AWS CloudFormation logo

AWS CloudFormation

Create and manage a collection of related AWS resources
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What is AWS CloudFormation?

You can use AWS CloudFormation’s sample templates or create your own templates to describe the AWS resources, and any associated dependencies or runtime parameters, required to run your application. You don’t need to figure out the order in which AWS services need to be provisioned or the subtleties of how to make those dependencies work.
AWS CloudFormation is a tool in the Infrastructure Build Tools category of a tech stack.

Who uses AWS CloudFormation?

Companies
275 companies reportedly use AWS CloudFormation in their tech stacks, including Expedia.com, TimeHop, and Custora.

Developers
364 developers on StackShare have stated that they use AWS CloudFormation.

AWS CloudFormation Integrations

Kocho, Circonus, λ Gordon, Bellerophon, and troposphere are some of the popular tools that integrate with AWS CloudFormation. Here's a list of all 11 tools that integrate with AWS CloudFormation.

Why developers like AWS CloudFormation?

Here’s a list of reasons why companies and developers use AWS CloudFormation
AWS CloudFormation Reviews

Here are some stack decisions, common use cases and reviews by companies and developers who chose AWS CloudFormation in their tech stack.

Joseph Kunzler
Joseph Kunzler
DevOps Engineer at Tillable · | 9 upvotes · 36.6K views
atTillableTillable
Amazon S3
Amazon S3
Amazon EC2
Amazon EC2
AWS Elastic Load Balancing (ELB)
AWS Elastic Load Balancing (ELB)
AWS CloudFormation
AWS CloudFormation
Terraform
Terraform

We use Terraform because we needed a way to automate the process of building and deploying feature branches. We wanted to hide the complexity such that when a dev creates a PR, it triggers a build and deployment without the dev having to worry about any of the 'plumbing' going on behind the scenes. Terraform allows us to automate the process of provisioning DNS records, Amazon S3 buckets, Amazon EC2 instances and AWS Elastic Load Balancing (ELB)'s. It also makes it easy to tear it all down when finished. We also like that it supports multiple clouds, which is why we chose to use it over AWS CloudFormation.

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Glenn 'devalias' Grant
Glenn 'devalias' Grant
Hack. Dev. Transcend. · | 5 upvotes · 27K views
React
React
Redux
Redux
redux-saga
redux-saga
Bootstrap
Bootstrap
Go
Go
AWS Lambda
AWS Lambda
AWS CloudFormation
AWS CloudFormation
Amazon DynamoDB
Amazon DynamoDB
WebStorm
WebStorm
Git
Git
GitLab
GitLab
#Serverless
#JetBrains

Working on a project recently, wanted an easy modern frontend to work with, decoupled from our backend. To get things going quickly, decided to go with React, Redux.js, redux-saga, Bootstrap.

On the backend side, Go is a personal favourite, and wanted to minimize server overheads so went with a #serverless architecture leveraging AWS Lambda, AWS CloudFormation, Amazon DynamoDB, etc.

For IDE/tooling I tend to stick to the #JetBrains tools: WebStorm / Goland.

Obviously using Git, with GitLab private repo's for managing code/issues/etc.

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Bram Verdonck
Bram Verdonck
Founder at CloudvCard · | 5 upvotes · 8.9K views
atCloudvCardCloudvCard
CloudFlare
CloudFlare
Amazon Route 53
Amazon Route 53
Amazon CloudFront
Amazon CloudFront
AWS CloudFormation
AWS CloudFormation

Yesterday we moved away from using CloudFlare towards Amazon Route 53 for a few reasons. Although CloudFlare is a great platform, once you reach almost a 100% AWS Service integration, it makes it hard to still use CloudFlare in the stack. Also being able to use Aliases for DNS makes it faster because instead of doing a CNAME and an A record lookup, you will be able to receive the A records from the end services directly. We always loved working with CloudFlare , especially for DNS as we already used Amazon CloudFront for CDN. But having everything within AWS makes it "cleaner" when deploying automatically using AWS CloudFormation. All that aside, the main reason for moving towards Amazon Route 53 for DNS is the ability to do geolocation and latency based DNS responses. Doing this outside the AWS console would increase the complexity.

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Terraform
Terraform
Google Cloud Deployment Manager
Google Cloud Deployment Manager
AWS CloudFormation
AWS CloudFormation

I use Terraform because it hits the level of abstraction pocket of being high-level and flexible, and is agnostic to cloud platforms. Creating complex infrastructure components for a solution with a UI console is tedious to repeat. Using low-level APIs are usually specific to cloud platforms, and you still have to build your own tooling for deploying, state management, and destroying infrastructure.

