Creating nice AWS (Amazon Web Services) diagrams is quite a complex task. Sure you can create small diagrams with a few basic components like an EC2 Instance, a few S3 Buckets and a VPC. However, when it comes to creating a diagram of your complete AWS account, it becomes more complex. Multiple factors can affect the complexity of your AWS diagrams.
Here are a few hints to draw wonderful AWS diagrams and impress your boss!
This tip is quite obvious and most of the time it is a natural way of creating diagrams. For example, you will place the Elastic Load Balancer near the EC2 instance which is also needed for the S3 storage bucket. Typically, you also create layered diagrams. One layer containing all the Elastic Load Balancers and a separate layer for your Networking components like VPC and route 53.
The diagram above is easy to read because it respects the following best practices.
Having a nice AWS architecture diagram gives you a good visualization of what you have in your Accounts and where the dependencies are. You will also avoid having to jump to the documentation as soon as you want to see more details. That is why you should leverage data when possible.
Most of the well-known diagramming tools will give you the option to add data to your shape. Here is an example of screenshots of Draw.io and Visio diagrams that show how to add data.
It is important to adapt your drawings to your audience. The best way to achieve this is to find different ways to group your shapes and play with the level of details you display. For example, if you draw a diagram for your Network specialist, you should probably include Networking details.
If you are an Application Specialist and you want to display your components (including some related to VPC), you should draw something like this.
For ease, it is always better to work as “classic” AWS diagrams tool that are well known and that employees already use. Below are some advantages of using “classic” diagrams.
Since your AWS infrastructure is continually changing, keeping your diagrams up to date becomes a very difficult task. That is where a tool like Cloudockit comes into play: it will automatically generate your AWS diagrams.
Currently, Cloudockit can only generate new diagrams, however, we are currently working on giving you the option to update your existing diagrams. This means you will be able to create a diagram with Cloudockit, adapt it the way you want and add extra shapes as needed. Then, we will update the diagram with new components and new detected links.
You need to use consistent and up-to-date stencils to draw diagrams not only for AWS but also for your other environments like Hyper-V, VMware. Consistent diagrams are also important for other cloud providers like Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform. For that reason, we have chosen to make our Cloudockit stencil free for download. We hope this will help you draw 2D and 3D diagrams that make sense across all your IT Systems.
If you want to make sure your diagrams are well understood by anyone working in the AWS playfield, ensure that you are using the real AWS stencils, not a stencil that you have created and you think is nicer than AWS official ones. AWS has recently released a new set of icons that you can download it here: AWS Diagrams Tool