In the world of digital technology, organizations work in a hybrid multi-cloud and virtualized environment. Now, every digital organization requires an all-environment, real-time, fast, and consistent application dependency mapping tool that does not impact performance.
IT Service Management plays a vital role in keeping track of IT infrastructure, devices, applications, services, and their dependencies. But, to get a visual representation of the organization’s IT infrastructure, including hardware, software, applications, and data flows, the IT mapping process is of great use.
Sprintzeal's article aims to provide a thorough understanding of IT mapping and its overall usefulness for digital organizations.
Let's start with understanding the overall concept of IT mapping.
IT mapping refers to the process of creating a visual representation of the IT infrastructure of an organization. The IT infrastructure comprises hardware, software, applications, and data flows that are interrelated. With the help of IT mapping, assets, and their relationships can be visualized using diagrams or other visual representations.
Organizations' IT mapping includes incident management, documenting and managing IT assets, cloud migration, data center transformation, business continuity and disaster recovery, and cybersecurity and micro-segmentation.
IT mapping is not limited to the organization's asset mapping, it broadly includes visualization of network topology and structure and is recognized as IT infrastructure mapping.
An IT infrastructure map provides a detailed diagram of the servers, applications, and other endpoints that are deployed on the network and the network equipment (routers, firewalls, and ports) that manages traffic.
IT infrastructure mapping is best known for providing ideas about the resources of the organization and the relationships between its components. It also includes:
-gives operational awareness of the IT infrastructure
-gives a single view of people, processes, and technology
-empowers businesses to make smarter and faster decisions when disruptions occur.
IT mapping is a foundational process that allows any company to function, change, and grow while remaining secure, resilient, and profitable.
For creating a visual representation of an organization, IT mapping involves some critical steps that are as follows:
-First step requires an inventory of all assets. Organizational assets include hardware, software applications, and data sources for the organizations.
-Also, assets location, specification, and configuration of each asset are identified.
-After completing the inventory, the relationships between IT assets are identified.
-Further, data flows, connections, and dependencies between different parts of the system are identified.
-Once assets and relationships are identified, the IT environment can be visualized. The visual representation and diagram help in creating a visualization.
-Depiction of hardware, software components, data flows, and connections between different parts of components are included in creating a visualization.
-IT mapping process requires documentation of the IT environment. It includes specifications, configurations, and other important details about each asset that are identified in the initial phase of the mapping process.
-Documentation of the IT environment is used for reference and to support IT decision-making.
Analyze and optimize
-After documenting and visualizing the IT environment, the IT infrastructure is analyzed.
-Analysis of the infrastructure identifies areas for optimization or improvement. It includes the identification of inefficiencies, redundancies, or security vulnerabilities. Analysis of IT maps helps organizations with IT planning and decision-making.
Update and Maintain
-IT mapping is a continuous process that needs updating and maintenance to stay accurate and relevant. Updated IT maps must reflect changes in hardware, software, and data flows as the IT environment develops.
-IT mapping of network infrastructure provides a high-level overview of the entire network topology of the organization.
-IT infrastructure mapping is used for troubleshooting, to understand the relationship between application issues and hardware issues.
Planning & design
-IT mapping helps with planning and designing new IT infrastructure projects. It’s an essential tool for optimizing and managing the performance of an organization’s IT environment.
-IT infrastructure diagram gives an idea of the resources and their relationships with other components of the network.
-Information about the entire network, including downstream and upstream connections, components, and dependencies, can be clearly visualized on the network diagram.
-Makes it easy for the IT team to solve problems related to IT infrastructure, which includes the system architecture of servers, databases, routers, firewalls, similar components, IPs, ports, and data collection systems.
-IT mapping helps identify compliance issues. The regulatory policy framework of the organizations and application components must be discoverable for early detection of compliance issues.
-With an IT mapping, it can trigger configuration changes automatically and comply with a consistent compliance policy with any change to an application.
-Real-time operational visibility throughout the organization, including customers.
-With a complete visualization of all the IT systems and the work processes that businesses support, it is easier for organizations to take quick action on the disruptions and prioritize response activities.
There are many known IT infrastructure mapping tools, but here are a few that stand out for their set of features and effectiveness.
-Comes with network mapping features. It provides a topology view of the network that helps in the visualization of network partitions, dependencies, and bottlenecks.
-includes network monitoring and management features, e.g., SNMP
-It is known as a network mapping and monitoring tool that gives real-time updates.
