I am a beginner when it comes to networking, and I have done as much research as I can to try and figure this out on my own, but the more I read the more I realize I don't know.
I work for a security company where I install IP cameras that plug into switches in one of a number of IDFs, all of which plug into a switch in the MDF. In order to get all of the MAC addresses of the cameras I have to go to each switch, in each IDF, and plug in one of my own 16 port switches. Then, one by one, I unplug the cameras from the IDF switch, and plug it into my switch until it's full. Then I can pull up the MAC address using an IP scanner utility. I cannot accept that this is real life, and know there is a better way.
I have read about arp -a, but I'm confused if that will work or not. I have also read about LLDP, and something called dot1dtpfdbaddress, both of which left me confused. I did an arp -a on my personal computer, and it seemed to work just fine. From what I understand, you have to be on the same LAN as the devices you want to get MAC addresses for when using arp. If I plug my laptop directly into the switch at the IDF, or even the switch at the MDF, that will put me on the same LAN as the cameras, if they're all connected via switches, right? Sorry if this is confusing, or super obvious! I am just looking for a way to get all the MAC addresses without having to unplug, and plug in 80-100 cameras.