Amazon Web Services (AWS) was the first player in the cloud industry, therefore many of you probably already have plenty of resources deployed in the provider. What happens when you incrementally add new components in your AWS environment? It becomes messy.
Do 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 certain what is changing in all my AWS Accounts
- I am far from having up-to-date AWS infrastructure diagrams and documentation
If yes, do not feel guilty, you are not alone! And that’s one of the reasons 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 add the properties on the shapes (like Number of Core for an EC2 Instance) and link all the shapes together.
It is a very 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 wasn’t a single best way to visualize your AWS architecture in a diagram. Depending on the scenario you want to achieve, you may want to see one big diagram or a diagram with multiple tabs per resource group or even many other combinations.
The way we addressed the problem was to create multiple diagrams in a .zip file for you to get all the views you need.
- AWS Diagram per Resource Group:
- This Visio file has a tab per resource group so 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, VP, etc) 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 everything. While it is very good to see everything and the relationships in one shot, it is hard to read when you have a large AWS account
- AWS Diagram per application:
- This is one of the most popular features from our users. AWS architects make an intensive use of Tags to organize their resources. They asked us to allow to specify a tag to use and group resources in Visio Diagrams
- With the AWS Diagram per application feature, you can select a Tag that corresponds 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 diagramming tools you know with native support of Visio, Draw.io & LucidChart
All architecture diagrams automatically generated by Cloudockit are .vsdx files which are native Visio files. This 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 features is to visualize the existing environment to let you can present the changes you are planning to a review board. That is where it is 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 the diagrams automatically, we have developed a stencil that contains the most used workloads for Azure, AWS and GCP. You can also access this Cloud Visio Stencil for free.
We also fully support draw.io and LucidChart so when you generate your Cloudockit diagrams you will be able to choose the diagraming tool that makes the most sense for you.
Cloudockit helps you build awesome visualization of your Application Architectures with the support of 3D Diagrams
Cloudockit generates both 2D and 3D diagrams (you can select if you want both or just one of this format).
Since Visio has no native support of Isometric diagram rendering, the Cloudockit team worked very hard to develope everything manually.
Here are the results:
The diagram above are fully editable as a 2D Version.
Cloudockit schedules the diagrams generation to always have up-to-date diagrams
This feature is provided by Cloudockit’s Automation feature which 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 of other useful features of diagrams
Here is a list of other features you may be interested in:
- Diagrams are embedded in the Word Documents
- Cloudockit generates a full Word Document in addition to the Visio Diagrams. All diagrams are included in the Word document
- Embedded Visio in the Word document: by default, diagrams are embedded as pictures in the Word document, however, you can also embed them as Editable Visio object. When you click on the Editable Visio object, you can directly edit it in Word. Be careful with the size of the Word document it generates, it can become very heavy.
- Cloudockit lets you choose what Name should be displayed in the diagram instead of the built-in AWS Ids. For example, if you have a Tag Name, you can specify it
See what’s wrong directly in your diagrams
Cloudockit features Compliance Rules that will be checked when scanning your AWS Diagrams:
When you select those rules, you will see the components that have issues directly in the Visio
And when you click on the red flags, you see the list of issues.
We are working very hard to improve the AWS diagrams 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 update the connections and add the new detected resources
- Support Layered Diagrams
- In Azure diagrams, Cloudockit provides 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. We will add Data to the shapes in the upcoming months. For example, 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.