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InfoQ Homepage News AWS Adds VPC Resource Map to Simplify Management of Virtual Networks

AWS Adds VPC Resource Map to Simplify Management of Virtual Networks

The VPC section of the AWS Management Console now provides visualization of VPC resources, such as the relationships between a VPC and its subnets, routing tables, and gateways. The map displays existing VPC resources and their routing on a single page, allowing a better understanding of the networking layout.

The VPC resource map currently supports VPC, subnets, route tables, internet gateways, NAT gateways, and S3 gateways, with more resources expected in the future. While it was already possible to visualize the configuration during the creation steps of a VPC, until now there was no way to visualize existing ones.

Channy Yun, principal developer advocate at AWS, explains:

As you hover over a resource, you can see the related resources and the connected lines highlighted. If you click to select the resource, you can see a few lines of details and a link to see the details of the selected resource.

The network configuration is drawn with solid lines representing relationships between resources and dotted lines representing network traffic to network connections as in the following example:

VPC Resource Map

Source: AWS Management Console

The ability to visualize the resources in a VPC allows developers to spot common mistakes or undesirable configurations, for example, private subnets disconnected from NAT gateways or with a direct route to the internet gateway as below:

VPC Resource Map: Incorrect IGW

Source: AWS Management Console

Corey Quinn, chief cloud economist at The Duckbill Group, writes in his newsletter:

I like this a lot. Finally, I don't have to click through six screens and keep track of VPC / Subnet IDs to figure out whether an S3 gateway endpoint is in place or not. That alone is worth however much effort it took to build this.

In a Reddit thread, some users suggest that the new option might replace existing third-party tools while others highlight missing functionalities, for example, the ability to see which resources can be accessed from the internet. Precious Okwu, lead cloud engineer at uLesson education, writes:

AWS has just implemented a long-awaited feature (...) Starting out on a new project, especially when the team does not have an architecture diagram, I have often spent countless hours trying to figure out how the network is designed.

Developers can use the resource map to understand the architecture of a virtual network, see how many subnets it has in it, which subnets are associated with which route tables, and which route tables have routes to NAT gateways, internet gateways, or gateway endpoints. VPC resource map is available in all AWS regions.

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