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Over a long time, the network I work with has grown from a couple of servers and a handful of client PCs to a gargantuan beast with the following things configured on the core switch:

  • VLANs - Trunks, access ports and general ports.
  • Several Multiple Spanning Tree instances
  • Lots of subnets
  • Port-Channels

It has become very tricky to communicate this to new members of staff and contractors. A diagram showing the physical components of the network (switches, routers, firewalls, servers etc) only tells a small part of the picture. It's all there in the various configurations, but putting this all together into a picture of our network is a huge challenge. Various people have tried to document all this in Excel and Word docs, but nothing tried so far really seems to give a clear overview effectively.

Simplifying our network is a goal for me, but in order to get there, we need to map where we are now, and where we want to go.

Has anyone got any examples of great network diagrams that show more than simple connectivity and communicate? Not necessarily all of the above in one diagram, but alternative ways of drawing things one might achieve in Viso, or even pencil and paper.

I am not asking for recommendations for this or that bit of software. Some examples of great, inspiring, network diagrams would be most welcome.


locked by HopelessN00b Jan 22 '15 at 7:23

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closed as off-topic by HopelessN00b Jan 22 '15 at 7:23

  • This question does not appear to be about server, networking, or related infrastructure administration within the scope defined in the help center.
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sounds like a dupe ? – Sirex Jul 22 '11 at 10:29
It does sound like a dupe; if you can find one, link it and flag. – womble Jul 22 '11 at 11:44
There are a lot of similar questions out there - most of the answers are "use Dia" or "use Visio" which kind of misses the point. There is…, which may have answered my question if the link to the image wasn't broken. I have searched, but not finding questions or answers quite what I am looking for. I am really looking for some example diagrams. Question edited to be more explicit. – dunxd Jul 22 '11 at 12:05
1 ;) – Daniel B. Jul 22 '11 at 13:42
If you are extensively using vlans then dont try and make one diagram to rule them all. Break it down into seperate usable diagrams that look at it from different perspectives. Eg. hardware, logical, etc – JamesRyan Jul 22 '11 at 14:58
up vote 3 down vote accepted

I'd posted the last just as you were making your "don't post that, stupid" edit ;) So ...

have you looked at ? There are tons of diagrams there, maybe you can find a few that suit your needs?

You'll probably need several diagrams, linked together in something like the wiki mentioned in Sven's answer.

That is a great resource I was not aware of. Thanks! – dunxd Jul 22 '11 at 15:43
Link to from ratemynetwork diagram also looks helpful. – dunxd Jul 22 '11 at 15:48

I guess the best and most flexible option for this so far is to collect all info in a Wiki which can document various aspects in the most appropriate way and have plenty of links to other pages in the Wiki. With the help of SVG as an image file format, you can even have links in your network diagrams etc.

It is examples/descriptions of those "most appropriate way"s that I am seeking. – dunxd Jul 22 '11 at 12:07

One possibility would be to overlay the VLAN assignments onto a physical (well, logical, most probably) network diagram by using colours. Use one colour per VLAN and a different colour (and ideally line width) for trunks, with an info-box detailing the VLANs across the trunk (unless you always pass all VLANs across).


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