Communicate your Network Design

By: Jonathan Blocker

If you work on network design for your company, you know that several people with different tasks are in the loop when it comes to networking. Engineers, designers and software developers all play a part in making sure your company's network operates at optimal levels. There are times when you will need to communicate your network's protocols in a way that is easy for everyone to understand, not just those who are intimately involved with the technology and jargon that you use daily as you work on networks within your organization. Visual aids can provide the answer you need for communicating complicated ideas or systems to others, and Microsoft Visio is the software to help make that happen. By applying Visio, network diagrams can provide the information you need not only for reports, but also for documents and presentations. In addition, these pictures can be used to help you track trends in order to improve the effectiveness, resiliency and reliability of your network design.

To help others picture how effective the network is in certain areas, diagrams can be created using Visio to help show the network in a visual manner. You can use flow charts, diagrams, charts and customized visio shapes that depict each of your system's features broken down into as many subparts as you need, and how they are interconnected.

You also want to make sure that your network can bounce back from problems that it might encounter. After you have used Visio software to help you analyze your network's trends, you can take action to make adjustments that take into account ways to subvert a loss of function in case a part of the network ceases to function appropriately.

Visio can help you track how reliable your network is as well. By using diagrams to picture how the network actually works, you can also determine if errors are taking place and work to resolve them before any harm occurs. One highly useful aspect of Visio 2007 is that you can link to information stored in other Office software, such as in an Excel spreadsheet, and create a visual representation of what the many numbers on the page mean. For those who might be supervisors and who might not be as well versed in network technology as you and your team, being able to share important information in a pictorial form can help you get your message across effectively.

You can use Visio to not only manage your networks, but to document and assist with selling them as well. You can use templates for the quickest and easiest transmission of your ideas into a visual representation, or you can choose to customize Visio to more specifically meet your network and team's needs. For the simplest or most complex diagramming needs, Visio can provide the answers you need to let your network shine.

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