AWS CloudFormation helps developers create and manage an assortment of AWS resources. AWS CloudFormation has its own collection of use cases and applications.
It has assisted businesses in provision and maintains AWS and third-party resources. Above all, it updates and manages infrastructures in an orderly and predictable technique.
It is important to understand how organizations have successfully utilized the solution. Hence, this article aims to cover the multitude of use cases of AWS CloudFormation.
Understanding AWS CloudFormation and its Use Cases
AWS CloudFormation is a solution that automates, manages, and deploys infrastructures. It models and creates provisions to manage cloud infrastructure resources.
It enables developers to use programming languages or simple text files. The process of using the languages and files is secured and automated.
It paves the way to monitor the resources continuously throughout life cycles. This technique is brought to action by approaching infrastructure as code.
Its template reports desired resources and their dependencies. Hence, making it easier to launch and configure the resources and infrastructure, as a stack.
It enables developers and administrators to generate, update, and eliminate an entire stack as one unit. Therefore, reducing the hassle of managing resources individually.
- AWS CloudFormation automates best practices for the business. As a result, it applies both broadly adopted processes, DevOps and GitOps.
- It allows developers to simplify auditing alternatives that help trigger automated deployments.
- CloudFormation helps scale the infrastructure globally. It allows users to manage and scale resources across the organization.
- It helps meet safety, compliance, and configuration standards throughout the organization, AWS accounts, and regions.
- AWS CloudFormation can easily be integrated with other AWS services. Therefore, further automating and managing resources across the organization.
- It also manages, provisions, and models third-party and private resources. AWS provides businesses to use an open-source CloudFormation CLI to build resource providers for native cases.
- AWS CloudFormation provides open-source projects to enhance its capabilities. It caters to a global community that uses CloudFormation GitHub projects to create resources safely and systematically.
In order for AWS Cloud Formation to work, it is important to create a stack. AWS CloudFormation is effective when resources are provisioned and configured for various use cases.
An important example is, EC2 instances created using CloudFormation require permissions. Similarly, there is a requirement for permissions that limit the creation of instances once a stack is deleted.
Therefore, there is a requirement to use AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) to monitor, control and manage permissions. Hence, it is important to create a template that automates the authority and function of CloudFormation.
Creating Code Infrastructure
It is important to create Infrastructure from the beginning using code. Hence, CloudFormation template languages offer JSON or YAML formats.
The AWS CloudFormation template includes required resources and their programs. Developers can also begin and choose from many available sample templates.
Save Locally or in Amazon S3 Buckets
The template can be stored locally or in an S3 bucket. Hence, enabling developers to easily access the template code.
When the template is created, it is recommended to save the file extension like .json, .yaml or .txt.
Firstly, create a CloudFormation stack by describing the exact location of the template file. Define the path of the file on the local device or with an Amazon S3 URL.
Secondly, determine any parameters in the template and specify input values. It helps developers while creating the stack.
Thirdly and most importantly, enable parameters to help pass in values. It allows developers to easily customize resources while creating the stack.
Output of the Process
CloudFormation allocates and configures resources by approaching AWS. The use cases and functions of the AWS CloudFormation are mentioned in the template.
Moreover, these use cases and functions arrange the stacks and resources for the template to help operate AWS CloudFormation.
The best practices of AWS CloudFormation are suggestions to enhance the ability of its use cases for businesses. It helps CloudFormation to run efficiently and securely in the workflow.
Hence, the following are the best practices based on real-world use cases of AWS CloudFormation:
Planning Allocations and Organizing Components
AWS CloudFormation helps when stacks are organized and arranged according to their lifecycle and ownership. It helps to use cross-stack references while exporting or transferring resources.
Similarly, it is important to utilize IAM and control the access of files, resources, and other components. It helps to reuse templates and replicate stacks for various environments.
Above all, it is important to verify the quotas for different resources and their customizations. This enables developers to use preset modules while reusing resource configurations.
It is important to avoid embedding credentials in a template. Instead, developers can use AWS-specific parameter types and constraints.
In cases to deploy software applications on Amazon EC2 instances, developers can use AWS::CloudFormation::Init .
It is pivotal to use the latest helper scripts. It helps validate templates prior to utilizing them.
Managing, Creating, and Monitoring Stack
AWS CloudFormation enables developers to manage complete stacks and resources. It is important to create changesets prior to updating the stack.
