Full

Impact list display options

Display options allow hiding of services without connections, forcing the display of hidden services, or even showing only services you’ve starred:

Impact list example with all services wo connections hidden.

Service dependencies reports – impact list screen

You can download a service dependencies report by clicking the button above the Impact list window. Service dependency reports are delivered as Excel files, and contain a list of all source machines, listening ports, services, and any remote machines that are connected to those services. See the previous “Service Dependency Report” sub-section under “Toplogy Chart Options” above for more information.

Dependency Charts (Graphs)

A Dependency Chart (previously a ‘dependency graph’) can also be generated for any Application Component, and will show all the devices, services, executables, and application components that the application component requires to function. A Dependency Chart for the “MySQL” application is shown below:

Dependency Chart Sample

How are dependencies created in Device42?

One question we get in almost every demo is, “How are all these dependencies created?” Nearly all the dependencies you saw in the above charts were automatically created by autodiscovery in combination with internal Device42 correlation processes.

It should be fairly obvious how all the physical dependencies are created: buildings have rooms, which have racks, which have devices. The blades in a chassis are dependent on their blade host, while virtual machines (VMs) are dependent on their virtual host(s).

Software and Services that are discovered on a virtual or physical machine are dependent on that machine. Many of the service-to-service dependencies and/or software are auto-discovered.

Only some Application Components need to be manually entered. If a service is defined to be application component, then the application component dependencies are all known.

You may, however, want to define application components that are not tied to a service. Or, you may want to define an application component that is composed of multiple services. These application components and their dependencies can be defined through form, spreadsheets imports, and/or API calls.

The Device42 main appliance in conjunction with the WDS (Windows discovery service) performs auto-discoveries. You can exclude servers, remote IP addresses, and even service ports to reduce the noise by limiting discovery to only things you care to see. Example exclusions might be:

  • Windows listening ports: 3389 is excluded by default
  • Windows remote ports: add any remote ports you want to exclude
  • Linux listening ports: Port 22 (SSH) is excluded by default
  • Linux remote ports: any remote ports you want to exclude
  • Remote IP Addresses: Remote IPs to exclude. Exclude things like your monitoring server IPs