Our complete guide about cloud architectures diagrams

May 15, 2024

Everything you need to know about cloud diagrams

Cloud architecture diagrams are visual representations of the structure and components of a cloud computing environment. These diagrams help organizations understand and communicate the complex relationships and interactions between various cloud services, applications, and data flows.

In this article, we will provide a comprehensive guide to creating effective cloud architecture diagrams, including the key components, best practices, and tools to use.

What is a cloud diagram?

A cloud diagram is a visual representation of the architecture of a cloud computing system. It provides a clear and concise overview of the various components and their interactions within the system. These diagrams are commonly used by IT professionals, system architects, and developers to plan, design, and communicate the infrastructure and flow of data within a cloud environment.

Cloud diagrams play a crucial role in understanding complex cloud computing architectures. They provide a visual aid that helps in identifying potential bottlenecks, security vulnerabilities, and areas for optimization. With the rapid adoption of cloud computing, businesses are increasingly relying on these diagrams to optimize their infrastructure, improve performance, and ensure smooth operations.

Types of cloud architecture diagrams

Every cloud architect understands that without collaboration among all team members, infrastructure design is likely to result in a complete disaster. See the 3 cloud types diagrams below.

High-level cloud architecture diagrams

High-level cloud architecture diagrams are essential tools for organizations to visually represent the overall structure and components of their cloud computing services. These diagrams provide a broad overview of the cloud environment, showcasing the interactions between different systems, applications, and data storage mechanisms. By creating high-level cloud architecture diagrams, organizations can better understand the complexity of their cloud infrastructure, identify potential areas for optimization, and communicate effectively with stakeholders.

In a high-level cloud architecture diagram, key components such as virtual machines, databases, networking infrastructure, and security protocols are typically represented with symbols and connectors to illustrate how they interact within the cloud environment.

These diagrams serve as a blueprint for planning updates, troubleshooting issues, and implementing new features within the cloud environment.

Low-level cloud architecture diagrams

Low-level cloud architecture diagrams delve deeper into the intricate details of a cloud infrastructure, providing a granular depiction of individual components and their configurations. Unlike high-level diagrams, which offer a broad overview, low-level diagrams zoom in on specific aspects such as server configurations, network protocols, and data flow patterns. These diagrams are invaluable for system administrators and engineers tasked with fine-tuning performance, optimizing resource allocation, and ensuring the security of the cloud environment.

By meticulously mapping out every element of the infrastructure, organizations can gain insights into potential bottlenecks, vulnerabilities, and areas for improvement.

Low-level cloud architecture diagrams serve as comprehensive documentation for system maintenance, troubleshooting, and compliance purposes.

Hybrid cloud architecture diagrams

Hybrid cloud architecture diagrams illustrate the intricate integration of multiple cloud environments, combining public and private clouds to leverage the benefits of both models.

These diagrams depict the seamless interaction between on-premises infrastructure, private cloud resources, and public cloud services, showcasing how data and workloads flow between different environments.

Hybrid cloud architectures offer flexibility, scalability, and cost-efficiency by allowing organizations to deploy workloads where they best fit, whether it's on-premises for sensitive data or in the public cloud for elastic scalability.

These diagrams are essential for organizations navigating the complexity of hybrid cloud deployments, providing clarity on resource allocation, data management strategies, and security measures across disparate environments.

Common elements in a cloud architecture diagram

In a typical cloud architecture diagram, several common elements play pivotal roles in illustrating the intricate workings of a cloud environment:

Cloud providers and platforms:

Central to any cloud architecture are the providers and platforms utilized to host services and applications. Whether it's Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform (GCP), IBM Cloud or Alibaba Cloud, depicting these providers in the diagram clarifies the underlying infrastructure. The wide variety of offers underlines the need to visualize your architecture by diagrams.

Networking components:

Networking forms the backbone of cloud architectures, connecting various components and facilitating communication between them. Elements such as virtual networks, subnets, routers, and load balancers are depicted to showcase how data flows within the cloud environment.

