Good network diagrams aren’t hard to make, but they can be distressingly rare. Even network engineers with years of experience often make diagrams that are jumbled, hard to understand, and don’t really help when it comes to troubleshooting network issues.

To help, here’s a handy network diagram infographic for creating readable and easy-to-understand documentation.

How to draw effective network diagrams
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<figure><a href="" title="How to Draw Effective Network Diagrams"><img src="" alt="How to Draw Effective Network Diagrams" /></a><figcaption>How to Draw Effective Network Diagrams<em> (Source: <a href="">Auvik Networks</a>)</em></figcaption></figure>

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Network diagrams are not only handy to have, but provide a vital look at the network topology for your team, your company, and your peace of mind. Let’s look at what a network diagram is, and why it’s so important.

A network diagram is, simply put, a schematic or map of your existing network that illustrates the nodes and their connections. Network diagrams are very useful at mapping out your elements and device interactions, as well as illustrating different network topology types.

You can map your network manually using pencil and paper, or with a drawing program like Visio. You might also use automated software tools to help you. It’s a lot easier with software tools like Auvik, which can provide powerful network topologies that update in real-time.

If you’re new to networking, you’re probably adopting an existing network that’s already deployed. You’ve probably discovered that the network is there to support your end users’ connectivity to applications and resources that they need to be productive. It might involve an internet connection, a firewall, switches, and end-user devices. In many organizations, there could be a separate person responsible for each of these areas.