North American Network Operators Group

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Re: OT: Visio or Autocad

  • From: Justin M. Streiner
  • Date: Wed Oct 10 20:08:09 2007

On Wed, 10 Oct 2007, Stephen Fulton wrote:

A good friend of mine swears that Autocad is superior for network design to Visio. I don't disagree, but only because I have never used Autocad for network design. So far Visio has generally met my needs when I'm working on a design, but I have found it lacking (or perhaps just my Visio skills?) when trying to merge L2 and L3 designs. Most of the time I start from scratch on each layer, but it does become a burden as changes are made once the design becomes operational, and over its' lifetime.

Is anyone using Autocad for network design? What are your thoughts?

I'm using AutoCAD, but just for physical plant stuff such as route maps where I can overlay my plant data onto GIS maps. We also use it because architects and contractors sometimes supply us with CAD drawings when we're reviewing construction plans and such.

I use Visio 2003 for the 'official' backbone maps used by our NOC and neteng groups. Most of my peers also use Visio for doing design drawings.

AutoCAD and Visio both have their strengths and weaknesses. It really boils down to your needs, preferences, learning curve tolerance, etc.

I've never tried to use AutoCAD for a network diagram, but for my way of working at least, it would seem to be pretty cumbersome, plus my templates and any customer shapes I've made are already built around Visio, so I'd have to re-create that to do the same task in AutoCad.