Storage and databases:

Storage solutions and databases are integral parts of cloud infrastructures, responsible for housing data and enabling efficient retrieval and manipulation. Including components like object storage, file storage, relational databases, and NoSQL databases in the diagram illustrates how data is stored and accessed within the cloud.

Applications and services:

Applications and services represent the functional aspects of the cloud architecture, encompassing software deployed on the cloud platform to fulfill specific business needs. Whether it's web applications, APIs, microservices, or serverless functions, visualizing these elements helps in understanding the overall system functionality.

Security and compliance measures:

Security and compliance are paramount in cloud environments, with various measures in place to protect data, applications, and infrastructure from threats and ensure adherence to regulatory requirements. Components like firewalls, encryption mechanisms, identity and access management (IAM), and compliance frameworks are depicted to emphasize the robust security posture of the architecture.

Why should you create cloud infrastructure diagrams?

Cloud infrastructure diagrams are essential tools for organizations looking to effectively manage their enterprise cloud computing services. By visually documenting the architecture of their cloud environment, organizations can reap numerous benefits that ultimately enhance their operations and decision-making processes.

One key reason to create cloud infrastructure diagrams is to provide a clear and detailed overview of the organization's cloud environment. These diagrams help stakeholders, both technical and non-technical, understand the complex infrastructure supporting their operations. Visual communication can unlock complex ideas and help stakeholders grasp unfamiliar concepts, making it easier to collaborate, troubleshoot issues, and plan for updates.

In addition, creating cloud infrastructure diagrams can improve documentation practices within the organization. By documenting the current-state infrastructure, organizations can easily onboard new employees or leaders and help them understand the infrastructure that supports their day-to-day work. This documentation can also serve as a valuable reference for troubleshooting issues and making informed decisions about future updates or changes to the cloud environment.

Furthermore, cloud infrastructure diagrams can help organizations ensure that their cloud architecture is easily portable. By using cloud agnostic tools, organizations can design their cloud environment in a way that allows for seamless migration between different cloud service providers. This flexibility is crucial for organizations looking to adapt to changing business needs or take advantage of different cloud services and features offered by different providers.

Overall, creating cloud infrastructure diagrams is a valuable practice for organizations looking to optimize their cloud environment, improve communication among stakeholders, and plan for the future. By visually documenting the architecture of their cloud environment, organizations can enhance their understanding of their cloud services, improve documentation practices, and ensure flexibility in their cloud architecture.

How do you make an architecture diagram?

How do you make an architecture diagram?

Creating a cloud architecture diagram is essential for visually documenting an organization's enterprise cloud computing services. To make an architecture diagram, follow these steps:

Identify components

Start by identifying all the components of your cloud architecture, including on-premise resources, cloud resources, software components, and services, as well as middleware.

Define relationships

Determine the relationships between the components in your cloud architecture. This will help you understand how different elements interact with each other.

Choose a tool

Select a cloud architecture diagramming tool that suits your needs. There are various tools available, such as Lucidchart and Gliffy Cloud Architecture Diagrams, that can help you create professional-looking diagrams.

Use templates

Utilize templates provided by the diagramming tool to save time and ensure consistency in your diagrams. Templates for popular cloud service providers like AWS, Azure, and GCP are available to help you get started.

Auto-generate diagrams

Some tools offer the option to auto-generate diagrams based on your cloud architecture data. This can save you time and effort in creating detailed diagrams.

Customize and modify

Once you have a basic diagram in place, customize it to fit your organization's specific cloud architecture. Add details, annotations, and labels to make the diagram more informative.

Review and update

Regularly review your cloud architecture diagram to ensure it accurately reflects the current state of your infrastructure. Update it whenever there are changes or additions to your cloud services.

By following these steps, you can create an effective and informative cloud architecture diagram that will help you communicate, plan, and troubleshoot your organization's cloud environment.

