An architecture diagram is a representation of all or part of the AWS infrastructure you and your company use daily. Therefore, it is essential to present the diagram in a way that optimizes its readability. Your AWS architecture diagram essentially illustrates the different technical elements in your AWS infrastructure and how they interact.
In order to create your diagram, there are several prerequisites.
Have a clear overview of your AWS Cloud architecture from two different perspectives. The first will be general; draw or describe verbatim your AWS infrastructure in a broad outline without going into detail. This will allow you to identify groups of items as well as potential links between them. Afterward, you can fill these large parts with the precise resources that compose the diagram and all the different interactions between them.
Keep in mind that others may have to consult your architecture diagram or even use it as a baseline for their work. Therefore, it is important that during its realization, you put yourself in the shoes of your team members, clients, or external parties.
Write a glossary to append to your diagram. Each company has its own interpretation of technical terms. Any non-insider will have difficulty reading the diagram without understanding the company’s jargon.
Architecture documentation is a major asset in developing your AWS infrastructure diagram. With technical documentation, you can define the context of your infrastructure and the functionalities fulfilled by applications or resources. The development of your documentation will make it easier for an outside person to take over your activities. Furthermore, documenting all of your ideas will allow you to revise them and provide a clearer vision of your architecture as a whole.
Now that these prerequisites are in place, you have everything you need to draw AWS diagrams. For optimal reading and understanding, here are 5 tips you can follow.
Whenever possible, the connections between the elements of your AWS infrastructure diagram should be isolated from each other and should not intersect. Intersecting segments could confuse the reader. Try to bring together interconnected elements in order to limit their length. Doing so will limit the risk of crossing or overlapping with other connections or elements in your diagram.
The terminology used in your diagram should be clear. It is advisable to also label the connections. For example, using continuous or broken lines, different thicknesses, or even different colors. Likewise, use distinct and contrasting colors for different types of resources.
Be careful not to use too many colors to avoid distorting the reading and to quickly identify the different groups of elements.
Use multiple AWS diagrams. Feel free to split your diagram if the infrastructure you want to draw is too large. For example, you can define in a second diagram in more detail an important and isolated block of your infrastructure.
Use documentation generation software. Diagramming and documentation generation software will allow you to omit or greatly simplify all the previous steps. Cloudockit will allow you to generate your documentation and architecture diagrams with their own icons and colors. The software can document not only AWS, but also Azure, GCP, Hyper-V, and VMware. In addition, our Tailored Diagrams feature will allow you to customize your diagram according to the criteria described in this article.