The ‘Art’ of Network Mapping – if you still like drawing!

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If you feel like your network mapping efforts are more like a ‘connect-the-dots’ exercise on a whiteboard, read this post. Actually, read this post anyway and be sure to watch the cool video at the end.

As your network grows, it helps to have an up-to-date map of all your routers, switches, firewalls, servers, desktops, and workstations. However, manually discovering and mapping your network devices is time-intensive—particularly if you’re diagramming it all out on a whiteboard.

There’s so much happening in today’s IT networks, and it’s important to be aware of your network’s activity and changes; network engineers just can’t afford to be laid-back. They have to be on top of things, right from knowing ‘where that cable goes to’ to understanding what’s creating network availability issues and finally troubleshooting with real-time data to fix bandwidth utilization or packet errors due to a misconfigured router.

No matter how big or small your network is, it’s difficult to view and identify network problems from inside a silo. Network integration and convergence have created an environment where one issue often leads to others. This type of environment has also made it more difficult to determine if an issue is primarily a network or application problem.

So, when the network or an application is slow, and complaints start pouring in, where do you start? Do you know how your network is mapped out? Do you know which routers or router interfaces you should start analyzing?

You can confidently answer those questions by having these three functionalities in your network management arsenal:

  1. Up-to-date network documentation – automate network mapping
  2. Proactive network monitoring – know before disaster strikes
  3. Reactive network management – access real-time data for quicker troubleshooting

If you still enjoy doing some things manually, such as sketching network diagrams on your whiteboard, you will love this fun network mapping video. Check it out!

Author

Narendran Vaideeswaran

Naren is a Web enthusiast, and has been in the technology space for over a decade. Started off as a network engineer for a large multi-national bank, and scaled out to marketing IT products, both small and enterprise-class.

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1 Comment

  1. Jeff Newman September 3, 2014 at 9:02 am

    Too funny! Thank you for finding that and sharing it.

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