Cloud architecture diagram software is very important when designing and communicating the architecture of a new or existing infrastructure, whether that be cloud, on-prem or hybrid.
Microsoft Visio is one of the leading software packages for data center diagram design. A Visio stencil is a collection of masters associated with a particular Microsoft Visio drawing type, or template. By default, stencils that open with a template are docked on the left side of the drawing window. You can open stencil (.vss) files independently of a template. Basically, a Stencil contains Shapes that are used to create a diagram. The Shapes can range from simple flow chart boxes or lines to more complicated Shapes like Servers, Racks or anything else that needs to be represented in a graphical form. A list of all freely available Visio stencils can be found at: http://www.visiocafe.com/index.htm.
Other diagramming software
Besides Microsoft Visio, the following free software is available for data center diagram design:
- Draw.io: https://draw.io
- Edraw Max: https://www.edrawsoft.com/download-edrawmax.html
- Visual Paradigm Online: https://online.visual-paradigm.com/app/diagrams
Azure architecture diagrams and Visio stencils
Azure cloud architecture diagrams can be found at: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/architecture/browse/. There are Azure stencils available in Visio as well as in Draw.io for all Azure architecture diagram types. The official Microsoft Azure architecture icons are available at: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/architecture/icons/. The following screenshot shows the available Azure stencils available out-of-the-box in Microsoft Visio 2021. Under Visio “Shapes” navigate to “More Shapes” and choose “Network”.
Similar architecture icons and Visio stencils from Microsoft can be found for the following services: