Preparing a seed file is one of two ways to manually add systems to the IP Manager topology. The other way is by using the Add Agent command, which is described in “Using the Add Agent command to initiate discovery” on page 176. When autodiscovery is enabled, importing a seed file or adding a candidate system by using the Add Agent command initiates the autodiscovery process.

In a seed file, you specify top-level network systems such as switches, routers, hubs, bridges, and hosts that are to be discovered and monitored by the IP Manager. Then, when you import the seed file, the IP Manager discovers the internal structure of these systems.

For example, in the case of a router, you provide the hostname or IP address of one interface, and the IP Manager discovers the rest of the interfaces. In the case of a switch, you provide the hostname or IP address of the switch’s SNMP agent, and the IP Manager determines the switch’s configuration and how the switch connects to other systems that are listed in the topology.

Seed files can be used to discover SNMPv1, v2c, or v3 systems in IPv4 or IPv6 networks.

“Seed file related tasks” section in Chapter 3, Discovery, in the VMware Smart Assurance IP Manager User Guide, provides more information about tasks related to seed files.