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.
I still use Corel Draw 3 for my network diagrams, so its not unheard
of to use something other than Visio.
The main benefit to Visio comes when -someone else- needs to make an
update to your network diagram. They probably have access to a copy of
Visio and enough knowledge about using it to make a minor tweak to
your diagram. The same can't be said of Autocad. Or Corel Draw.