Top 4 Techniques for Effective Network Visualization

Network visualization helps administrators understand the relationship between network devices more easily with graphs and charts that aggregate data into a visually pleasing format. These graphical representations of data can help identify trends and aid capacity planning. A common form of network visualization is the network map. These maps depict the physical and logical connections among network devices. Some network mapping software is designed to monitor these maps in real time, enabling IT teams to identify device status changes quickly.

Network Maps

Network maps are just one of the network visualization examples. They are graphical representations of network elements and how they connect. They are one of the most valuable tools in any network admin’s toolkit because they help them find potential problem areas in system performance. They can also assist them with planning new networks for expansion. There are two main types of network mapping: physical and logical. A physical map outlines the layout of network devices in a material sense, including ports, cables, racks, and other hardware. This allows admins to identify potential issues like bottlenecks and locations that need rerouting. A logical map takes a more abstract approach and shows how data transmits between the network elements. This includes IP addresses, routers, firewalls, and voice gateways. Many NPMs offer a feature that automatically generates and displays network maps. However, a network topology map can be manually created and updated using a dedicated software package.


Network visualization tools allow IT admins to instantly see and intuitively understand a lot of information about the state of their networks. Graphs, maps, and charts make identifying trends easier, pinpointing problematic areas, and aiding capacity planning. They also clarify the complex relationships between devices and data flows. Graphs are mathematical representations of numeric data, representing the values as points (or nodes) and their connections (edges). The nodes can be arranged differently depending on the defined data but typically have one central reference point and multiple branches. Usually, the edges are color-coded or patterned to show the strength of the relationship between two nodes. There are many types of graphs, including line graphs that display a series of data over time or area graphs that compare values across different devices or interfaces. A stacked Venn chart is a popular way to showcase overlapping data sets. Use simple color combinations and a non-serif font style to prevent the graph from becoming overcrowded or difficult to read. Whether a map, chart, or graph, your network visualization must be easy for IT professionals and non-IT staff to understand and interpret—the human brain processes visual information much faster than text. Hence, visuals convey complex and essential data.


Matrices are used in various fields, from engineering and physics to mathematics and business. They can represent graphs and statistics, create mathematical models, and more. In particular, they are commonly used to determine whether or not three points—a(b,c), d), and e(a,d)—are collinear (that is, they form a triangle). A matrix is an array of numbers arranged in rows and columns. Its size is defined by the number of rows and columns, which are written as mxn, where m represents the number of rows, and n represents the number of columns. Each row and column is referred to as an element or entry. The matrix has an x-y coordinate system, where a value in y indicates the location of the corresponding entry in the x-y plane. Matrix structures are common in many workplaces, including IT organizations. Whether matrix management is right for your organization depends on the nature of your operations, resources, and goals. For example, the matrix structure may be ideal if you have a lot of cooperation between functional managers and direct reports (DRs). A matrix is also suitable for analyzing resource usage and project management, especially when you need to make decisions quickly. It can also help improve communication by reducing the need for verbal explanations and discussions.


Many network professionals use charts, graphs, and matrices to convey information in a way that’s easy for them and their audiences to understand. They often need to be able to quickly and intuitively see the impact of network elements on overall performance, and they must be able to quickly identify and resolve issues that affect end-user experience or IT service delivery performance. Unlike data tables, charts organize and present data in ways that make it easy to spot trends and patterns at a glance. They can be used to interpret current data, and they can also help you predict future behavior. A chart is a visual tool that can describe relationships or hierarchies, and it may include divisions, labels, shapes, and colors. It can also have an X-axis or Y-axis to display units of measurement. There are several kinds of charts, and choosing the right one for your needs is essential. For example, a pie chart best shows percentages, and a bar chart works well with numeric or quantitative data. It’s also helpful to keep your chart simple and avoid using excessively bright or distracting colors. For example, red may convey urgency, but it doesn’t work for a pie chart. Network visualization tools are powerful for enhancing inventory management and ensuring that your team has complete visibility of network devices. A reliable network visualization solution will alert you when a device in the cloud or on your local network is not functioning correctly so that you can focus on troubleshooting the issue before it escalates.

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