World peace. Sample link to show link color here...The Cubs winning the world series. Proof that Santa Claus is real (for the kids, of course - wink). All of your stakeholders only needing to see the same view of your networks. Dream on, right? Oh, wait: the Cubs finally did win the world series, and now there’s an app that transposes Santa in your living room. World peace is still a work in progress, and while your stakeholders likely still need to see views of your network from slightly different angles, network documentation software makes things a whole lot easier for you! How, exactly, can you use it to show a device when one group needs a physical view and a different one needs a logical view? Let’s take a look!
Here’s an example: perhaps you have some users who are interested in just the physical representation of your network (tabling views or rack elevation) and you have another group of users that need a logical view (L2 and so on). You can absolutely do this using netTerrain - and there’s no need to duplicate your work or enter anything twice!
We’ll start in the physical view. Say you’ve got a switch that you need to show in an L3 logical view - how do you do this? You might be thinking, “can i just copy it from my physical view and go into the L3 view and paste it?” That sounds good, but, unfortunately: nope…
Copying and pasting creates problems, namely: data syncing problems. When you copy and paste at first, you’ll begin with the same data, but it’s very possible for your copied element to get of synch. Fortunately, though, there’s a better way to do this: meet The Alias.
What is an alias? It’s an exact mirror of the original object that always keeps the properties in sync with that object. In layman’s terms, it’s turbocharged copying and pasting.
For example, in netTerrain, you can copy the physical representation of a device and “paste it” in the logical view as an alias. If the IP address were to change down the road for one of these objects, the IP address for the other one would automatically change too.
Another helpful function? You can assign different icons to the same object based on which view with which you access the object. It, of course, depends on which network documentation tool you end using - and it’s definitely a feature to consider and ask about. For example (in netTerrain): you can create a rule that assigns a certain icon based on the object’s type.
When you have different alias of the same object, you can forge appropriate connections based on the layer in which you are viewing the object. Create and view a logical connection when you’re in a logical diagram. Then, for that some object, create a power connection between a fuse panel and a switch when you’re in the physical view. Switch back to your logical view and there’s the logical connection you created!
So, to summarize, when you need to show the same objects in different views for different users, you can do this using an alias (depending on which network documentation software you have). Using an alias saves you time and ensures accurate data. Beyond that, your connections will also be neat and display only when pertinent to the view which you are utilizing.