The saying “a picture is worth a thousand words” is especially true regarding network visualization. This dynamic tool makes it much easier to spot patterns, understand clusters, and uncover insights that would be nearly impossible to detect in raw data.
Color, size, and labeling are crucial to presenting a meaningful visual representation of connected data. For example, continuous color scales can highlight essential metrics such as SE model health indicators -4.
Better Decision Making
With all the complexity and granularity of today’s network devices, keeping track of all the components can be difficult. Visualizing this information with maps or diagrams can help you instantly identify a device’s location and layout. This enables you to make faster and more accurate decisions regarding troubleshooting and managing network issues.
For example, a visualization showing your network’s topology can show you how data flows between and among your devices, which is crucial in identifying issues that would be hard to detect using raw tabular data. It can also allow you to compare the performance of different parts of your network and identify areas with bottlenecks or outliers that could cause a failure in an emergency.
Another powerful feature is the ability to view a network’s status over time, giving you visibility into sudden changes that may impact network performance. This can be especially useful when analyzing security issues.
Several studies in information science demonstrate that well-designed network visualizations reduce response times in quantitative (Perdana et al., 2018) and geospatial judgment tasks (MacEachren 1992). Furthermore, the human brain processes visual information much faster than textual information. This makes network visualization an excellent tool for reducing your team’s time on data analysis and decision-making.
Modern network visualization tools allow multiple stakeholders to collaborate on a single view of end-to-end network architecture in real-time. This eliminates the delays of hand-offs between team members and the monotony of playing telephone tag when a critical issue needs to be resolved.
In addition to facilitating faster collaboration, a network visualization also helps increase overall visibility into your IT infrastructure. Displaying device connections, network topology, and data flow makes it easier to identify faulty devices and misconfigured settings that can impact network performance.
The power of a visualization can be even more impactful when it’s customizable to your particular users, data, and questions at hand. Unlike static spreadsheets, network visualizations can be easily manipulated to highlight patterns and connections that would otherwise be hidden in a flat data model.
Some network visualization tools are also designed to provide dynamic maps that automatically update as new devices connect or when network topology changes. This enables you to manage your IT inventory better and ensure that all your essential records are always up-to-date. This can help you quickly detect and resolve any issues affecting your IT services and the performance of your business applications. It can also improve your ability to perform application traffic analysis and forensics.
Network visualization tools allow you to see your whole network and how its components relate to each other through maps and charts. This makes identifying faulty devices easier, understanding device dependencies, and laying out a blueprint for future network upgrades. It also helps increase staff productivity by allowing them to quickly identify and address issues rather than searching for the problem in the vast number of individual data elements.
In addition to traditional bar and pie charts, network visualization software offers a wide variety of graphs and other visual representations of data that allow you to compare trends over time and across devices or interfaces. This can help you identify issues and quickly change to maintain a healthy infrastructure.
A key feature of network visualization is the ability to create and edit dynamic maps of your networks. These maps are created based on your network topology, allowing you to view your entire IT environment simultaneously. These maps are automatically updated, allowing you to stay on top of any changes.
Modern network mapping software enables you to select a layout that best organizes your information. These layouts use algorithms to determine how nodes and edges are positioned in your maps, with more critical or connected nodes positioned closer to the center of the map. They can also minimize edge crossings, group similar edges together, and display nodes symmetrically to make them easier to read.
The human brain processes visual information much faster than textual data. When team members use network visualization tools to view their networks, they can quickly identify and resolve issues before they become significant problems. This is possible because they can easily see the relationships between devices and how these connections affect traffic flow.
Unlocking these insights lets you plan for rapid business expansion, lay out a blueprint for future network upgrades, and accurately record inventory information using dynamic maps or diagrams. You can even identify the best locations to deploy new security infrastructure components and improve your disaster recovery capabilities by understanding your network’s topological layout.
Network visualization software is designed to automatically create and update these maps and diagrams, reducing the time required for manual mapping. Additionally, these tools often include charts and graphs that compare metrics quickly across multiple devices or over time.
These reports are beneficial for identifying patterns and relationships that can be used to detect cyberattacks and bolster your overall security posture. Moreover, they can be shared with other teams in real-time so everyone has the visibility they need to collaborate on complex, mission-critical IT initiatives like resolving hybrid cloud performance issues. With these benefits, implementing network visualization is an effective way to boost your team’s productivity and success.