Automate and Manage AWS CloudFormation

Extend IaC management to control CloudFormation deployments with ease

What is AWS CloudFormation?

AWS CloudFormation is Amazon's Infrastructure as Code tool that enables users to describe their AWS infrastructure using code. It enables DevOps teams to make AWS infrastructure provisioning repeatable and more reliable.

CloudFormation documents are called templates, and can be written in either JSON or YAML. Since CloudFormation templates are just plain text files, they are typically stored in a Version Control System, alongside the application code that will be deployed onto the infrastructure. The templates act as a source of truth for infrastructure provisioning.

"Resources" : {
   "EC2Instance" : {
     "Type" : "AWS::EC2::Instance",
     "Properties" : {
       "InstanceType" : { "Ref" : "InstanceType" },
       "SecurityGroups" : [ { "Ref" : "InstanceSecurityGroup" } ],
       "KeyName" : { "Ref" : "KeyName" },
       "ImageId" : { "Fn::FindInMap" : [ "AWSRegionArch2AMI", { "Ref" : "AWS::Region" },
                         { "Fn::FindInMap" : [ "AWSInstanceType2Arch", { "Ref" : "InstanceType" }, "Arch" ] } ] }
     }
   }
}

Pros and cons of CloudFormation IaC

CloudFormation is written and maintained by AWS, so it interacts seamlessly with AWS resources.

There are numerous example templates that can easily be used as a starting point for your own templates.

Tools exist to automatically generate CloudFormation templates from existing AWS environments.

Using CloudFormation confers many of the same benefits as IaC, including speed of deployments, security, consistency, and easier updates.

It's AWS only. If you have other IaC tools in your environment you'll need to manage them separately.

Many users say that CloudFormation templates are difficult to write, read, and debug due to the verbose syntax.

CloudFormation deployment output often lacks usable information to assist in debugging errors.

Pros and cons of CloudFormation IaC

Provide teams with self-service access to needed resources while maintaining confidence corporate and security policies are being upheld.

Unify deployment and management of all your IaC tools, including Terraform, Kubernetes, Terragrunt, and Pulumi.

Build in clear approval processes for every change to your CloudFormation codebase.

Manage CloudFormation IaC with your application code. Automate deployments alongside your existing software deployment workflow.

Gain advanced visibility into changes with automated drift detection and human-readable change plans. Fewer mistakes = better uptime.

See estimated and actual costs for every CloudFormation deployment.

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Unlimited Concurrent Runs

Cost Monitoring

Role Based Access Control

Custom Flows (bash, python, Ansible, etc.)

Private Module Registry

Automatic Drift Detection

Slack and Teams Notifications

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