News and thoughts from CS Odessa, maker of the ConceptDraw product line: ConceptDraw PRO, ConceptDraw PROJECT and ConceptDraw MINDMAP.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Computer & Networks Solution, Part 1

The Computers & Networks Solution has been one of our most popular Solutions since the launch of ConceptDraw PRO v9. Designed with IT professionals in mind, but easy enough for anyone to use, this Solution provides library objects, templates and examples for documenting network installations of any size. Documenting your network is critical for planning changes and growth: you need to know where you’ve been to know where you’re going. Now you need look no further than the templates in the Computers & Networks Solution for help creating documents that describe the structure and location(s) of your network.

Cisco Sample Library in ConceptDraw PRO v9

First we have the Network Logical Structure Diagram. This is a high-level conceptual tool for visualizing your network. It’s important to understand the flow of data from outside your network to the various places in your organization before you get down to the nuts and bolts of which hardware goes where. Using the provided library objects and sample diagrams, you can create a flowchart that very accurately describes the zones of your network and how information enters and moves through them.

The next step is creating a Network Communication Plan. This diagram illustrates the physical location(s) of your network devices. This template is best implemented in two phases. First, map out the floor plan of the network location. Then draw in your network communication lines, wall sockets, etc. Closely related to the Network Communication Plan is the Network Layout Diagram. This is another floor plan type template the documents the positioning of the actual networked devices. Using these two templates in conjunction will create a very detailed depiction of your network’s physical makeup. Try using different layers for communication lines and hardware devices; then you can view one or the other by toggling layer visibility.

The Rack Diagram template is necessary for larger network installations. Using the template you can diagram server racks and the connections between devices in them. The basic rack object in the template can be resized by selecting it, then clicking the Action button (blue arrow) that appears. Add new pages to the document for each different rack. Then you can add hyperlinks to your Network Layout Diagram that jump directly to the diagram for each rack.

This first batch of templates is a great starting point for documenting your network. That will be plenty for you to chew on this week; next week will pick up where this left off and discuss the rest of the Computers & Networks Solution’s templates and some tips and tricks for implementing them. Stay tuned!

Free 21 day trials of ConceptDraw PRO and the Computers & Networking Solution are available on

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