Above all, it is pivotal to use stack policies and AWS CloudTrail. It helps log calls made from AWS CloudFormation.
The code reviews and revision controls help monitor templates. This is important when Amazon EC2 Linux instances are constantly updated.
Deloitte is a multinational financial audit, consulting, advisory and risk management company. It provides professional services in over 150 countries and territories worldwide.
Deloitte used AWS CloudFormation to reduce deployment time and help clients diminish process run times. They aimed to solve challenges using ConvergeHEALTH services and software.
The ConvergeHEALTH Miner solution is an entourage of tools and services. It helps expedite the process of gathering data, analysis, and management in the research lifecycle.
Miner leverages a number of Amazon Web Services solutions. As a result, Deloitte grabbed the opportunity to avail Miner faster to the clients utilizing Infrastructure as code.
According to Jinlei Liu, Vice President of Product Development, Deloitte, “With AWS Service Catalog, we have total control over the organizations who can access our software and which packages we offer them, enabling us to meet compliance requirements.” He mentions further, “Using AWS Service Catalog means we can deploy a full-featured Miner environment in about 45 minutes. It’s one-click simple.”
Coinbase is an up-and-coming bitcoin wallet and exchange services company from San Francisco. It is the largest and most trusted consumer bitcoin wallet globally.
In 2014, Coinbase assessed various cloud technology solutions. They were confident about using AWS solutions for secure and sensitive workloads.
The company’s entire network is built and monitored using AWS CloudFormation templates.
The Co-Founder and CTO at Coinbase, Rob Witoff, stated, “This gives us the luxury of version-controlling our network, and it allows for seamless, exact network duplication for on-demand development and staging environments.”
Through AWS CloudFormation Coinbase is able to fully utilize Amazon Virtual Private Cloud endpoints. It helps optimize the outcome of Amazon S3 and other Amazon WorkSpaces.
Consequently, AWS CloudFormation helps Coinbase to provide cloud-based desktops and access to employees worldwide.
Witoff further states, “As we scale our services around the world, we also scale our team. We rely on Amazon WorkSpaces for on-demand access by our contractors to appropriate slices of our network.”
As a result in 2015, Coinbase successfully launched the U.S. Coinbase Exchange. It recently expanded its services to European users.
Expedia Group offers travel and travel-booking services across multiple countries. Its flagship is Expedia.com along with more than 200 other booking sites.
They heavily depend on AWS solutions and plans to migrate around 80% of its most indispensable apps to the cloud. They aim to become more resilient with the help of AWS solutions.
Mr. Murari Gopalan, Vice President, Marketing at Expedia, states “The advantage of AWS is that we can use Auto Scaling to match load demand instead of having to maintain capacity for peak load in traditional datacenters.”
The company utilizes AWS CloudFormation with Chef in order to deploy its front and backend stack. The stack is then placed and runs within the Amazon VPC environment.
According to Mr. Gopalan, using AWS CloudFormation, “One of our metrics for success is the reduction of time to deploy within our teams. We use this method to launch applications pretty quickly compared to a traditional deployment. Moreover, reducing the cost of a rollback to zero means we can be fearless with deployments.”
FC Barcelona aka Barca is a popular Spanish Soccer Club. The Club has 75 Domestic Titles, 17 European Titles, and 3 Worldwide Titles in soccer matches.
Barca requires a team to manage their website, social media, and mobile apps. For instance, the Club collaborates with IT provider Gnuine and obtains services like custom web applications and mobile applications and provides system administration services primarily in the media sector.
Genuine uses a wide range of AWS solutions to help the soccer club, namely:
- AWS CloudFormation for automation and provisioning.
- For scalable assets and media documents storage, they use Amazon S3.
- Amazon EC2 with Elastic Load Balancing and Auto Scaling for dynamic generated HTML and XML pages.
- Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS) as a database service.
According to Marco Meinardi at Gartner, “AWS is opening up some of their key management tools to support resources outside of the AWS cloud. Specifically, AWS CloudFormation and AWS Config now support third-party resources. And that’s a big deal.”
He further states, “With this launch, AWS addresses one of the major shortcomings of its management tools: being limited to a single platform – the AWS cloud. From today, anyone could develop resource providers for Microsoft Azure or Google Cloud Platform resources. This possibility makes AWS CloudFormation and AWS Config de facto ready to become multi-cloud management tools.”
AWS CloudFormation is a globally adopted tool. It embodies more features than its competitors like Hashicorp Terraform.