Amazon Web Services Launches AWS CloudFormation

 
 
By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2011-02-25 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Amazon's new AWS CloudFormation makes it easier for developers to launch applications in the AWS cloud.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has announced AWS CloudFormation, a new way for developers and businesses to create collections of related AWS resources and provision them in an orderly and predictable fashion.

AWS continues to innovate around its core cloud computing platform to offer more and more opportunities to take advantage of the company's core assets in Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud and more. AWS CloudFormation is another in a series of technological advancements AWS has made freely available to its customers. Most recently, AWS launched the Elastic Beanstalk, which gave developers an even easier way to quickly deploy and manage applications in the AWS cloud.

With this new offering, customers can use AWS CloudFormation's sample templates or create their own templates to describe the AWS resources required to run their application. AWS CloudFormation then manages the complexity of provisioning those resources in the required order so developers do not have to worry about sequencing or interdependencies. AWS CloudFormation is available at no additional charge-customers pay only for the AWS resources required to run their applications. To get started using AWS CloudFormation, visit http://aws.amazon.com.

With AWS CloudFormation, customers describe "what" resources are needed, and AWS CloudFormation takes care of "how" those resources are provisioned. For example, AWS CloudFormation templates concisely capture resource relationships, such as Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instances that must be associated with an Elastic Load Balancer, or an Amazon Elastic Block Store (Amazon EBS) volume that must be in the same Availability Zone as the Amazon EC2 instance.

These templates free developers from having to think about and navigate these types of interdependencies. In addition, customers can use AWS CloudFormation templates to create identical copies of the same AWS infrastructure stack that will run over and over as needed, removing the need for developers to manually re-create an application's stack for each deployment.

"The idea for AWS CloudFormation came to us while we were building our own applications on top of AWS services," said Adam Selipsky, vice president of Amazon Web Services, in a statement. "Rather than repeatedly building the same infrastructure and manually managing the dependencies between resources each time, our developer teams started creating templates to seamlessly handle the provisioning.

"We found this to be so useful that we decided to offer it up to our customers. AWS CloudFormation allows developers and businesses to focus on their applications while leaving the provisioning details to AWS."

Customers can create CloudFormation templates and deploy the associated resource stacks via the AWS Management Console, CloudFormation command line tools or APIs. Moreover, AWS CloudFormation can be used across multiple AWS Availability Zones to configure a wide range of AWS resources, including Amazon EC2 instances, Elastic Load Balancers, AWS Elastic Beanstalk environments, Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS) instances and Amazon Simple Notification Service (Amazon SNS) topics.

"For the release of Dragon Age Legends, EA2D uses highly automated and dynamic infrastructure running on AWS," said Mike Babineau, systems architect at EA2D, a new studio within Electronic Arts that is building cross-platform social games. "While this allows us to scale seamlessly, provisioning new environments is still a manual process. AWS CloudFormation eliminates the manual processes and allows our developers to fire up infrastructure stacks at will. We can now use a single command to launch a duplicate of our production environment, which is perfect for feature development, load tests or hotfixes."

Meanwhile, Ylastic, an AWS user and partner, provides a unified management console service to AWS customers. "We are really excited about AWS Cloud Formation," said Prabhakar Chaganti, chief technology officer at Ylastic, in a statement. "We have integrated management for AWS CloudFormation into Ylastic services and are releasing it today. This new service simplifies the deployment of resources and makes it easier to build a wide range of cloud-enabled enterprise and business applications."

 
 
 
 
Darryl K. Taft covers the development tools and developer-related issues beat from his office in Baltimore. He has more than 10 years of experience in the business and is always looking for the next scoop. Taft is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and was named 'one of the most active middleware reporters in the world' by The Middleware Co. He also has his own card in the 'Who's Who in Enterprise Java' deck.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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