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Network map

Network map

Network map definition

A network map, or network mapping, represents the physical and virtual connections between the nodes within a network. It involves creating a diagram showing how different network elements, such as computers, routers, switches, and other networking devices, are interconnected.

See also: raw device mapping, nmap

Network map process

  • Planning and goal setting. Even if you’re creating a map of an existing network, you need to start by defining the scope and the objectives of this process, such as security analysis, network optimization, troubleshooting, or expansion planning.
  • Inventory and data collection. Identify all network devices, including routers, switches, and servers, and collect their information, such as IP addresses, MAC addresses, and operating systems.
  • Discovery and identification. Use network discovery tools to detect devices on the network automatically and identify their functions within the network. These tools can help identify devices that were not accounted for during the manual inventory.
  • Mapping the physical and logical network. Create a physical map showing the actual physical connections between devices, including wired and wireless links. Then, develop a logical network map that illustrates how data flows through the network, including subnets, VLANs, and routing paths.
  • Analysis and documentation. Analyze the network maps to understand the network’s structure, identify potential vulnerabilities, and assess overall network health. Document the network structure, including detailed descriptions of each device and its configuration.
  • Maintenance and updating. Make sure to regularly update the network map to reflect changes such as new devices, reconfigured networks, or decommissioned hardware.

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