How to build AWS Architecture Diagrams | Lucidchart Blog
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Lucidchart has updated its AWS shape library to reflect recent changes to Amazon's icons. Update your AWS diagrams to align with industry standards and best practices. Discover below why businesses across the globe are investing in AWS and how Lucidchart can help.

These days, a variety of technology services are required to develop, manage, and deploy products. Businesses seem to operate at high speeds, coupled with tight budgets and extensive levels of complexity, in order to be innovative and competitive in today’s markets. To achieve this goal, companies need a cost-effective and fully functional infrastructure platform. That’s why many are turning to cloud-based platforms like Amazon Web Services (AWS) for durable storage, high-performance databases, and low-cost computing.

Ready to start building your AWS architecture diagram?

What’s the big deal, AWS?

AWS is offered as an infrastructure as a service (IaaS). It’s a public cloud-based platform that offers a wide range of services that go far beyond simple web hosting (although it does that, too). With data centers around the world, AWS has become widely used by companies such as NASA, Netflix, Slack, Expedia, and many more—including Lucidchart.

Businesses can select the geographic region and Availablity Zone (AZ) in which their AWS solutions are stored, hosted, or deployed. The allure of AWS is that it allows businesses to design, host, and scale their applications without worrying about, security, limitations, capabilities, or unreliability while deploying their product(s) in the cloud.

You can invest in AWS a la carte so you can get exactly what you need to adapt as your business ebbs and flows. For example, businesses invest in AWS services for batch processing, e-commerce websites, data storage solutions, web application hosting, blockchain networks, time series processing, content delivery, robotics, and more. Often, businesses invest in a number of AWS services that work together to deliver sophisticated applications to customers.

What is AWS architecture?

If you invest in AWS, you will likely build an AWS architecture diagram to better understand how to launch and manage your product, whether you’re simply trying to host a website or develop, test, and deploy robotics applications.

Your AWS architecture is the backbone of your network so it should be carefully and thoughtfully designed. Consider these best practices when architecting:

  • Automate
  • Apply data caching
  • Remove single points of error
  • Design for fault-tolerance
  • Design for cost optimization
  • Build security into your design

AWS architecture diagrams

If you’re building a solution to be deployed on AWS, you’ll likely build an architecture diagram first, whether you are migrating your on-premise applications to AWS or building new architecture patterns for cloud-native. AWS architecture diagrams make it easier to understand the process of architecting, building, and running applications using AWS technology.

How to draw architecture diagrams varies given the needs of your business and the AWS services you subscribe to. However, most infrastructure diagrams use specific AWS shapes, which are tailored to sets, ranging from computing, database, networking and content delivery, and more.

Lines and arrows are used to signify relationships and flows between ports, while you can use container shapes to visualize your Virtual Private Cloud (VPC), AZs, transactions, etc.

AWS Web Application Hosting

Example of AWS Web Application Hosting (Click on image to modify online)

How to draw architecture diagrams using Lucidchart

As you configure the AWS building blocks to accommodate your workload, start mapping out an AWS network—it’s easy with Lucidchart's AWS integration and import capabilities. Whether you're making the transition to the cloud, meeting PCI compliance, or just putting together a visual reference, Lucidchart can help.

Here are some tips for getting started with Lucidchart:

Import your existing AWS architecture

With Lucidchart, you can import your existing AWS infrastructure from Visio, Gliffy, or OmniGraffle or via cross-account role, IAM user credentials, or CLI scripts. Lucidchart recommends creating an IAM user, creating a script with a read-only user with specific permissions.

If you have questions about security or importing, Lucidchart has resources and tutorials that will guide you through how to import your AWS architecture in the most secure way possible.

Create an AWS diagram

You can create your diagram using the auto layout option, or you can manually draw and build your diagram.

Auto layout

The auto-layout option will lay out each VPC and its contents on separate pages, while still giving you the freedom and flexibility to draw your own diagrams, too. Don’t worry—even after you generate your diagram, all of your architecture resources will be on the bottom left side of your toolbox.

Manual layout

If you choose the manual option, simply drag and drop your resources on to the canvas from your toolbox. Lucidchart will still allow you to connect resources and suggests other potential resources to connect with.  

Access data

Lucidchart simplifies how you view your data. When selecting a resource in your diagram, you can access all the data linked on that resource in the data to view or even add directly to the diagram, from your security groups and availability zones to VPC IDs and subnets.

Make connections

Easily show connections between different resources with Lucidchart. After you import information about your networking rules into Lucidchart, Lucidchart looks for matching inbound and outbound rules to identify additional potential connects in your diagrams, such as load balancers, auto-scaling groups, security rules, EC2 instances, and more.

Lucidchart might even help you draw connections in places you didn’t expect them because our AWS import draws connections based on security groups and subnets, looking for open ports on both sides of those connections.

Identify better solutions with layers

It’s safe to assume most companies are trying to improve. Even after your first migration to AWS, you will likely try to improve your architecture as time goes on, whether it’s reducing downtime, increasing performance, or EBS and EC2 optimization.

Build your current and future state architecture diagrams using layers in Lucidchart to identify weaknesses in your network. As you make changes, layers allow you to track the changes you’ve made over time.

Streamline feedback and review

After you finalize how to draw architecture diagrams that best reflect your network system, your next step is to communicate and solicit feedback with stakeholders, technical teams, and AWS architects. Lucidchart streamlines these communication processes, built in the cloud so you can work from anywhere, with anyone, and on any device or operating system, including Windows, Mac, and Linux.

You can provide feedback directly on your infrastructure diagram with @mention notifications and commenting features, or embed on a wiki, use presentation mode, share a URL, or integrate your diagrams into Google Slides, Atlassian, Confluence, and Slack.

Visualize your networks and get the most out of your AWS experience with Lucidchart today.