Welcome back to the second installment of a new weekly update that could as well be called “self-deprecation”…this blog series is for those old geezers like me who come from the netViz world. You’ll have a laugh, I promise!

Anyways, the title of this blog has already given me away: “netTerrain not supporting netViz !”…I almost sound bitter, right?

Not at all. I am netViz’s biggest fan. It was the first software I truly loved.

It was also the first company that I truly loved working for as well. I used netViz for 5 years before working for the company for another 5 years, ultimately becoming the Product Manager. It was like a romance.

So, no: there’s zero chance I could be bitter about anything netViz related.
Thanks to netViz’s discontinuation, netTerrain became, afterall, the de-facto network documentation (and now DCIM) tool of choice.

Our history with netViz is long and storied. So much so that, in essence, this week’s complaint should really be called this decade’s complaint. Since the dawn of netTerrain (back when it first started as an alternative to netViz), we got used to hearing complaints about us not porting something from netViz or not having a certain feature that netViz had.

It’s true that at its inception, netTerrain had some of the basic network documentation features as netViz, and users could map the network but netTerrain was lacking a lot of things that users enjoyed from netViz.

Over the years,however, this has changed quite drastically: new customers no longer find us anymore because they need to replace netViz. They simply search for a solution to document or map the network, or they need a Data Center Infrastructure Management System (DCIM Software) and someone suggested us, or maybe they need fiber campus documentation or
outside plant software…in a nutshell, netTerrain has evolved a great deal since its early days as the de-facto netViz replacement.

Automatic network mapping, DCIM, and OSP software? Though I love netViz, I must be honest: netViz wasn’t really any of that: it was more of a drawing tool, instead of a solution. netViz was not a concurrent web-based tool, it had no security and authentication, offered no modern API to speak of, handled no work orders, provided no audit trail, included no reporting engine, came with no monitoring of any kind, and had very little automation…the list goes on.

So, back to the complaint of the week: a user complained that in netViz you could change the label of the name field and in netTerrain you can’t. Ah, this brought me back down memory lane to the dozens of features that netViz had that we didn’t port…
The funny thing is that when thinking about this specific feature we lack, one which we could argue is quite obscure (but also very important in certain contexts), there are several related ones in netTerrain that netViz doesn’t have such as the ability to rename everything else in the tool (and translate it), specify if a field is mandatory, if it has to be unique, and more.

But back to the question: why the certain persistent differences between netTerrain and netViz?

Well, netTerrain isn’t netViz.

We didn’t take the netViz code and regurgitate it in C#: we created something from scratch and turned it into a modern solution. To get to where netTerrain is today, and yes it took a while, certain things changed in the architecture and certain features we decided not to port.

Yes, there will still be a few missing features here and there, many of which we will never port for a variety of reasons (such as 3D views, yuck). Some of the few dangling ones, however, can still be valid — so don’t hesitate to contact us about your netViz per feature you would like to see in the future ported to netTerrain. It may very well be added to the roadmap and included on a future version of netTerrain.

About Jan Durnhofer

As CEO / Product and Engineering Manager, Jan joined Graphical Networks with the purpose of creating the most advanced DCIM and IT visualization company in the market.