However, Terraform is usually slower to implement new services compared to cloud-specific APIs. It's worth the trade-off though, especially if you're multi-cloud. I heard someone say, "We want to preference a cloud, not lock in to one." Terraform builds on that claim.

Terraform Google Cloud Deployment Manager AWS CloudFormation

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Joseph Kunzler
Joseph Kunzler
DevOps Engineer at Tillable · | 4 upvotes · 5K views
atTillableTillable
AWS CloudFormation
AWS CloudFormation

We use AWS CloudFormation because we needed a way to quickly and efficiently create & deploy lambda functions. We found two frameworks that work nicely as 'syntactic sugar' on top of CloudFormation - One of them being AWS SAM, and the other being Serverless Framework. We currently use the Serverless Framework because of it's multi-cloud capabilities.

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Amit Bhatnagar
Amit Bhatnagar
Chief Architect at Qrvey · | 3 upvotes · 14.2K views
atQrveyQrvey
Amazon DynamoDB
Amazon DynamoDB
AWS Fargate
AWS Fargate
Amazon Elasticsearch Service
Amazon Elasticsearch Service
AWS CloudFormation
AWS CloudFormation
AWS CodePipeline
AWS CodePipeline

At Qrvey we moved from a SaaS application running in AWS to a deployed model where we would deploy the complete infrastructure and code to a customer's AWS account. This created a unique challenge as we were Cloud Native and hence were using a lot of AWS Services like Amazon DynamoDB, AWS Fargate , Amazon Elasticsearch Service, etc. We decided to first build AWS CloudFormation templates to convert all our infrastructure into code. Then created a AWS CloudFormation template that would first generate a AWS CodePipeline into a customer's AWS account. This pipeline would then deploy our Infrastructure AWS CloudFormation template and the code on that Infrastructure. This simplified and completely automated our upgrade process as well.

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AWS CloudFormation's Features

  • AWS CloudFormation comes with the following ready-to-run sample templates: WordPress (blog),Tracks (project tracking), Gollum (wiki used by GitHub), Drupal (content management), Joomla (content management), Insoshi (social apps), Redmine (project mgmt)
  • No Need to Reinvent the Wheel – A template can be used repeatedly to create identical copies of the same stack (or to use as a foundation to start a new stack)
  • Transparent and Open – Templates are simple JSON formatted text files that can be placed under your normal source control mechanisms, stored in private or public locations such as Amazon S3 and exchanged via email.
  • Declarative and Flexible – To create the infrastructure you want, you enumerate what AWS resources, configuration values and interconnections you need in a template and then let AWS CloudFormation do the rest with a few simple clicks in the AWS Management Console, via the command line tools or by calling the APIs.

AWS CloudFormation Alternatives & Comparisons

What are some alternatives to AWS CloudFormation?
AWS CodeDeploy
AWS CodeDeploy is a service that automates code deployments to Amazon EC2 instances. AWS CodeDeploy makes it easier for you to rapidly release new features, helps you avoid downtime during deployment, and handles the complexity of updating your applications.
Chef
Chef enables you to manage and scale cloud infrastructure with no downtime or interruptions. Freely move applications and configurations from one cloud to another. Chef is integrated with all major cloud providers including Amazon EC2, VMWare, IBM Smartcloud, Rackspace, OpenStack, Windows Azure, HP Cloud, Google Compute Engine, Joyent Cloud and others.
Terraform
With Terraform, you describe your complete infrastructure as code, even as it spans multiple service providers. Your servers may come from AWS, your DNS may come from CloudFlare, and your database may come from Heroku. Terraform will build all these resources across all these providers in parallel.
AWS Elastic Beanstalk
Once you upload your application, Elastic Beanstalk automatically handles the deployment details of capacity provisioning, load balancing, auto-scaling, and application health monitoring.
AWS Config
AWS Config is a fully managed service that provides you with an AWS resource inventory, configuration history, and configuration change notifications to enable security and governance. With AWS Config you can discover existing AWS resources, export a complete inventory of your AWS resources with all configuration details, and determine how a resource was configured at any point in time. These capabilities enable compliance auditing, security analysis, resource change tracking, and troubleshooting.
See all alternatives

AWS CloudFormation's Followers
384 developers follow AWS CloudFormation to keep up with related blogs and decisions.
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Dmitry Kovalenko
Alex Gauthier
in 4sometech
Jahir Uddin
Haswin Vidanage
Tien Dat Tran
Romain Xie
Ayush Singh
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