Tip 3

Use layers to keep objects organized. This makes it easy to produce “non-proprietary” diagrams that you can hand over to a vendor without giving up confidential information.

It is not uncommon to be asked to produce a map of your network without IP addresses and circuit ID’s. Instead of scrambling to delete confidential information from your newest version, simply build it with the potential in mind, you will be able to quickly generate a map without a lot of work.

Example 3-1

Here we have a simple diagram of two routers with the usual information. Router name, function, make/model, IP addresses, interface numbers, and circuit IDs. It is not a big deal to just delete the IPs and circuit ID if you have to hand it over to a non-employee, but what if the map had three hundred routers?



Example 3-2

Start by going to Layers>Layer Properties in your toolbar


Example 3-3

Then create your core layers right from the beginning, regardless of whether your are using them immediately or not. Good ones to add are circuit IDs, IP addresses, border/logo, and network components. You can also “lock” layers, which prevents any movement from the protected layers. This differs from locking an object since when locking a layer, it makes the objects in the layer completely non-selectable. This works great with everything from borders, logos, and legends; it also prevents you from accidentally deleting or moving objects.


Example 3-4

The secret to getting this to work is to separate the lines of text from each other and from any objects. This will allow you to grab the IP address only, without selecting the name and model number or anything else you want to keep in the diagram. While it adds a little time during initial setup, you’ll be glad you did it since it saves a lot of time in the long run.

Here I select the IP addresses only [Ctrl+select], and select Layers>Assign to layer from the toolbar. From here, I can assign the object to the appropriate layer.


Example 3-5

The last step is to go back and select Layers>Layer property in your toolbar. You can then uncheck the visibility for the IP address layer and “presto”! Save it as a PDF, and it’s ready to send to your vendor for RFP. If you think this is no big deal and just a parlor trick, think big picture and how much time it would save on an Enterprise map. You can also use this to separate network tiers, background images, or anything else that makes it easier to maintain your diagram.



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