What is a Network Diagram

 

A network diagram is a visual representation of network architecture. It maps out the structure of the network with a variety of different symbols and line connections. It is the ideal way to share the layout of a network because the visual presentation makes it easier for users to understand how items are connected.

One of the first things you should do before setting up a complex network is create a network diagram so you’ll know how everything will work together. You can clearly see how things like peripherals, firewalls, servers, and mainframes will co-exist and work in harmony. Conversely, when a network doesn’t work properly, this type of diagram can aid in pinpointing issues.

 

 

Tips for Making a Network Diagram

 

Just like networks, a network diagram can have a lot of elements depending on the complexity. It’s helpful to draw a network diagram on paper first. Start by listing all the components (cloud, servers, clients, mainframes, peripherals, hubs, routers, etc.) that will be part of the diagram. Next, draw lines between the elements to see how they will connect to each other. It’s best not to let the lines cross each other, that way you can clearly see the connection points.

Once you have a general layout, it’s time to use network diagram software to map it out. Before trying to create the diagram manually using a basic tool, look for a network diagram template that can provide a general starting point. The tool you use to create it should have images readily available to represent all the parts of your network. You’ll also want an option with a grid background so you can easily align and position items on the diagram.

As the diagram starts to materialize, start customizing it. Start by naming all the elements on the diagram and then change the font and size of text when naming peripherals versus backend components. Try using different colors for the lines that symbolize connections. Adding these elements will provide more texture to the diagram. When the network diagram is complete, you should be able to save and print it. If you used an online tool, you’ll also be able to share it via a link (or other format) and even invite others to work on it as well.

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