AWS was the first player in the Cloud Industry so many of you have probably plenty of resources deployed in AWS. And what happens when you incrementally add new components in your AWS environment? It becomes messy.
Do you feel like you recognize yourself in these statements?
- I do not have a clear vision of what is deployed in my AWS Accounts
- I have no clue what the dependencies between all the resources are
- I have lost control on the AWS Console access, so I am not sure what is changing in all my AWS Account
- I am far from having up-to-date diagrams and documentation
If yes, do not feel guilty you are not alone! And that’s one of the reason why we built Cloudockit.
Here is how Cloudockit will help you solve these issues:
Cloudockit gives you a clear and complete visualization of your AWS environment
Cloudockit reduces the burden of manually creating Diagrams that become obsolete after just a few weeks or even a few days… We will automatically scan all your AWS components and detect the dependencies. Then, Cloudockit will position all the shapes for you, add the properties on the shapes (like Number of Core for an EC2 Instance) and link all the Shapes together.
This is a really difficult task to properly organize architecture diagrams automatically. Indeed, when we started Cloudockit (back in the days when it was Azure DocKit), we thought about the ideal way to represent everything and after many attempts, we concluded that there was not single best way to visualize your AWS architecture in a diagram. Indeed, depending on the scenario that you want to achieve, you may want to see one big single diagram or a diagram with one tab per resource group or many other combination…
The way we addressed that was to create multiple diagrams in a .zip file so that you get all the views that you need:
- AWS Diagram per Resource Group:
- This Visio file has a tab per resource group so that you can easily see what is inside a resource group.
- One of the drawbacks of this visualization is that it is harder to see dependencies across resource groups
- AWS Diagram per Workload Type:
- This Visio file has one tab per workload type (ex: EC2, S3, Elastic Beanstalk, VPC…) that provides a good visualization depending on who you are: typically, an IT Ops guy will be more interested in the EC2 tab whereas a DevOps guy will be more interested in the Web Apps tab
- AWS Global Diagram:
- This architecture diagram contains absolutely everything. While this is very good to see everything and the relationship in one shot, it is tough to read when you have a big AWS account
- AWS Diagram per application:
- This is one of the most requested features from our users. AWS architects make a pretty intensive use of Tags to organize their resources and they ask us to allow to specify a tag to use to group resources in Visio Diagrams
- With the AWS Diagram per application feature, you can select a Tag that correspond to your application grouping (or whatever grouping that you like) and Cloudockit will automatically generate one diagram per application
Cloudockit lets you work in the Diagraming tools you know with native support of Visio & Draw.io
All architecture diagrams automatically generated by Cloudockit are .vsdx files which are native Visio files. That has plenty of advantages as it will allow you to modify the file as you want. One of the most common scenarios of using Cloudockit Diagramming feature is to visualize the existing environment so that you can present to a review board the changes that you are planning to do. That’s where this is really important to be able to modify the file that Cloudockit has generated.
In addition to that, you can modify the texts, the shapes, the layers and everything that you usually do in Visio:
To create those diagrams automatically, we have developed a stencil that contains the most used workloads for Azure, AWS and GCP and you can also access this Cloud Visio Stencil for free.
We are also fully supporting draw.io so when you generate your Cloudockit diagrams you will be able to choose the diagraming tool that make the most sense for you.
Cloudockit helps you build awesome visualization of your Application Architectures with 3D Diagrams support
Cloudockit generates both 2D and 3D Diagrams (you can select if you want both or just one of this format).
This was a pretty hard work to make it work as Visio has no native support of Isometric diagram rendering so we pretty much developed everything manually!
Here is the result:
Those diagrams are fully editable as the 2D Version.
Cloudockit schedules the diagrams generation so that you always have up-to-date diagrams
This feature is provided by the Automation feature of Cloudockit that allows you to schedule the document generation (including the diagrams). You can choose when you want to generate up-to-date diagrams and Cloudockit will automatically proceed with the generation of the diagrams.
Plenty other useful features of diagrams
Here is a list of other features that you may be interested in:
- Diagrams are embedded in the Word Document
- Cloudockit generates a full Word Document in addition to the Visio Diagrams and those diagrams are included in the Word:
- Embedded Visio in the word document: by default, diagrams are embedded as picture in the word document but you can also embed them as Editable Visio object so that when you click on it, you can directly edit it in the word document. Be careful with the size of the word document that it generates, it can become pretty big.
We are working really hard to improve the AWS Diagrams that we currently create. Here are a few features we are currently working on:
- Increase readability of the diagrams. As we speak we are leveraging AI in the auto-layout algorithm of Cloudockit to improve the readability
- Ability to reupload diagrams. Most of the time, you do manual changes on the Cloudockit generated diagram so we will allow you to re-upload your diagrams and Cloudockit will just update the connections and add the new detected resources
- Support Layered Diagrams
- In Azure diagrams, Cloudockit provide diagrams that have multi layers like the Virtual Machine Diagrams where you can choose if you want to see UDR or NSG in the diagram by selecting the layers to display
- Add Data to the Shapes
- We want to give you more power in the way you use the Visio diagrams so we will add Data to the shape in the upcoming month. For instance, you will see Data that will tell you if an EC2 Instance is up or down, the number of CPU…
If you have any feature suggestion, please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org, this is always greatly appreciated.
If you want to have an overall picture of Cloudockit, please see our website at https://www.cloudockit.com
You may also be interested in this article on how to create nice AWS Diagrams.