Diagrams as Code Part 1 — Automatic Diagraming of Cloudflare DNS Zones

I have been been working on Diagrams as Code. As someone who uses diagrams to explain concepts and manage infrastructure this is an area which adds a lot of value for me.

The Concept:

Diagram as Code allows you to track the architecture diagram changes in any version control system.

An article that Sparked my interest:

The Diagrams Library:

Why Diagrams:

  • It’s a python library so I can reuse existing auditing code I have
  • There are a range of layouts and customizations
  • Most of the common Cloud Platforms have icons
  • You can use the Custom Icons for nodes that are not in the library
  • You can create dynamic diagrams to represent your current state.

The working example:

  • I am going to show you how you can use the Diagrams library to automatically generate a diagram of all the A and CNAME records in Cloudflare.
  • I am going to focus on the harder problems using a Cluster concept to group all records that point to one A or CNAME record.
  • The Second concept will be how to create a flow (without knowing ahead of time) by manipulating the Diagrams objects.

Note: for security reasons I have obfuscated the actual records.

Part 1: Getting the Cloudflare Data

This is fairly boiler plate code that returns a list of dictionaries containing the DNS record (eg. a.xyz.com b.xyz.com) and the value of the DNS entry (for A records this is an IPV4 address (e.g.

There are two helper funcitons:

  • is_cname_an_azure_sevice_of_interest — this function narrows down the scope of CNAME records we are looking at to Azure Servcies
  • def hash_dns_records_for_demo — this function hashes the raw names as for demo purposes I don’t want to expose our DNS records and Values
  • I tried using the Cloudflare Python SDK however filtering and documentation were a bit cumbersome so I chose to use requests instead
cloudflare_api_key=”fill me in”cloudflare_email = “change me”zone_id = “use your zone ID here”dns_record_types_of_interest = [“A”,”AAAA”,”CNAME”]azure_service_domain_suffixes = [“azurefd.net”,”azurewebsites.net”,”trafficmanager.net”]def is_cname_an_azure_sevice_of_interest(cname):for suffix in azure_service_domain_suffixes:if suffix in cname:return Truedef hash_dns_records_for_demo(dns_record):return hashlib.sha512(dns_record.encode()).hexdigest()[0:16]headers = {‘X-Auth-Email’: cloudflare_email,‘X-Auth-Key’: cloudflare_api_key,‘Content-Type’: ‘application/json’}url = f”https://api.cloudflare.com/client/v4/zones/{zone_id}/dns_records"def audit_cloudflare_return_data(hash_results=True):a_records = []aaaa_records = []cname_records = []for dns_record_type in dns_record_types_of_interest:query_parameters = {“type”:dns_record_type,”per_page”:100}records_response = requests.request(“GET”, url, headers=headers, params=query_parameters,data={}).json()for dns_record in records_response.get(“result”):if dns_record_type == “CNAME” and is_cname_an_azure_sevice_of_interest(dns_record.get(“content”)):if hash_results:dns_name = hash_dns_records_for_demo(dns_record.get(‘name’))dns_value = hash_dns_records_for_demo(dns_record.get(‘content’))else:dns_name = dns_record.get(‘name’)dns_value = dns_record.get(‘content’)print(f” Found CNAME Record \t DNS Record: {dns_name} \t DNS Value: {dns_value}”)cname_records.append({“name”:dns_name,”value”:dns_value})if dns_record_type == “A”:if hash_results:dns_name = hash_dns_records_for_demo(dns_record.get(‘name’))dns_value = hash_dns_records_for_demo(dns_record.get(‘content’))else:dns_name = dns_record.get(‘name’)dns_value = dns_record.get(‘content’)print(f” Found A Record \t DNS Record: {dns_name} \t DNS Value: {dns_value}”)a_records.append({“name”:dns_name,”value”:dns_value})return a_records,cname_records

This code block when run will return something like this:

Part 2: Grouping Records by A or CNAME Record using Clusters

  • I like using clusters because the Diagrams library is smart enough to know if a cluster with a given label has been previously generated.
  • I am also using a custom Icon
def diagram_cloudflare_data_grouped_by_value(a_records,cname_records):with Diagram(“A Records Grouped By Value”, show=True,direction=”BT”,outformat=”png”):for a_record in a_records:with Cluster(a_record.get(“value”),direction=”TB”):records = [Custom(a_record.get(“name”),icon_path=”.\dns.png”)]with Diagram(“CNAME Grouped By Value”, show=True,direction=”BT”,outformat=”png”):for cname_record in cname_records:with Cluster(cname_record.get(“value”),direction=”LR”):records = [Custom(cname_record.get(“name”),icon_path=”.\dns.png”)]

The output looks like this and gives us some insights

  • In the CNAMEs we can see a few records point to one CNAME (a load balancer perhaps???)
  • In the A Records we can see a similar pattern with one IP being the frontend for multiple records (another load balancer perhaps?)

Part 3: Creating a Record Flow Diagram so I can add more information later

The diagrams in part 2 are useful for insights however the longer term goal is to hunt down the public IPs and CNAME records in Azure. To do this I am going to change the diagram to be a flow so I can expand it later.

  • I need to keep a track of seen A or CNAME records so I don’t add them twice to the diagram
  • I also need to keep a track of the Nodes I create to represent unique A and CNAME records (so I can link them to DNS records later)
  • This part of the code shows that you can use the Diagrams library without explicitly declaring variables.
def diagram_cloudflare_data_grouped_by_flow(a_records,cname_records):seen_records = []node_mapper = {}with Diagram(“A Records Grouped By Flow”, show=True,direction=”LR”,outformat=”png”):confused = Custom(“Where in Azure are they pointing?”,icon_path=”.\problem.png”)for a_record in a_records:if a_record.get(“value”) in seen_records:passelse:record = PublicIpAddresses(a_record.get(“value”))record >> Edge(minlen=”5") >> confusedseen_records.append(a_record.get(“value”))node_mapper[a_record.get(“value”)] = recordfor a_record in a_records:record = Custom(a_record.get(“name”),icon_path=”.\cf-facebook-card.png”)record >> Edge(minlen=”5") >> node_mapper[a_record.get(“value”)]with Diagram(“CNAME Records Grouped By Flow”, show=True,direction=”LR”,outformat=”png”):confused = Custom(“Where in Azure are they pointing?”,icon_path=”.\problem.png”)for cname_record in cname_records:if cname_record.get(“value”) in seen_records:passelse:record = DNSZones(cname_record.get(“value”))record >> Edge(minlen=”5") >> confusedseen_records.append(cname_record.get(“value”))node_mapper[cname_record.get(“value”)] = recordfor cname_record in cname_records:record = Custom(cname_record.get(“name”),icon_path=”.\cf-facebook-card.png”)record >> Edge(minlen=”5") >> node_mapper[cname_record.get(“value”)]

The results look something like this.

  • I can see there are 7 and 9 records pointing to 2 unique CNAMEs (most likely a load balancer)
  • I can also see some other 1 to 1 mappings (web services?)

Todo and Next Steps




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