We’ve come a long way from hand-drawn network diagrams. Advancements in diagramming software have allowed engineers to spend less time documenting their network and more time performing important network management tasks. Unfortunately, too many networks are still documented with outdated techniques.
Compare Three Generations of Network Diagram Software
Dynamic Network Diagrams
Dynamic network diagram technology was designed to overcome the challenges of previous diagramming software. Dynamic diagrams are created on-demand, instantly. Because they are data-driven from the live network, they are always up-to-date. Through this approach, there’s no need to create and maintain a database of drawings.
On-demand mapping allows engineers to create a network diagram customized to the task at-hand. For example, to instantly diagram the path of an application, users can just enter the source and destination addresses. In this fashion, a dynamic diagram is like GPS for the network – instead of an atlas of maps, users can get a customized map from simple input.
Traditional network diagrams are icon-driven so only a static image identifies each device. In a dynamic network diagram, every element correlates to a mathematical model. As a result, users can interact with the data behind the map, diagrams can auto-update, and information can be dynamically displayed or hidden by zooming in.
Manage the Entire Network with Dynamic Diagrams
A dynamic diagram is much more than a topology map. Engineers can interact with it for troubleshooting and change management, providing an end-to-end network management solution.
Instead of using the CLI to interact with devices one at a time, users can interact with their network through a visual environment instead. This map-driven approach accelerates troubleshooting by allowing engineers to monitor performance data, analyze historical changes, and automate troubleshooting logic.
Map-Driven Change Management
Network changes can be both risky and manual. To minimize outages, network changes can be defined with a dynamic diagram. Through this environment, configuration updates can be pushed automatically and the impact can be instantly analyzed and documented.