Factors to consider when designing your cloud architecture

Factors to consider when designing your cloud architecture

Designing a cloud architecture for your organization is a crucial task that requires careful consideration of various factors. The right cloud architecture can ensure optimal performance, scalability, security, and cost-effectiveness for your cloud computing services. Here are some key factors to consider when designing your cloud architecture:

Business requirements

Start by understanding your organization's specific business requirements and goals. Consider factors such as workload demands, data storage needs, compliance requirements, and growth projections. Your cloud architecture should be aligned with your business objectives to ensure that it can support your organization's operations effectively.


One of the key benefits of cloud computing is its scalability. Your cloud architecture should be designed to easily scale up or down based on changing demands. Consider factors such as auto-scaling capabilities, load balancing, and resource provisioning to ensure that your cloud infrastructure can handle fluctuations in workload without impacting performance.


Security is a critical aspect of cloud architecture design. Ensure that your cloud architecture includes robust security measures to protect your data, applications, and infrastructure from cyber threats. Consider factors such as data encryption, access control, network security, and compliance with industry regulations to secure your cloud environment effectively.

Cost optimization

Cloud architecture design should also focus on cost optimization. Consider factors such as resource utilization, pay-as-you-go pricing models, and cost-effective storage options to minimize your cloud infrastructure expenses. Regularly monitor and optimize your cloud architecture to ensure that you are getting the best value for your investment.

Performance and reliability

Your cloud architecture should be designed to deliver high performance and reliability for your applications and services. Consider factors such as network latency, data replication, fault tolerance, and disaster recovery to ensure that your cloud infrastructure can provide consistent performance and uptime for your users.

Integration and interoperability

Consider how your cloud architecture will integrate with existing systems, applications, and services in your organization. Ensure that your cloud infrastructure can seamlessly communicate with on-premise resources, third-party services, and external APIs to enable efficient data exchange and workflow automation.

By carefully considering these factors when designing your cloud architecture, you can create a robust and efficient cloud infrastructure that meets your organization's specific needs and objectives. Collaborate with cloud architecture experts, consult with your IT team, and stay updated on the latest cloud technologies and best practices to ensure that your cloud architecture is optimized for success.

7 examples of architecture diagrams

Here are a few examples of architecture diagrams whether it's with AWS, GCP or Azure cloud provider.

AWS Architecture Diagrams

The best thing about AWS? Their huge architecture library! But as there are more than 1,000 cloud diagram templates, we've choosen 3 for you.

MLOps workflow by using Amazon SageMaker and Azure DevOps

This following architecture diagrams offer a view on a solution that streamlines operations across Azure and AWS, allowing for Azure utilization in development and AWS in machine learning endeavors.

It facilitates a seamless workflow for creating machine learning models, encompassing tasks like data management, training, and deployment on AWS. To optimize efficiency, all these steps are orchestrated through Azure DevOps pipelines.

See the AWS documentation

AWS architecture diagram

Connected Restaurants using IoT and AI/ML

Construct intelligent, interconnected dining establishments leveraging Internet of Things (IoT) technology and artificial intelligence/machine learning (AI/ML) functionalities to uphold food quality and safety standards in kitchen operations.

Download here

AWS architecture diagrams

Continuous Integration for Pull Requests

Perform continuous integration (CI) during pull request (PR) evaluations to transition from assessing individual builds to evaluating entire environments prior to merging with the mainline. This method empowers developers to receive more comprehensive feedback earlier in the process, accelerates PR reviews (now enhanced by CI results), and reduces the disruptions caused by faulty builds on development teams.

Download here

GCP Architecture Diagrams

Whereas AWS, Google Cloud Platform doesn't offer an architecture libraries, but there are still a very well-completed documentation.

Here are some examples from this.

Image processing based on using containers and asynchronous messaging

The diagram below illustrates the implementation of an application that receives image files from clients and then generates thumbnails. This flow uses managed services employing notifications and microservices.

