[AusNOG] Diagramming Networks in 2022 - Should it be this hard?

Johnathon Brandis jcbrandis at gmail.com
Sun Oct 9 19:40:38 AEDT 2022


Stranger these days to this forum. However,

Was recently in Bangkok for Work and I noticed in the SNOC (it was like
container ships welded together), wood blocks on a wall (would have 2 x
sedan long and basketball ring high) with string, visualise a tapestry. I
asked the manager, what’s that. He replied, that is my network. He had used
wooden blocks (including taks) with some magnetic adhesive strips as
switches, and string around the taks depicting uplinks.  Switches (blocks)
were different colours (red/green/orange) and had labels from a labeller,
which could be peeled off easily. The coolest thing, he showed me cable
tracing in this (it was pretty big network). He simply plucked it and
watched it vibrate back to the switch it was connected too.

For him, it had been a success and he gave up on diagrams for the reasons
you talk about. One of the upsides of travel is meeting really clever
people doing things you wouldn’t have thought of.

Stay well all.

On Sunday, October 9, 2022, Etienne-Victor Depasquale <edepa at ieee.org>

> Jason,
> Last September (https://mailman.nanog.org/pipermail/nanog/2021-
> September/thread.html), I posted a similar question to NANOG.
> The thread was titled "Telecommunications network drafting software".
> You might find something helpful there.
> I'll confess that ultimately, I resigned myself to:
> (a) using Visio
> (b) buying Visio templates (especially those for radio access networks)
> (c) using basic shapes and labelling them, instead of endlessly chasing a
> wild goose on the Internet.
> Ultimately, my humble diagnosis is that we're on our own until someone
> decides to take this up as a business venture.
> Cheers,
> Etienne
> On Sun, Oct 9, 2022 at 2:30 AM Jason Leschnik <jason at leschnik.me> wrote:
>> Hi everyone,
>> Frustration has gotten the better of me, hence the post. Sorry if this
>> isn't 100% relevant, I thought about posting on Reddit but find sometimes
>> the replies are a bit of a dumpster fire.
>> We're using Visio and some very basic templating practices (common
>> symbols, guidelines for link color/type & styles). But every time I jump
>> into our diagrams, I'm always frustrated with how tedious it is to use
>> Visio (possible lack of skill?) and how rigid the tool is. Moving a
>> device/adding a new site, effectively means getting out the scissors and
>> glue and spending an afternoon like an artisan redrawing and reflowing
>> links. I understand there are other tools out there, draw.io/lucid which
>> are better but still all take time and some artistic flare.
>> Possibly this is due to a mix of how we're using connectors (some in
>> our team are just reverting to using simple lines now to avoid the
>> connector reflow madness). But things like labels on links, having to chase
>> them around the page manually, and diagrams that are difficult to read
>> because of lack of room. Surely we're doing it the hard way?
>> Does anyone have examples of their "real world" diagrams (redacted of
>> course!) to show how they do this better? All the Google-Fu I do on the
>> subject just brings me to those "edgy" isometric Network diagrams that are
>> used in marketing slideware.
>> *tl;dr* looking for practical Network diagram styles so I can use some
>> of the themes in our diagrams.
>> Attached sample, moving anything around in this small area requires a few
>> hours to rework everything. It shouldn't be this hard right?
>> [image: image.png]
>> Regards,
>> Jason.
>> _______________________________________________
>> AusNOG mailing list
>> AusNOG at ausnog.net
>> https://lists.ausnog.net/mailman/listinfo/ausnog
> --
> Ing. Etienne-Victor Depasquale
> Assistant Lecturer
> Department of Communications & Computer Engineering
> Faculty of Information & Communication Technology
> University of Malta
> Web. https://www.um.edu.mt/profile/etiennedepasquale
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