Comparison of network diagram software

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Network mapping and drawing software

Network maps support IT systems managers to understand the hardware and software services on a network and how they are interconnected. Network maps and diagrams are a component of network documentation. They are required artifacts to better manage IT systems' uptime, performance, security risks, plan network changes and upgrades.

A number of software tools exist to generate computer network diagrams. Broadly, there are three types of tools that help create network maps and diagrams:

  • Hybrid tools
  • Network Monitoring tools
  • Drawing tools

Hybrid Tools[edit]

These tools have capabilities in common with drawing tools and network monitoring tools. They are more specialized than general drawing tools and provide network engineers and IT systems administrators a higher level of automation and the ability to develop more detailed network topologies and diagrams. Typical capabilities include but not limited to :

  • Displaying port / interface information on connections between devices on the maps
  • Visualizing VLANS / subnets
  • Visualizing virtual servers and storage
  • Visualizing flow of network traffic across devices and networks
  • Displaying WAN and LAN maps by location
  • Importing network configuration files to generate topologies automatically

Network Monitoring Tools[edit]

Some network monitoring tools generate visual maps by automatically scanning the network using network discovery protocols. The maps are ideally suited for viewing network monitoring status and issues visually. Typical capabilities include but not limited to:

  • Automatically scanning the network using SNMP, WMI, etc
  • Scanning Windows and unix servers
  • Scanning virtual hosts
  • Scanning routing protocols
  • Scanning connection speeds
  • Performing scheduled scans
  • Tracking changes to the network

Drawing Tools[edit]

These tools help users to create network topology diagrams by adding icons to a canvas and using lines and connectors to draw linkages between nodes. This category of tools is similar to general drawing and paint tools. Typical capabilities include but not limited to:

  • Libraries of icons for devices
  • Ability to add shapes and annotations to maps
  • Ability to create free-form diagrams

List of hybrid tools[edit]

Some notable tools (may not be an exhaustive list):

Name License Deployment Platforms
10SCAPE[1] Proprietary[2] SaaS All
Docusnap[3] Proprietary Desktop Windows
Graphical Networks[4] Proprietary Desktop Windows
Netbrain Tech[5] Proprietary Desktop Windows

List of network monitoring tools that generate network maps[edit]

Some notable tools (may not be an exhaustive list):

Name License Deployment Platforms
10-Strike[6] Proprietary Desktop Windows
Manage Engine[7] Proprietary Desktop Windows
MaSSHandra[8] Proprietary[9] Desktop Windows, Linux, OS X
netTransformer[10] GPL Desktop Windows/Linux/Mac
OpenNMS[11] AGPLv3[12] Desktop Linux, OS X, others
Solarwinds[13] Proprietary Desktop Windows
Spiceworks[14] Proprietary[15] Desktop Windows
The Dude[16] Proprietary[17] Desktop Windows, Linux
WhatsUp Gold[18] Proprietary Desktop Windows
SmartHawk [19] Proprietary Desktop Windows, Linux

List of drawing tools[edit]

Some notable tools (may not be an exhaustive list):

Name License Deployment Platforms
ConceptDraw PRO[20] Proprietary Desktop Windows, OS X
Creately[21] Proprietary Desktop Cross Platform
Edraw Network Diagram[22] Proprietary Desktop Linux, Windows, OS X
Microsoft Visio[23] Proprietary Desktop Windows
SmartDraw[24] Proprietary Desktop Windows
Lucidchart[25] Proprietary SaaS Linux, OS X, Windows
Gliffy[26] Proprietary SaaS Linux, OS X, Windows

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "10SCAPE Network Mapping Software". Retrieved 26 July 2014. 
  2. ^ "End User Software License Agreement: 10SCAPE Support". Retrieved 30 September 2015. 
  3. ^ "Docusnap IT Documentation". Retrieved 26 July 2014. 
  4. ^ "Graphical Networks netTerrain Network Documentation". Retrieved 12 October 2014. 
  5. ^ "Netbrain Tech Automated Documentation". Retrieved 26 July 2014. 
  6. ^ "10-Strike Network Diagram". Retrieved 26 July 2014. 
  7. ^ "Manage Engine Network Mapping". Retrieved 26 July 2014. 
  8. ^ "MaSSHandra 3D Network Diagram Editor". Retrieved 26 July 2014. 
  9. ^ "MaSSHandra. The 3D DataCenter Design Tool.". Retrieved 30 September 2015. 
  10. ^ "Network Transformation Manager". Retrieved 1 May 2012. 
  11. ^ "The OpenNMS Project". Retrieved 30 September 2015. 
  12. ^ "What is OpenNMS". Retrieved 30 September 2015. 
  13. ^ "Solarwinds network topology mapper". Retrieved 26 July 2014. 
  14. ^ "Spiceworks Network Mapping Software". Retrieved 26 July 2014. 
  15. ^ "Spiceworks Terms of Use". Retrieved 30 September 2015. 
  16. ^ "The Dude network diagrams". Retrieved 26 July 2014. 
  17. ^ "File:Dudesetup1.png". Retrieved 30 September 2015.  External link in |title= (help)
  18. ^ "Whatsup gold network mapping visio". Retrieved 26 July 2014. 
  19. ^ "SmartHawk Network Mapper". Retrieved 8 May 2017. 
  20. ^ "Concept Draw Pro Drawing Tool". Retrieved 26 July 2014. 
  21. ^ "Creately - Online Diagramming". Retrieved 26 July 2014. 
  22. ^ "Edraw Network Diagram". Retrieved 25 April 2016. 
  23. ^ "Microsoft Visio network diagramming". Retrieved 26 July 2014. 
  24. ^ "Smart Draw network diagramming". Retrieved 26 July 2014. 
  25. ^ "Lucidchart network diagramming". Retrieved 6 Aug 2014. 
  26. ^ "Gliffy network diagrams". Retrieved 9 Oct 2014. 

External links[edit]