Mapping Out Your IT Infrastructure: Why You Should Be Aware of Potential Chokepoints and Inefficiencies

Updated on: 02 December 2022 | 8 min read
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IT infrastructure is continuously evolving. While businesses traditionally went for on-premises infrastructures that involved having servers, storage and other facilities in-house, enterprises today enjoy a wider variety of options, which all have their own pros and cons.

Modern enterprise IT will include a mix of distributed infrastructure, virtualization, and on-premises setups, among others.

One clear trend today: commoditized infrastructure is enabling better access to both small and large scale enterprises. Businesses are engaging in various cloud delivery models, including SaaS, PaaS, IaaS, as well as a combination of public and private clouds, as well as other high availability infrastructure setups.

Hybrid clouds, for example, have advantages in enjoying the ease-of-management from the public cloud infrastructure, alongside the privacy and security of an on-premises deployment.

It’s no longer as simple as mapping out a server infrastructure stored in your office building. Gone are the days when your infrastructure map involves only a few elements that require a simple diagram. With distributed infrastructures, there will be more elements and connections to consider.

But Why Diagram?

Diagramming your IT infrastructure would allow you to take an inventory of the resources that you have, and the relationships among these network components. It should show the clients, the remote servers, including both on-premises and cloud-based.

Think of your network diagram as a condensed roadmap that gives you comprehensive information of your entire network. It should include downstream and upstream connectivity, components and dependencies. You can use your network diagram with deviations, alarms, and exceptions to further cut the time required in finding the problem, or at least which part of your network you should look into.

Visualizing your IT infrastructure will help you make better decision

It isn’t necessarily easy, particularly if you have a deployment that involves two or more types of infrastructure, and especially considering a geographically distributed setup managed with load balancing and failover mechanisms.

However, mapping out your infrastructure will come in handy should you have some problems and issues in your network. Because a good network diagram map would help you visualize your network topology, you can easily spot potential chokepoints or bottlenecks, enabling your IT team to resolve issues more easily.

Visual Troubleshooting

For instance, if you are grappling with availability issues, you can use your exceptions, baseline deviations, and other data to determine whether or not the problem stems in-house, or it is because of an outside service provider.

If you find out that it is in-house, then you can start looking at your own systems to find the root cause of the slowdown. If a third-party service provider is an issue, then this can be resolved through stronger service-level agreements or SLAs.

The easiest way for you to create a create a network diagram is by using a vector graphics tool that allows you to create icons and shapes in just one click, then allowing you to drag and drop these elements anywhere you want. And because you are working with different elements of a network, you need a tool that would allow you to easily add context to these icons.

Why use Creately to Map Your IT infrastructure?

Creately is a powerful diagramming and visual collaboration platform that offers many features when it comes to mapping your IT infrastructure. Here are some key features for you to consider,

  1. User-friendly interface: Creately provides an intuitive and user-friendly interface, making it easy for both technical and non-technical users to create IT infrastructure diagrams. You can quickly drag and drop pre-designed shapes, symbols, and icons to represent various components of your infrastructure.
  2. Extensive collection of templates and shapes: Creately offers a wide range of templates and shapes specifically designed for IT infrastructure mapping. This extensive collection includes icons for servers, routers, switches, firewalls, storage devices, virtual machines, and more. It saves you time and effort in creating accurate and visually appealing diagrams.
  3. Real-time collaboration: With Creately, multiple team members can collaborate on the same diagram in real-time. This feature is particularly useful when mapping IT infrastructure, as it allows team members to work together, share ideas, and make changes simultaneously. It enhances communication and coordination among team members, regardless of their geographical location.
  4. Accessible anywhere: You can access and work on your IT infrastructure diagrams from anywhere on Creately. All you need is an internet connection. This flexibility is beneficial for distributed teams, remote workers, or when you need to access and update your diagrams while on the go.
  5. Integration with other tools: Creately integrates seamlessly with popular tools such as Google, Microsoft, Confluence, and Slack. This integration allows you to embed diagrams into project documentation, share them with team members within your existing workflows, and ensure consistency across different project management platforms.
  6. Full version history: Creately provides version control and revision history features, allowing you to track changes made to your IT infrastructure diagrams over time. This ensures that you can revert to previous versions if needed and maintain a history of modifications, providing transparency and accountability in the diagramming process.
  7. Export and sharing options: Creately enables you to export your IT infrastructure diagrams in various formats, including PDF, PNG, JPEG, SVG and CSV. You can easily share these diagrams with stakeholders, clients, or colleagues, ensuring effective communication and collaboration.


