As a business grows, its network expands in size and complexity. Increasing convolution impedes network management leading to unanticipated outages. Most businesses can't afford such unplanned downtime owing to the staggering overheads that come with it. Also, increase in network size makes it harder to troubleshoot faults as fault isolation becomes cumbersome.

Network visualization is one way by which businesses can improve their network management. Vivid visualization helps spot faults swiftly thereby helping avert network downtime. For effective visualization, businesses require dedicated network diagramming tools that help paint a clear picture of their entire network infrastructure.

Why is network diagram software important?

Network diagram software, a vital necessity for businesses would offer the following benefits if deployed:

  • Obtain a geographical visualization of the network with a network toplogy diagram: Network diagramming tools help form a clear visual image of an organization's network spanning across geographical boundaries.
  • Easily view the status of network devices with a networking diagram: The color code schemes in a network diagram provide an at-a-glance view of the status of the network devices. Thus a network diagram solution helps monitor the availability of network devices.
  • Easy to identify & troubleshoot faults: An automatic network diagram software helps identify faults with precision and speed making troubleshooting seamless.
  • Understand the criticality of network faults: Whenever a network fault occurs, network diagram software help you to analyze the criticality of the fault by allowing the user to view the affected device and also the network devices that are connected to the affected device.

A network architecture diagram rendered by a network architecture diagram software enables better network forecasting and planning: Representing various components of the network such as routers, switches & rack servers in the form of a real time network diagram helps in planning your network architecture.

Types of Network Diagram

Network diagram software can be used to create two types of network diagrams. They are:

Network Diagram Tool - ManageEngine OpManager

Physical Network diagrams

A physical network diagram represent the visual schema of an enterprise network. They portray the physical properties associated with the network. The lines in the physical network diagram represent the physical connectivity between the devices. This materialistic view of network diagrams allows the network admin to gather insights about the way the devices are connected in a network.

Network Diagramming Software - ManageEngine OpManager

Logical Network diagrams

Contrary to the physical network diagram, which provides a physical perspective of a network, logical network diagram provides a logical perspective of a network. A logical network diagram illustrates the behavior of data in a network. The connection lines represent the data flow in the network, which helps the network admin understand the way the devices in the network communicate with each other.

Challenges faced while drawing a network diagram

Colossal size of enterprise networks

More often than not, enterprise networks are enormous in size. These large-scale networks comprise a vast number of device types and even more interfaces. While understanding the physical and logical layout of these networks is incredibly crucial to a business, it also requires strenuous efforts.

Large-scale enterprise networks consist of a lot of devices. Drafting a network diagram using a networking diagram tool for such a network might prove to be very time-consuming.

Scaling

Enterprise networks are dynamic in nature. The traffic a network might bring in varies from time to time. Hence, the workload on the devices is ever-changing. This dynamic nature of a network affects visualization through network diagrams. Hence, a network admin must take these into account before going through with the network diagram process.

Interface & Port-related connectivity

A problem with interfaces and ports might significantly increase the chances of a network outage. These down-to-the-point details are complex but incredibly essential to maintain the seamless functioning of a network. Hence, a network admin has to get himself acquainted with these comprehensive details before drawing a network diagram which might be exhausting.

OpManager: A holistic network diagramming tool

OpManager, a networking diagram software helps represent your business's network infrastructure graphically for seamless visualization. OpManager's automatic network diagram software enables you to represent your network in a variety of formats like:

Layer2 Maps

A vital requisite of a automated network diagram tool

OpManager, the automated network diagram software has Layer2 Maps, a prominent feature of the network topology software helps you understand the underlying logical topology of your network by representing it diagrammatically.

This network topology diagram software - Layer2 Maps has the following powerful attributes.

  • Provides a better visualization of the physical topology of your network.
  • Beneficial when a device in your network runs into issues - you can easily identify the devices and interfaces that will be affected.
  • By using this network diagram tool you can save the map as a business view and even export it as a Visio. You can also generate a printable version of the Layer2 Map.
  • Layer2 devices get automatically mapped when a layer2 discovery is done. So you need not worry about creating / editing a Layer2 map every time a layer2 device is added / discovered.

Business Views

To map devices according to their associated business services

OpManager's network diagram software helps you create a network topography diagram for your network infrastructure using the business view format. This maps views to their business functions accurately and offers a birds eye view for effective management.

Business view, one of the visualization formats in OpManager's network diagramming tool allows you to visually organize the devices in your network based on the business needs that they cater to. With business views you can :

  • Visually group devices that belong to a particular business.
  • View live link status between two network devices.
  • View the device details of all the individual devices in the business view from a single console.
  • Drill down to the snapshot details of the individual devices in the business view in just a click.
  • View network traffic from SNMP & netflow.

Maps

Visualize the critical devices in your network geographically

OpManager, the network diagramming software or network topology mapper, offers maps, a format which can be used to represent the location of your servers and other important devices geographically. Apart from this you can use the map tool to:

  • Get a clear view of the geographical distribution of your network
  • Embed critical network devices to their real world locations either using Google maps or Zoho maps.
  • View the status of the devices in a particular geographical location on the map.
  • Instantly view the device snapshots of the devices embedded on the map with just a click.
  • Create a network map diagram on your user interface.

Virtual devices

Now under the scope of OpManager's automatic network diagram software

OpManager, the network diagramming tool automatically creates network topology diagrams for VMware VCenter, VM's, HyperV & Xen hypervisors and their guest & host machines. Our Windows network diagram software stores topology diagrams in the corresponding tabs under map menu for easy access.

3D floor views

Diagrammatically represent the servers & switches in your network

OpManager, the automatic network diagram solution helps with maintenance and management of servers. The 3D floor view, a standout feature of OpManager's network diagram tool helps you simplify the server management process by diagrammatically visualizing the servers and switches in your network. With the 3-D floor view feature of OpManager's network infrastructure diagram software, you can:

  • Create 3D views of the switches and servers on each floor of your data center or server rooms.
  • Obtain a visual image of your server floors / server rooms, thereby making it easier to identify probable locations while installing new servers or switches.
  • View the status of the servers / switches in your floors / server rooms.
  • Easily identify faulty servers / switches in your floors with the help of color codes.

3D Rack view

Granular visualization of devices via virtual racks

OpManager, the linux network diagram software also houses a 3D rack view feature. that enables you to create virtual racks either similar to the ones in your actual server room or custom racks that will help you in your network management process, and populate devices onto it.

This 3D rack view builder, one of the formats of the online network diagram tool in OpManager, makes your life as a network administrator simpler in the following ways:

  • Creating a virtual 3D rack for a group of network devices serving a common business purpose helps you organize and manage them easily.
  • 3D racks provide you with a topographical visualization of a set of devices in the network. -You can populate devices to a virtual rack in a particular order - which provides greater understanding of the network architecture.
  • 3D racks also allow you to visualize the racks in your datacenters in their exact physical arrangement. This makes data center management much easier.
  • You can easily identify issues in the individual devices in these racks using color codes.
  • Just click on a faulty device in the rack and you'll be taken to the corresponding device snapshot page. This makes troubleshooting easier.

To know more on how OpManager's online network diagram tool can help visualize your network, download a 30-day free trial or register for a demo.

FAQs on Networking diagram software

What is a network diagram software?

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