As businesses continue to evolve and technology continues to advance, many organizations are making changes and improvements to their network infrastructure. More often than not, it helps to visualize your network infrastructure so you can better identify weaknesses and pinpoint places for refinement—that’s where network infrastructure mapping comes in handy.
What is network infrastructure mapping?
Network infrastructure mapping is where you literally map out your network infrastructure. This is also often called network infrastructure topology. You make a map that includes everything from routers and wireless access points to devices, firewalls, and more.
It's worth noting that, whether you manage your networks in the cloud or on-prem, network infrastructure mapping is essential, and you can create an infrastructure diagram for both types of networks.
Mapping your system is typically done using a network diagram software to create a network infrastructure diagram, sometimes called a server infrastructure diagram. These IT diagrams are essentially the backbone of your network. They help engineers and IT professionals better understand the network so they can better manage and improve the network experience for users.
The value of network infrastructure mapping
Today, companies are quickly growing, adding more and more remote workers, and with information being transmitted quicker than ever before. So it’s critical to have an in-depth understanding of your system and how it operates, like how the network is hosted to each device, such as laptops, phones, and tablets.
You can leverage a network diagram if you have multiple centrally located servers on-premises, if you host your product using a cloud-based platform like Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, or Google Cloud, or if you have multiple employees or users with devices across multiple offices.
Network diagrams provide an elevated perspective of your system, giving you a bird’s-eye view of the network’s complexity and interconnectivity. Network infrastructure provides many benefits that help you:
- Better understand your network: A visual representation of your network can give you a drastically better sense of how your network is set up and how everything works together. Through visuals, you can also bring others, including new members of your IT team, up to speed quickly on your network and systems.
- Better troubleshoot issues: Don’t guess at what might be wrong. When you can visualize your system, you can more accurately pinpoint errors and troubleshoot issues when they arise.
- Make informed improvement decisions: When improving or updating your network or adding new devices, refer back to your network diagram and determine how devices will connect to the Internet or where you have port space available.
- Improve compliance: Ensure you are compliant with the security requirements and have the appropriate firewalls and access control measures in place.
- Standardize processes: When you use visuals, you can help standardize hardware and software at your company as you scale.
While there is paramount value in network infrastructure mapping and network diagrams, the rate at which systems are prone to change can make it difficult for these diagrams to stay relevant and updated. A cloud-based visual workspace like Lucidscale is a critical component to reap the benefits of these IT diagrams.
Why use Lucidscale as your network diagram software
As you begin the process of mapping out your on-prem network, use Lucidchart, one of the leading platforms for individuals and businesses who want to build topology diagrams of their network infrastructure. The interface of our network diagram software is cloud-based, intuitive, and easy to use and includes a wide range of industry-standard network and Cisco shapes.
Collaborate and increase understanding throughout the company
The information on your network diagrams need to be accurate so you can confidently troubleshoot and improve your system. To confirm that information that is complete and exact, share your diagrams with IT teams using URLs or by embedding it in a wiki. Or, use the in-editor commenting feature to easily provide and solicit feedback on the diagram itself to make certain you have the best information available to keep everyone on the same page.
Migrate to the cloud
While you can easily leverage Lucidscale to map your on-prem network, you may eventually consider migrating to the cloud. Lucidscale offers both manual and automatic diagramming options for your cloud architecture. Use Lucidscale to automatically visualize your cloud infrastructure within minutes, simply by connecting with your cloud provider account.
This way, you can verify what your architects build during design and implementation stages, and continue to monitor and optimize your cloud moving forward.
Streamline your cloud migration with Lucidscale.Learn how
Integrate with platforms like Confluence, Jira, and more
Work without jumping from tool to tool. Lucidchart integrates with other leading platforms. Share or present diagrams using integrations such as Google Slides, Atlassian, and Slack. Lucidchart makes it quick and easy to insert diagrams directly into Jira (Server or Cloud) or Confluence so you can sync information and keep your employees in the know at all times.
Save time with templates and network shapes
Lucidchart has network diagram templates that can help you get started with your infrastructure maps, from Cisco Network Diagrams to GCP Payment Processing Architecture. If you opt to build your own diagram from scratch, Lucidchart has a library filled with the specific shapes for network diagramming, from modems to biometric readers.
Track your changes with Layers
Map your current and future state network diagrams using layers in Lucidchart to identify weaknesses in your network. Layers help you to track the changes you’ve made over time, while easily being able to toggle back and forth between versions.
Use Actions to link to more resources
If your network is complex, it’s likely that you may end up with multiple pages of diagrams. Actions let you link to other pages within Lucidchart and even let you show, hide, or toggle layers. This functionality can help anyone viewing your diagram know exactly where to look next without having to navigate an entire page worth of diagrams.
Work from anywhere, on any device
Lucidchart is a cloud-based platform so you’ll never have to worry about cumbersome installations or worry whether or not it will work on your operating system. Instead, confidently work with anyone, anytime, from anywhere, on any device. This will allow your teams to make changes whenever necessary, without relying on one or two people with compatible devices.
Reduce the risk of outdated information
Because Lucidchart is cloud-based, you can easily make changes to your network diagrams, and it’s instantly available for viewing. Never worry if you have the “current version” again. Lucidchart allows you to track version history of your diagrams, so you can always look back and see how documents have changed over time.
Stop wasting your time trying to find the latest version of your network infrastructure (Maybe Julia has it? Or was it, Steve?). Boost your system understanding and make game-changing improvements today—try Lucidchart for free.
Start visualizing your network diagrams in Lucidchart today.Learn how
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Effective Network Diagramming: Tips and Best Practices
If you have been tasked with creating network diagrams, especially for PCI compliance, Michael Maughan, a Security Analyst at SecurityMetrics, has delivered some tips to make sure you stay on track and use available resources to simplify the diagramming process.