What is a Network Diagram and How important is it?

What is a Network Diagram?

A network diagram is a documentation giving an overall view of the network in a computer setup allowing the reader understand the computer process and flow. A great diagram illustrates the inter connectivity between the servers and network devices in physical and logical layer.

How important is it?

Are you a network engineer constantly faced with difficulty analyzing, troubleshooting, and configuring your Network infrastructure due to lack of detailed and updated network diagrams? Or are you a student who needs to present a report?
You are required to create a detailed and clear network diagram. Without accurate diagrams, you’re at the mercy of your current engineers and their historical knowledge. What if John, the lead engineer who knows all about your network- walks out one day, gets sick, or takes a new job? You now are up the creek. One network you might be working on 20 Nexus and about 10 ISRs at the access layer and One day, you got a call that the entire network was down and they needed help. They do not have a network diagram, and people will be breathing down on your neck to fix their network while you start pulling your hair due to lack of well designed network diagram.

However, you just can’t be bothered to write and draw these due to time constraints and your hands are tied with other projects. As a result, you’re constantly geting annoyed by your team, management or auditors to provide a up to date network diagram. A well written design document is what you would need. In addition, Colourful pictures and diagrams helps tremendously for faster troubleshooting and it keeps the auditors and management happy!

Network diagrams aids as a starting point to get a general lay of the land so as not to be kept in the dark especially when time sensitive troubleshooting is required. After all, They are so very useful if anyone comes in from behind you and they need to understand what’s going on in a pinch. Another example is if you have many different sites/networks and can’t have it memorized what happens when you get called at 3AM about one of those sites? Are you going to quickly go “Oh, this is that site they have A, B and c”. The truth is maybe, but not always. If you have network diagrams to refer to it helps with immediate reaction.

Benefits of a Network Diagram:
-Help during troubleshooting any problems that decided to show up.
-Use them to explain new designs/implementations to others.
-They can be either network-inclined or not but the diagram is designed depending on their technical understanding.
-By creating a visual of the network, it brings it to life and helps people understand what is going on in the background.
-required during security audits

I can help you write network diagrams that are extremely relevant in complex networks especially when some of the people who will be maintaining the network i designed are often not very experienced – so it’s even more important the diagrams are filled with relevant, accurate information. Make sure that diagrams are clearly understood and highly detailed without sacrificing quality and making a confusing network diagram. As a best practice, It is much clearer to separate physical and logical diagrams. Provide color coding. Keeping a clear doco on all changes to the network is key, and something we both strive to keep up to date. I make sure that you will love the network diagram and make your job a lot easier. Need Pictures? Bam. Need layout of the network? Like awesome.



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