Posted by: Tony Bradley
Group Policy, LLTD protocol, Microsoft Windows, Network mapping, Networking, Windows Computing, Windows Vista
It can be very useful to have a network map. A graphic depiction of the layout, devices, and interconnections of the network can help with planning and troubleshooting, as well as asset or inventory control. Microsoft included an automatic network mapping feature in Windows Vista that uses the Link Layer Topology Discovery (LLTD) protocol to detect and visually illustrate a map of the network. They felt that domain administrators may not want every user to have the ability to map the whole network, so in systems connected to a domain the feature is disabled by default and must be enabled via Group Policy. One BIG caveat- there are no Group Policy settings to control this feature in Windows Server 2003. They will be in Windows Server 2008, but that doesn’t help you today. Check out Enabling Windows Vista’s Network Mapping feature on domain networks at SearchNetworking to learn how you can turn this feature on in a domain system.