March 19, 2021

How to Draw Google Cloud Architecture Diagrams

Diagrams for Software Engineering

Gliffy is an easy-to-use diagramming app and GCP architecture diagram tool. Get started with a free trial in Gliffy Online or learn more about our Atlassian apps, then follow along with this tutorial to learn how to make your own Google Cloud architecture diagram. If you're not ready to start diagramming, check out our complete guide to cloud architecture diagrams or read up on What is Google Cloud Platform? for a great rundown of the basics.

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Why Make a Google Cloud Architecture Diagram?

There are a few reasons to keep an up-to-date visualization of your GCP architecture. First, making cloud architecture diagrams is an important documentation practice that can help highly technical and non-technical stakeholders at your organization understand the structure that supports their day-to-day work. Second, it can help you plan for and execute changes to your network to stay ahead of your organization’s needs. Last, making this type of diagram is a great way to visualize your enterprise cloud strategy or other important strategic initiatives for your organization.

Example of a GCP architecture diagram
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Video Tutorial: GCP Architecture Diagramming

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Step-by-Step: How to Make a GCP Architecture Diagram

Step 1: Open GCP Icons or GCP Shares

To make a Google Cloud architecture diagram, you’ll start by creating a new diagram and selecting More Shapes in the lower left, beneath the shapes panel. From here, select “Google Cloud Icons” to load in all the GCP architecture shapes you’ll need.

Start by loading shapes to make a GCP architecture diagram

Step 2: Create a Base for Your Google Cloud Architecture Diagram

It can be helpful to draw in a rectangle or boundary that describes what’s taking place within your cloud instance. In the case of our diagram, we’ll have a zone for what’s taking place within Google Cloud, a zone for standard devices, and a zone for IoT devices.

You can change the style of these rectangles by clicking on the rectangle and then clicking the square icon that appears to open the edit shape properties menu. You can change the text placement and style in these rectangles by clicking the A icon to open the text properties menu. 

Create a base for your google cloud architecture diagram

Step 3: Drag and Drop the Shapes the Describe Your GCP Architecture

Based on the tools you’re using, drag and drop the corresponding GCP shapes into your diagram. You can use the search bar in the upper right to easily find the shapes you need. 


Add shapes describing your GCP services and products

Step 4: Add Other Shapes to Describe Your Network

Not all your shapes will be part of the Google Cloud Platform. In this case, we’ll use shapes from the Network shape library to add IoT devices like smart outlets and speakers as well as standard devices like laptops to each column.

If the Network shape library isn’t available in the panel on the left, you can click More Shapes and then select Network from the shape library listed. This will add the shape library to your left panel in the app.

Load in network diagram shapes for your GCP diagram


Add other network shapes to your GCP diagram

Step 5: Draw Arrows to Show How Information Flows

Use Gliffy’s Connector Tool in the toolbar to drag and drop lines between shapes. If information interacts with a group of tools or services that perform a similar function, it might be helpful to draw a box around those shapes and connect the arrow to that box, rather than drawing arrows to each service icon individually. 

Add lines to show the flow of information throughout your GCP architecture

Step 6: Save & Share Your GCP Architecture

Save your diagram in Gliffy and use the share feature. By clicking the Embed tab, you can place an always-up-to-date diagram in the tools your team uses most.

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Get Started with Gliffy’s GCP Architecture Diagram Tool

That’s all it takes to make a Google Cloud architecture diagram! Gliffy is packed with features for software and IT teams, so when you sign up for a free trial, you’ll also be getting an easy way to make UML diagrams, database diagrams, and more.

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