Dia the open source Visio

If you need to create quick and easy diagrams but can’t justify a full priced tool like SmartDraw or Visio then you’re in luck. Dia is an open source diagramming tool that will make a welcome addition to your diagramming toolkit.

Dia comes with a wide range of symbols ready to drag ‘n drop onto your drawings. The symbols snap together so that moving one of the symbols also moves all of the connectors, just like in Visio. Perfect for creating network, Entity Relationship (ER) and UML diagrams.

You can also export the digrams into a rich array of file formats including many web friendly formats. Perfect for creating diagrams for your blog… 😉

Is Dia as good as Visio? No, it lacks the polish of Visio but it allows me to produce the diagrams I want in a reasonable amount of time…and that’s good enough for me.

Dia comes with a Windows installer, so it’s a breeze to give it a go.

What’s Up Rises to Top in Bake-Off

What’s Up Gold screenshot

CRN Tech put network management solutions up against one another and gave Ipswitch WhatsUp Gold Premium v11 first-place for its robust features, strong troubleshooting capabilities and comprehensive reports. Engineers were particularly impressed with its feature set, price/performance and integration capabilities, giving it top marks across those three categories. SolarWinds LANSurveyor 10 came second, with AdRem Netcrunch (personally I’ve not heard of this) third. The full article puts these solutions through their paces and is worth a read.

Not the Dud but the Dude

Brendan from Sentinal was kind enough to point out a new open source network mapping tool. It looks really good and so far seems to work! It’s called The Dude, probably sounds better in an American accent, and I tried it on our test network with the following results.

OPENXTRA Test Network

There are more screenshots on the Microtik website.

Did I mention that it’s free?

I haven’t had time to compare it to other tools but it was simple to install and it worked first time.