The Most Important Benefits of Your AWS Architecture Documentation


Louis-Philippe Joly

April 2021 – Reviewed September 2022

Cloud computing is now the primary choice for data storing and application management for major companies around the world. AWS currently holds the biggest market share for public clouds; however, most companies adopt a multi-cloud, and hybrid-cloud, strategy.

The data shared and used in the Cloud is excessively difficult to manage; budgets are regularly exceeded, security breaches are on the rise, and data is being lost.

Good AWS architecture documentation can significantly help companies save millions of dollars and ensure proper security by identifying potential waste and threats. Furthermore, if you use software to automatically generate your documentation, you won’t only save time, but you will also avoid human errors.

Follow this quick guide on the most important parts of your technical documentation.

AWS Security Compliance Rules

Data security, security breaches, and data loss are some of the most important concerns to think of when migrating to a public cloud. After all, headlines in the news are often filled with reports of major security breaches in some of the biggest companies in the world.

According to AWS, public clouds are the most flexible and secure cloud computing environment available today. However, without proper documentation to track your compliance rules, the most secured cloud on the market won’t be of help.

Your IT team should make the best use of your AWS architecture documentation to constantly keep track of the compliance rules integrated within AWS, and of your custom rules. Use Cloudockit to take advantage of the possibility to create your own compliance standards based on your business needs. Cloudockit allows you to build a list of any type of security compliance rules you want to track and deliver up-to-date documentation.

Change Tracking for Your AWS Architecture

Tracking changes in your cloud environments can be a nightmare. Since multiple employees have access to the Cloud, it is easy to lose track of significant changes being made. Robust and updated Cloud documentation is key to keeping track of changes and gaining better insight into how your cloud’s environment is evolving.

A great advantage of the change tracking section of your AWS technical documentation is being able to compare an application on the day of production versus months later. This ensures the initial architecture is accurate. Lastly, you can have visibility on modifications that occurred in case of an application outage.

AWS Cloud Spending

Cloud spending is quickly becoming a top expense for many companies. Many companies spend more than 1 million dollars per month. As technology evolves, it is virtually impossible not to rely on cloud services. According to the Flexera 2022 State of the Cloud Report, thirty-seven percent of enterprises said their annual spending exceeded $12 million and 80 percent reported that cloud spending exceeds $1.2 million per year.

The major downside, however, is that companies are overspending by an average of 24%. With so many companies struggling these days due to the pandemic, those funds could have been better spent elsewhere.

AWS technical documentation will help you monitor cloud costs and prevent overspending on cloud services. Visualize in real time where your budget is being spent. The report can be shared between all levels of your company to ensure every department is staying within their allocated budgets.

May we suggest designating a specific employee(s) for the management of cloud spending? With updated AWS architecture documentation, they won’t have to look far for the data. With the detailed view of your spending, broken down by cloud component, you will easily spot where you are over budget.

Examples of technical documentation generated by Cloudockit

AWS Cloud Components & Applications

Detailed information on every cloud component will help you detect machines no longer in use.  You will then know which machine to deactivate, a real cost-cutting opportunity. Furthermore, viewing detailed information of all your cloud components will allow you to see how many machines your environment has and easily see what usage is made of them.

The Executive Summary

Not everyone in your company needs to know all the details of your AWS cloud architecture. An Executive Summary can easily be passed around to executives who only want the big picture. Cloudockit offers an executive template for a quick glance at cloud spending, compliance rules, and an overall summary.

AWS Technical Documentation with Cloudockit

Cloudockit offers auto-generated technical documentation, which includes architecture diagrams and cloud reports.

The reports are available in 5 built-in templates — Full, Essential, Executive, Billing, and Changes —, to meet the needs of your different stakeholders. Simply select the reports you would like to generate and Cloudockit will do the rest. For example, you can generate the Executive report for senior management and the Full report for the IT department.

Depending on the template you select, your cloud report will contain some or all the following sections, in varying levels of detail:

    • Executive Summary: Quick overview of the data centers in use, components, consumption trends, filters, and changes since your last document generation.
    • Billing: Cloud spending information. See the general trends and the exact amount spent on specific cloud components.
    • Compliance: Evaluation results of each compliance rule you have chosen to monitor, colour-coded to easily pinpoint possible issues.
    • Cloud Components & Applications: Details relevant to your cloud components and applications, including settings, network interfaces, security groups, tags, launch configurations, warnings, and more.
    • Track changes: Changes made since your last document generation. For thorough monitoring, use the scheduling and automation features to generate your documentation

Cloud documentation is the key to easily keeping track of changes in the environment, compliance and security and spending. Cloud reports can also help facilitate onboarding, cloud migration, and are necessary for internal audits.


Other sources: Forbes: One-Third Of Cloud Spending Wasted, But Still Accelerates