Visio.

For years, this drawing tool has been the defacto standard for creating network maps.

But before you know what to draw, you need to know what the network you’re mapping looks like: what devices sit on it, how they’re connected, how they’re configured. That can take hours for a tech to do manually.

As one Auvik partner confessed:

“We’d have to remotely log into one of the servers, run IP Scanner, and then hope the information came back from that. And/or randomly hunt and pick, finding the IP address from the DHCP server. And/or hunt through the switches, using the ARP tables or MAC address tables.”

Hours. For one network!

Then after you manage to pull all that information back, you still need to open up Visio (or whatever other diagramming tool you use) and draw the thing. More time spent.

In fact, we’ve had partners tell us that they regularly spend days every single month, manually drawing and updating network maps for each of their clients.

“Let’s say it’s a medium-sized network. We’d probably spend a good 15-40 hours just drawing out the network, understanding what the customer had: what ports, what interfaces. It took a lot of time and a lot of investigation but we had to do that to understand how to properly support the network.”

And once you invest all that time in a network drawing, what have you got? A dead document that went out of date the minute you finished it.

But what else are you going to do? As the partner above just pointed out, you need to know what a client network looks like if you’re going to quote accurately to support it.

You need to know what a client network looks like if you’re going to monitor and maintain it.

Heck, the clients themselves sometimes demand the diagram.

So give it to them. But give them a map that’s complete, accurate, real-time, and interactive—and took zero technician time to create.

Show them their Auvik map.

A core Auvik feature is its ability to automatically discover and map a network, and to maintain that map in real-time. Not only does it help you better understand and support the client, it often impresses the pants off that client.

Says one partner:

“When we’ve shown key contacts their topology, they’re like, ‘Whoa! I didn’t know you could see all this!’ And I say, ‘Yes, we can see it and we can monitor it.’”

And another:

“I showed them the Auvik maps, and that really blew them away. That we were able to show them their network in real-time, show them we knew what their devices were. All of the complexity of the network — they had no clue how many wireless devices were connecting to their network, who was coming on and off their network, what their network looked like from a map perspective.”

For one partner, the time no longer spent on manually mapping networks meant they could reallocate a full-time role to other tasks.

“We used to spend hours maintaining Visio topologies of our customers’ networks and quarterly maintenance tasks to manually take configuration backups of the network equipment. Even with that volume of time, the Visio documentation was rarely accurate and it obviously lacked any kind of statistical data so it was almost worthless. With the automations Auvik inherently provides, we essentially got rid of the position that focused on those things and moved those people into a different role that was demanding more resources.”

So give static, manually drawn network diagrams the boot. Let Auvik handle it all—and watch your efficiency improve.