Introduction to DevOps on AWS

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Create Date03/12/2014
Last Updated27/11/2016

by David Chapman - December 2014

DevOps is a new term that primarily focuses on improved collaboration, communication, and integration between software developers and IT operations. It’s an umbrella term that some describe as a philosophy, cultural change, and paradigm shift.

A good example of how the DevOps principles are used in practice is AWS CloudFormation.1 By using AWS CloudFormation templates, you can define and model AWS resources that can be created and updated. These templates are written in a format called JavaScript Object Notation (JSON). The templates require a specific syntax and structure that depends on the types of resources being created and managed. By using templates, you can provision infrastructure in a repeatable and reliable way.

You can create custom AWS CloudFormation templates or use sample templates that are available publically. Once templates are deployed or updated into the AWS environment, the collection of resources under management is called a “stack.” You can manage stacks through the AWS Management Console, AWS Command Line Interface, or AWS CloudFormation APIs. Common actions include create-stack, describe-stacks, list-stacks, and update-stack.

When you create or update a stack in the console, events are displayed showing the status of the configuration. If an error occurs, the stack is rolled back to its previous state. Amazon Simple Notification Service (Amazon SNS) helps you manage these events. For example, you can use Amazon SNS to track stack creation and deletion progress via email and integrate with other processes programmatically.


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