Cross-Cloud Interconnect managed connections

You have the option to link your Google Cloud VPC networks with virtual networks in another cloud service provider (CSP) through Google's network fabric. This arrangement functions akin to Partner Interconnect, with the added benefit of Google's SLA covering both the Google networks and the interconnections. The diagram below illustrates a Cross-Cloud Interconnect configuration with the minimum required connections.

Microsoft Azure architecture diagrams

Good news! Microsoft Azure also offers a good architecture diagrams library. See what we've got.

Create an Autonomous Vehicle Operations (AVOps) solution

This architecture can be leveraged to develop an autonomous driving solution on the Azure platform.

CI/CD for AKS apps with Azure Pipelines

For DevOps teams who need to deploy AKS applications through Azure Pipelines.

What is the standard cloud architecture?

What is the standard cloud architecture?

The standard cloud architecture typically consists of a front end platform, back end platforms, a cloud-based delivery, and a network infrastructure. This architecture is used to visually document an organization's enterprise cloud computing services. The components of the standard cloud architecture include on-premise resources, cloud resources, software components and services, and middleware.

On-premise resources refer to the physical hardware and infrastructure that a company owns and operates within their own premises. Cloud resources, on the other hand, are the virtual resources provided by a cloud service provider, such as servers, storage, and networking capabilities.

Software components and services in the standard cloud architecture are the applications and platforms that are delivered as a service to users. These can include Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS) offerings. Middleware acts as the bridge between the front end and back end platforms, providing integration and communication between different components.

The main purpose of a cloud architecture diagram is to document the cloud computing architecture for better communication among stakeholders. By visually depicting the cloud components and their relationships, organizations can improve their understanding of the cloud environment and make informed decisions about updates, troubleshooting, and overall cloud management.

In conclusion, the standard cloud architecture provides a framework for organizations to design, implement, and manage their cloud computing services effectively. By understanding the components and relationships within the cloud architecture, companies can leverage the power of cloud resources to solve business problems and achieve their goals.

Top cloud infrastructure diagramming tools

When it comes to creating cloud architecture diagrams, having the right tools can make the process much smoother and more efficient. There are a variety of cloud diagramming tools available that can help you visually represent your organization's cloud environment. Here are some of the top tools that are commonly used for creating cloud architecture diagrams:


Exoway is a cloud diagramming solution to visually build your architecture and deploy it in one click. The main difference with other cloud diagramming solutions is that you can estimate cost, detect potentiel issues while designing and then deploy the infra from it. It's an all-in-one solution.


Draw.io is a free, open-source diagramming tool that can be used to create cloud architecture diagrams. It offers a user-friendly interface, a wide range of shapes and icons, and the ability to save your diagrams in various formats, including PDF and PNG.

Microsoft Visio

Microsoft Visio is a popular diagramming tool that offers a wide range of templates and shapes for creating detailed cloud architecture diagrams. It integrates seamlessly with other Microsoft Office applications, making it easy to collaborate and share your diagrams with others.


Lucidchart is a cloud-based diagramming tool that allows you to create professional-looking cloud architecture diagrams quickly and easily. It offers a drag-and-drop interface, collaborative features, and integrations with popular cloud services like Google Drive and Dropbox.


Gliffy is another cloud-based diagramming tool that is well-suited for creating cloud architecture diagrams. It offers a variety of shapes and templates, as well as the ability to customize your diagrams with colors, text, and annotations.


Brainboard is also a cloud infrastructure designer. As Exoway, this solution permits users to design and deploy the architecture on the platform.


Creately is a web-based diagramming tool that is ideal for creating cloud architecture diagrams. It offers a large library of shapes and templates, as well as real-time collaboration features that allow multiple users to work on the same diagram simultaneously.

Overall, these cloud infrastructure diagramming tools can help you visually document your organization's cloud environment, make plans for updates, troubleshoot issues, and communicate effectively with stakeholders. Choose the tool that best fits your needs and start creating detailed and informative cloud architecture diagrams today.


Common questions