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I work for a organization which runs several servers mainly used for internet to schools and Exchange on the corporate side.

One of my tasks during my training is to be able to understand the network and how it works.

Now I don't need to understand absolutely everything but I would like to map out the network in Visio to see how it connects together via a visual perspective.

We have 1 core room which holds the main servers and switches for http/mail/voice/storage etc. which are connected to several switches in other "sub" rooms which then connect that section of the building, i.e 1 Hop.

So my task is to be able to track all the connections leading from the main server room going to the sub switch rooms, so we know what connection does what.

Do you guys have any idea of how to get started with this task, how to go about it, etc.

I'm not 100% guru with Servers as I'm just a MA - Technician and will need to learn how the servers interact with switches and how it all comes together.

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Visio is perfectly fine for recording the results and keeping a permanent (well, "until next change" at least) record of your network.

However, for getting the data you require to draw the relevant diagrams in Visio, you'll either need some network monitoring software with auto-discovery or you'll need to collect the data yourself.

If you have managed switches, you may be able to interrogate the switches and see what other switches (and routers) they're connected to. By doing that, you can eventually build a picture of what is connected to what.

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Take a look at network management software such as IPSwitch WhatsUp if you want to map out a network. There are some tools in Visio for doing logical mapping, but it doesn;t sound like the right tool for the job you want to do.


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Solarwinds network mapping tool is what you want. Use it to list the servers and switches (workstations and everything else if you want). You can then export to Visio, and edit as you wish. You can edit on Solarwinds but it's rubbish in a large environment, takes a lifetime to move from 1 side of the map to the other.

As long as if all the network switches are managed you should have no issues. If your switches aren't managed your best bet is to physically trace the wires to each "sub" room.

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