Network Mapping: What is it?
Network mapping is an effective way of visually outlining every element linked to a network. Network mapping solutions perceive physical and virtual networks and offer in-depth visibility of a company’s IT infrastructure. Enterprises utilize network mapping tools to make network monitoring seamless and instantly detect network faults.
Network mapping aids IT teams in discovering and visualizing network connectivity via network map generation. This map includes flowcharts, network diagrams, device inventories, and topology detection. These graphical presentations and materials are helpful for various purposes like network security, maintenance, etc. However, with more and more companies opting for cloud computing and globalization at the forefront, networks have become more dynamic and complex. Therefore, network mapping has become even more crucial for companies in 2022.
Network Mapping: How does it work?
Network mapping is the process of collecting and making sense of data through easy-to-read visualizations that show the exact network status of the enterprise and all the devices that are connected to it. If there is too much traffic on the networks or strange behavior, alerts will be made and sent to the IT team. Just by checking the map, the IT team can pinpoint devices that have issues and gain more insights to help them fix the problem in double quick time.
Also, the network mapping tools generate metrics like latency, throughput, and bandwidth. Network mapping solutions enable companies to easily track network activities, automatically generate all the information related to devices, and monitor how the network elements are connected.
Please keep in mind that network mapping is a continuously improving process. In theory, it is possible to map a whole network by hand, but the fact that enterprise networks are always changing makes such maps useless. But network mapping solutions can find even small changes in the network in real time and without interruption. They can then automatically make and show up-to-date network maps. Such maps are rendered through simple graphics tools like Spiceworks Network Monitor.
Network Mapping: Why is it required?
Post-COVID-19, more and more companies are migrating towards permanent remote or hybrid work models, making networks more widespread and complicated than before. This makes network performance crucial to running business operations smoothly. Here are the top 5 reasons why you should consider a network mapping solution for your enterprise.
- Visualizes your entire network
A network map shows the entire network and other information, similar to viewing an online Google map. Network mapping software displays each network-connected device in an easy-to-interpret graphical image. When you look at the whole network and all the devices that are connected to it in real time, you can find problems early and fix them before they do irreversible damage.
- Enables real-time diagnosis of network issues
Latency and other network issues will reoccur in enterprise networks and connected devices. As the network becomes broader and more complex, the frequency of problems will also rise exponentially. A network mapping solution can support your IT team in pinpointing device issues instantly, allowing them to quickly address the root cause and fix them using appropriate actions. A real-time network map can make the difference between quick fixes for network problems and hours of digging and guesswork.
- Improves planning and forecasting
Putting together a graphic overview of your company’s network helps you figure out what parts of the enterprise infrastructure need to be replaced or upgraded. Through an analysis of all the connected devices, network mapping solutions point out possible problems and weak spots. Then, their results are plotted in a traditional way that can be changed in real time.
- Facilitates seamless device monitoring
Monitoring workers’ routers, endpoints, servers, and other devices to enable smooth and secure operations can be a herculean task when the network expands in an uncontrolled manner due to customer and business needs. Network mapping solutions effectively tackle this problem by showing the IT team the origin point for specific network issues such as latency. In addition, network mapping makes device monitoring hassle-free by consistently collecting and interpreting data and updating the graphics to reflect the gathered intel. Devices that show delayed response will be visualized and represented differently than those that are responding at ideal levels.
- Enhances network control and security
Network maps also work as a strong security tool, enabling network administrators to analyze how each device interacts and use the information gathered to catch doggy nodes and links. In addition, the real-time feedback offered by network maps provides an overview of all the linked wired and wireless devices at any point in time. This makes the identification of unknown devices and other cyber threats seamless.
Network mapping solutions make it easy to manage a company’s network by letting IT guys use visual maps to look at every part of the network. With these network maps, employees can look for broken links and devices on the Internet in real time, get rid of operational bottlenecks, and make sure that the network keeps running smoothly. As we are moving towards an era where every company will migrate to the cloud, network mapping will become the go-to solution to tackle network issues in real-time.