Creating a Network Diagram

computer hardware network diagramIn this, the first of three tutorial videos on Network Diagrams, we explore the way in which a Network Diagram can be created in Microsoft Visio 2007. A network diagram in our example relates to a network of computer hardware; it could be any type of network diagram, of course, but as the network diagram stencil in Visio contains shapes specific to a computer network, any other type of network would have to be represented in another way.

In this version of Visio the network diagram shapes include laptops, mobile phones, routers, switches, Ethernet cable, wireless connections, Internet sources, servers and so on. There is a substantial range of server shapes available for use in a network diagram, but this tutorial does not explore them. They will be covered in an additional tutorial later.

Adding components to a network diagram

The tutorial covers topics such as adding a backbone shape and adding various shapes to it, connecting network shapes and naming them.  We also include some great tips for moving the textural label once it has been created – great for a complicated network diagram where the text sometimes gets in the way!

Adding data to network diagram shapes

One of the great benefits in using Visio to create your network diagram is that you are able to add data to the shapes that represent the hardware. This could include IP addresses, user names and passwords, security information, mac addresses – in fact any kind of information that could be useful. Using Visio in this way allows a network administrator to see at a glance the extent of a network and the components contained in it – excellent for auditing purposes.

So why use a network diagram?  Well there are several reasons, but these will vary according to the circumstances.  Sometimes, your network will be created for a short period of time in order to cover specific activity.  This could be a conference, a training session, or a sales pitch.  On other occasions your network will be fixed in terms of the infrastructure, but will need updating when new users join it or when the hardware or software is changed.

[br]Read more about creating a network diagram in our Visio articles section

Creating a network diagram

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