A network is a graphical representation of a schematic or map that illustrates the different nodes and components of any existing network system. If you are someone who is new to network diagramming, you are either going to work on an existing network diagram system before you start creating one. So, in order to master the craft of designing a network diagram from scratch, it is mandatory to understand the components and types of network diagrams.
To start with, network diagrams are classified as physical network diagrams, which shows the network components that are necessary to carry on wired or wireless signals, like routers, access points, switches, and firewalls, along with an illustration of the physical connections (cables and equipment) between them. Another important network diagram type is a logical network diagram that is used to illustrate the network topologies at higher levels of networking. For instance, a logical network diagram illustrates devices and their underlying switch infrastructures.
That being said, some of the most common and important elements of any network diagram are subnets, routing protocols and domains, voice gateways, network objects and devices, network segments and traffic flow, and more.
Network Diagram Symbols
Just like any other diagramming, a network diagram, too, has hundreds of symbols. However, when it comes to network diagrams, one cannot take these symbols lightly, as they play a very important role in setting up the entire schematic system. It should be noted that each symbol has its specific marketing that indicates its nature and functionality.
Some of the most common network diagram symbols are:
- Cloud: In the network diagram, the cloud represents the Internet, a WAN, or even a collection of network segments, like VLANs.
- Firewall: In the network diagram, the firewall is represented with a brick wall that denotes a checkpoint in any given network data flow.
- Terminal: A terminal is generally represented by a computer and is used to illustrate the variety of end-user systems.
- Switch: In network diagrams, switches are represented by crossed arrows and are used to denote the data flow or how the switching occurs between different devices.
- Bridge: Bridges are used to represent a networking bridge.
- Server: Servers are graphically illustrated using a computer tower and illustrated as a node with data flowing towards different sources on the network.
- Router: Routers are generally illustrated as boxes into which different data enters and then distributed through different destinations.
- Mainframe: Mainframes are generally used by large organizations that need a system for bulk data processing.
How to Draw a Network Diagram Effortlessly?
The best way to draw a network diagram effortlessly is to take the help of network diagramming software, which is equipped with all the necessary features. To create a network diagram, you can go ahead with EdrawMax, which is considered the best network diagramming software in the market.
In order to draw a network diagram effortlessly, please follow the below-mentioned steps:
- Download Network Diagram Software: The first step that you need to do is to download EdrawMax and install it in your system. If you plan to access the files from the personal cloud storage and collaborate remotely with team members, we recommend checking out EdrawMax Online. Once you are inside the network diagramming tool, you will find 280+ diagrams along with their respective pre-built templates.
Head to the ‘Network’ diagram type and click on the ‘Network’ diagram category. You will find several network diagram types, like Cisco Network Topology, Cisco Product Icons, Detail Network Diagrams, Network Location Diagrams, Logical Network Diagrams, and more. Click on any of these diagram types to access some of the pre-built templates.
- Template Access: This network diagram software comes with user-generated templates that provide easy access to existing elements and different components. Head to the ‘Templates’ section from the left side of the window and search for ‘Network Diagrams.’ In this section, you will find 100+ network diagram templates, like Fiber Optics Network Diagram, CCTV Network Diagram, IT Infrastructure Diagram, DMZ Network Diagram, and more. Access the components of these templates and see if any of the content requirements resonate with your current need as a network engineer.
Once you have finalized the network diagram template, you can click on ‘Use Immediately’ to access all the elements of that pre-existing diagram.
- Start Scratch: If you already have a schematic ready and know the network diagram’s symbols, you should create a network diagram from scratch. EdrawMax is equipped with all the layouts and symbols that are necessary to create a network diagram.
From the homepage, head to the ‘Network’ diagram type and click on the ‘Network’ diagram category, followed by clicking on the ‘+’ sign to start with the Blank Drawing. Now you will find yourself in the network diagram software’s canvas board with all the prerequisites needed to draw a network diagram.
- Add Components: A network diagram is incomplete without adding the network diagram symbols and components. From the left panel, start adding the required components, like Computers & Monitors, Servers, Networks & Peripherals, and more. Head to the ‘Symbols’ section from the top toolbar and click on ‘Predefined Symbols’ to access other important network diagram symbols.
- Export Formats: After completing the network diagram as per your requirements, you can export it in multiple formats, like JPEG, PNG, PDF, HTML, and more. If you are accessing the pro version of this network diagram software, you can export the file in HD graphics and Visio’s VSDX format. With EdrawMax, you are free to share the file on Facebook, Pinterest, Line, and Twitter. From the canvas board of the software, you can even give a live presentation of the network diagram to your remote team.
As you saw here, network diagrams are very important to map out the schematic plan of any system. It illustrates several elements and device interactions that help the system or network engineers understand the flow.
Since most network diagram software is too complicated or costly, we recommend going ahead with EdrawMax if you are planning to draw a network diagram effortlessly. The free network diagram software has an abundance of online resources that helps in creating wonderful network diagrams. The built-in template community and industry-standard network diagram symbols ensure that your network diagram is technically correct.