Why do we use CloudFormation?

The readers who are very new to the concept of AWS might also find a term called CloudFormation in it. But then the question arises what is it? Often participants applying for a job in AWS have to face a question about CloudFormation among their AWS interview questions. So, to help you out with this concept, this article largely emphasizes the various aspects of AWS CloudFormation and why do we use it.

What is CloudFormation?

AWS CloudFormation is recognized as a service that allows customers to specify their architecture of infrastructure as YAML or JSON templates and then have CloudFormation create the resources for them. Layouts may be used to describe any resource element that CloudFormation presently supports, and enables the users to construct intricate interdependencies between varied components. Thereby in simple terms, CloudFormation can be described as a service provided by AWS that helps by creating and managing resources that can save time even after managing resources and can eventually focus more on applications that run in AWS. 

It allows programmers to utilize either programming languages or files containing plain text. The files and languages are used in an automated and safe manner. It also provides the path for continuous resource monitoring throughout their entire spans. By treating infrastructure as code, this methodology is put into motion. The template made lists the resources that are required as well as their dependencies. As a result, launching and configuring the infrastructure and resources as a stack will be easy. It allows the administrators and developers to create, edit, and delete complete stacks as a single unit. Thus, the hassle of resource management gets reduced.

AWS CloudFormation Template

A template in AWS CloudFormation is a basic text file that consists of a declaration in either YAML Standard or on JavaScript Object Notation (JSON). It may also be modified with a regular word processor or with the CloudFormation interface. The resource guidance system may be used to maintain these templates. The template allows the developers to specify the resources of AWS that must be configured and provisioned. The resources and their attributes are to be linked with the input parameters in the template. The template may be stored either in extension files named with .yaml, .txt, .json or even as .template.

Elements of CloudFormation

The two main template formatted text files that are found in CloudFormation comprise five elements. These are like:

  • A collection of template parameters that can be included as an option (input values 
  • An optional set of output values
  • To lookup for the static configuration settings, a list of data tables may be used (for example, AMI names)
  • A set of AWS resources with their associated values of configuration.
  • File format template of version number.

Why do we need it?

  • When the quantity of infrastructural services and products is increased as a result of a need, AWS is unable to manage them together at the same pace. At this moment, the AWS CloudFormation is utilized.
  • Its infrastructure as in code can produce a flawless server clone set up at any moment, which thus helps the AWS to solve its difficulties.
  • AWS CloudFormation allows for configuration changes that are seamlessly integrated into the already existing environment.
  • Managing numerous AWS assets is a difficult and time-consuming process. In the exclusion of AWS CloudFormation, programmers concentrate their efforts and time on constructing the systems and facilities, rather than on developing applications.
  • It becomes even more confusing and hard when the infrastructural service or product needs to be reconstructed. Even installing in a current environment becomes, even more, a cumbersome task because everything needs to be done anew.

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Reasons for Using it

  • AWS CloudFormation automates the business practice standards. As a result, it employs both widely used procedures namely, GitOps and DevOps.
  • It enables developers to streamline the auditing options that aid in the execution of automated deployments.
  • CloufFormation aids in the worldwide scaling of technology and gives users the ability to control and expand assets throughout the company.
  • It supports the organization’s AWS accounts, area’s security, and customization standards.
  • The AWS CloudFormation can easily be connected with other AWS services.
  • Therefore, the business will have the ability to automate and manage resources in a more effective form.
  • Private and third-party resources are also provisioned, managed, and modeled. A business may construct resources to build the indigenous applications while using a fully accessible CloudFormation CLI offered by AWS.
  • To expand its functionality, AWS CloudFormation offers open-source applications. It serves a hierarchal structure that utilizes CloudFormation GitHub repositories to securely and methodically build resources. 

Other reasons which can also be determined for using the AWS CloudFormation can be like:

  • Amazon maintains an updated version of CloudFormatting so that new services and features are always available. 
  • Amazon always keeps on evolving the CloudFormation service thus enhancing its existing features as well as by adding more new functionalities to it. 

Conclusion

Many well-known firms are now utilizing the AWS CloudFormation to manage and deploy their resources. The learning curve of this CloudFormation service makes it more exciting for the developers to learn new things. As a result of these factors, this can be claimed that AWS CloudFormation has become a widely used tool with more capabilities than its competitors in the market.