-Best known for the feature of visualizing the result superimposed on Google Earth Maps.
-It is a comprehensive network monitoring system. Domotz consists of features for managing network devices. It has an added feature of automated network infrastructure mapping for plotting the endpoints on a network.
-Other features of Domotz are alerts, dashboards, SNMP monitoring, apps and cloud monitoring, remote access, and network security scans.
-SolarWinds Network Topology Mapper (NTM) is a network mapping and visualizing tool. It helps in understanding, planning, and troubleshooting infrastructure with the use of the standard protocol.
-The set of features also includes network discovery, automated change detection, map generation, and real-time monitoring.
IT mapping helps in solving the challenges that organizations face, such as incident management challenges, server consolidation and virtualization, data center transformation, and cloud migration. Here are some best practices that can make IT mapping more effective:
Include detailed and relevant data
-Practice including more data, incorporating Layer 1 to Layer 3 connections, IP addresses, and network device types.
-This helps in understanding the exact plan of action required at the time of maintenance, troubleshooting, and upgrading.
Keep IT infrastructure maps up-to-date
-Outdated information on IT infrastructure maps is of no use, it leads to misunderstandings, and tracking information on outdated maps is a waste of time.
-Manual or automated updating on the map can keep the maps up-to-date.
Capturing network status
-Capturing or taking a snapshot of the network map can help in managing the configuration and refer to the state of the network at any point in time.
-with this practice, the evolution of the network over time can be visualized.
Keep IT infrastructure maps accessible
-IT infrastructure maps are roadmaps for the organization's applications, hardware, software, and network.
-It must be accessible to other people when they need it. Access to the IT infrastructure maps should be provided to authorized members of the organization.
Use of Standard Icons
-For a clear understanding of the IT maps by other people, it’s important to use icons that clearly depict organization network topology, connections, and devices.
-By using standard icons, it becomes easy to figure out different components of the IT infrastructure.
In the end, it’s always a good idea to understand the IT infrastructure of the organization through IT mapping. This not only helps in visualizing the hardware, software, and network relationships but also helps in providing a complete visual representation of the application dependencies.
Apart from giving a visual representation of the IT environment, it helps in understanding the current state of IT infrastructure, planning, designing, and updating a new IT infrastructure, troubleshooting, and problem-solving.
If you find this article helpful, visit Sprintzeal's blog page for more informative blogs. Check out the Sprintzeal course page for globally recognized certification courses to boost your career. For any queries related to the courses or to get in touch with us, click here.
Read more blogs to cover
ITIL Framework and Certifications Guide 2022Article
Top 25 ITIL Interview Questions and Answers in 2023Article
What is ITIL – Information Technology Infrastructure Library jobs and Certification BenefitsArticle
How to become a certified ITIL Expert in 2023Article
Is ITIL a fit for your organization's culture?Article
ITIL Framework ExplainedArticle
TOP 10 BENEFITS OF TOGAF CERTIFICATION IN ENTERPRISE ARCHITECTUREArticle
The Importance of ITIL certification and scope for career growthArticle
ITIL Certification Levels and Job ScopeArticle
Well Explained : The IT Service Management and ITSM Design, Concepts and its BenefitsArticle
All about ITIL 4 practices – Updates, Service Types and BenefitsArticle
ITIL Strategist Certification Overview And Career PathArticle
Enterprise Architect Interview Questions and Answers 2023Article
Release Manager Interview Questions and Answers 2022Article
How to Become a Release ManagerArticle
ITIL Processes List – 26 ITIL Processes and 5 ITIL Service Lifecycle StagesArticle
Axelos and TSO launch MSP Foundation appArticle
ITIL Problem Management Guide for BeginnersArticle
ITIL Guiding Principles ExplainedArticle
What is ServiceNow - A Beginner's GuideArticle
ServiceNow - What is it, Fundamentals And FeaturesArticle
A Guide to Enterprise Asset ManagementArticle
Top 5 IT Service Management Tools in 2023Article
Service Value System in ITIL 4 Explained in DetailArticle
The ITIL 4 Service Desk Guide – Types and ImportanceArticle
Top 6 ITSM best practicesArticle
ESM vs ITSM - Key Differences ExplainedArticle
Last updated on Sep 27 2023
Last updated on Dec 8 2022
Last updated on Nov 17 2022
Last updated on Feb 18 2022
Last updated on Jan 9 2023
Last updated on Apr 4 2023