Your network maps are only useful if they are accurate. You might need to collaborate with your end users, your system administrator, as well as IT personnel of outside providers in order to better map out your infrastructure.

For instance, if you are trying to map how load balancing works with your network, it might help to understand just how the traffic is distributed among your different storage, computers, clusters and other elements.

What if the person who knows how this works is half a world away? You will need to have remote collaboration capabilities in order to work on the network map.

In short, mapping your network resources will help you gain more visibility over your network infrastructure, its processes and the various assets you have. This, in turn, helps you gain more control, be more productive and allow you to proactively solve issues before they become major problems.

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FAQs About Mapping IT Infrastructure

How can mapping IT infrastructure help with system optimization and performance?
Mapping IT infrastructure provides a holistic view of the entire system, including hardware, software, network components, and dependencies. By visually representing these components and their relationships, you can identify bottlenecks, optimize resource allocation, and streamline processes. It helps you understand the system’s architecture, identify areas for improvement, and make informed decisions to enhance system performance.
What are the key components of IT infrastructure that should be included in a mapping process?
The key components of IT infrastructure that should be included in a mapping process typically include servers, storage devices, network devices (routers, switches), firewalls, load balancers, virtual machines, databases, applications, and their interconnections. It is important to consider both physical and virtual components and their relationships and dependencies.
Are there any recommended approaches or methodologies for mapping IT infrastructure?
There are various approaches and methodologies for mapping IT infrastructure. Some common ones include top-down or bottom-up mapping approaches, dependency mapping, service mapping, and application mapping. Choosing an approach that aligns with your specific goals and requirements is important.
How often should IT infrastructure maps be updated or reviewed?
IT infrastructure maps should be updated and reviewed regularly to ensure they remain accurate and up-to-date. The frequency of updates depends on the rate of changes in your infrastructure. Major changes, such as hardware upgrades, software deployments, or network modifications, should trigger an immediate update. Regular reviews, at least quarterly or annually, help identify any discrepancies, address outdated information, and reflect the current state of the infrastructure.
What are the common challenges or pitfalls to avoid when mapping IT infrastructure?
Common challenges and pitfalls when mapping IT infrastructure include incomplete or inaccurate documentation, outdated information, overlooking dependencies, lack of stakeholder involvement, and failing to consider future scalability. It’s important to have comprehensive documentation, involve relevant teams and stakeholders, maintain regular updates, and ensure the accuracy of the mapped information.
How can IT infrastructure mapping contribute to cost optimization and efficiency?
IT infrastructure mapping helps identify redundant or underutilized resources, optimize resource allocation, and streamline processes. By understanding the relationships and dependencies between components, you can identify opportunities for consolidation, virtualization, or cloud migration. This can lead to cost savings, improved efficiency, and better resource utilization.
What are some real-life examples or case studies of organizations benefiting from IT infrastructure mapping?
There are numerous real-life examples of organizations benefiting from IT infrastructure mapping. For instance, a company might identify and remove redundant servers, saving hardware maintenance and energy consumption costs. Another organization might streamline network architecture based on the mapping, improving data flow and reducing latency. These examples highlight how IT infrastructure mapping can drive optimization, efficiency, and cost savings in various industries and contexts.


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Nishadha Internet Marketing Manager

Software engineer turned tech evangelist. I handle marketing stuff here at Creately including writing blog posts and handling social media accounts. In my spare time, I love to read and travel.

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