Network Diagram

What is a network diagram? A network diagram is a visual representation of network architecture. It maps out the structure of a network with a variety of different symbols and line connections. It is the ideal way to share the layout of a network because the visual presentation makes it easier for users to understand how items are connected.

Network diagram example

Symbols Used in Network Diagrams

A network diagram may include hundreds of different symbols. They can range from a PC to a complex server rack to a cloud-based storage system. The symbols may be brand-specific, generic, or a combination. The network diagramming tools in SmartDraw allow users to modify existing symbols to create a custom library of symbols for their own organization or its customers.

Network diagram symbols

Types and Uses of Network Diagrams

A network diagram demonstrates how one computer or system is affiliated with others. This is especially useful when trying to track down problems or when designing a new system. Often the root of a problem can be traced more easily by observing and analyzing how the computers and components in the system are connected.

Network design topology

How to Create a Network Diagram

There are many different ways to create a network diagram. While they can be created using pen and paper or a white board, a diagramming tool designed for this purpose is a much more efficient and effective approach.

Here are some tips to consider when creating a network diagram:

  • Choose a network: Decide which network will be illustrated. The diagram could focus on a personal computer, or on an entire company network. Once a focus has been chosen, set limits on what outside connections will be included so that the diagram remains concise.
  • Add relevant equipment: Begin by placing any involved computers, servers, and other components on the page. Use visual representations and add the names of the components for clarity.
  • Add any other important components: Add other important components such as internet connections and firewalls. Once again, use visual representations and add text descriptions as needed.
  • Label: Label each of the items on the page to make it easy for anyone to understand what they're looking at. Alternatively, number the items and attach a legend with descriptions to keep the diagram less cluttered.
  • Draw Connecting Lines: Use lines with directional arrows to show how each component is related and connected to another.