Friday, March 11, 2011

Amazon Web Services launches CloudFormation: Infrastructure recipes | ZDNet

Amazon Web Services launches CloudFormation: Infrastructure recipes

by Larry Dig,
February 25th 2011 5:01 AM

Amazon Web Services on Friday detailed CloudFormation, an effort to make cobbling together cloud services as easy as baking a cake.

The big takeaway here is that Amazon Web Services wants this cloud computing thing to be ridiculously easy. Here’s how CloudFormation works:

  • A customer describes what resources—storage, compute, load balancing—are needed.
  • CloudFormation figures out how those resources are provisioned.
  • Templates put the cloud stack together.

In a blog post, Amazon described CloudFormation as a recipe book.

AWS is programmable, so it should be possible to build even complex systems (sometimes called “stacks”) using repeatable processes. Second, the dynamic nature of AWS makes people want to create multiple precise copies of their operating environment. This could be to create extra stacks for development and testing, or to replicate them across multiple AWS Regions.

In a statement, Amazon said the goal is to “free developers from having to think about and navigate these types of interdependencies.” Of course, these templates make it very easy to create cloud infrastructure and that means Amazon Web Services usage will go up.

CloudFormation can be used across multiple AWS environments ranging from EC2 to Elastic Beanstalk to the Relational Database Service.

Larry Dignan is Editor in Chief of ZDNet and SmartPlanet as well as Editorial Director of ZDNet's sister site TechRepublic.

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