AWS CloudFormation

4.3
(99)

AWS CloudFormation allows you to use a simple text file to model and provision, in an automated and secure manner, all the resources needed for your applications across all regions and accounts.

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Showing 99 AWS CloudFormation reviews
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Travis G.
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"CloudFormation - Dead easy DevOps"

What do you like best?

My favorite part of CFN (CloudFormation), is the ability to use YAML for the templates. Originally templates needed to be valid JSON documents. From a programmatic standpoint JSON would be better, but from a human readable/ease of use standpoint I greatly prefer YAML over JSON for my templates. However, the most important features of CloudFormation is that, 1) It allows for extremely rapid resource deployments and tear downs; Ideal for testing environments or Blue/Green capable infrastructure. This is because CFN will evaluate your configuration template and determine which resources can be created simultaneously and the correct order in which to deploy resources, so you are far less likely to run into "non-existent dependency" issues with your deployments. 2) The ability to create multiple "stacks", as they're called, and have other stacks reference output data from a previously created stack. A simple example would be: creating a stack to build a VPC, subnets, routes, and basic security groups. Setup the stack to output the subnets and security group(s) information so then if you create a new stack for creating servers you can quickly retrieve subnet and security group resource information without having to input that data manually.

What do you dislike?

CloudFormation has a lot of little gotcha's. Anyone new to DevOps or configuration management will really need to be on the look out for 'optional' (but 'required') settings when creating CFN templates. An example that comes to mind is the Security Group resource. It has an optional setting to specify a "VPC ID". This setting is optional because early AWS didn't have VPC's and Security Groups were just created and attached to instances directly. However, any environment where there is a VPC requires that you specify the VPC ID in the CFN template otherwise you'll create a "legacy Security Group" a.k.a. An EC2 Security Group instead of the proper "VPC Security Group". While learning about CloudFormation I spent enough time banging my head to want to advise anyone reading this to watch out for things like that. The documentation provided by AWS is solid and will inform you of those gotcha's but when quickly skimming the pages it's easy to miss.

Recommendations to others considering the product:

Beware of template gotcha's! If your stack doesn't pass validation you won't have to worry about an infrastructure breaking change being made to your environment. However, you will spend a ton of time banging your head against your desk if you miss them. If something in your CloudFormation template isn't working, re-read the documentation for the resource you are trying to create and be on the lookout for those gotcha's. If it's still not clicking Google with be your next best friend.

What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

I've recently rebuilt my VPC from sratch using CloudFormation for my company. The best solution that I have realized already is that I was able to deploy an Identical VPC for my testing environment, the only change being the IP addressing. I'm still working through templating the rest of my infrastructure to CloudFormation so I can redeploy as IaC (infrastructure-as-code). Another, problem I am solving by having my infrastructure setup as code is that any changes made, can be setup and tracked with tools like github/bitbucket and and damaging changes can be quickly reverted to a working version. DevOps for the Win!

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U
User
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"Flexible & powerful"

What do you like best?

Very flexible. Ability for custom flows using custom resources (lambda). One single place to manage all your infrastructure. You can create stacks, stack sets for multi-region deployments, call other stacks, export variables, put them in SSM, create RDS clusters with integration with secrets manager. Anything that is available as an API is available to use as soon as it's GA'ed.

What do you dislike?

YAML does not provide a way to create looping logic. That has to be hard coded (e.g. ability to create 'n' subnets will have to be hard-coded or will have to write repetitive code)

Recommendations to others considering the product:

For us with serverless deployment, this was a must. We wanted to deploy serverless infrastructure at runtime (creation of a new account). With CFN APIs this was as easy as deploying a stack from the console or CLI. Moreover, other frameworks like Terraform & serverless also use the same APIs to deploy infra & code. We preferred to skip all of that as this meant anything that AWS releases is available to us right away (rather than wait for it to be implemented over Terraform or serverless)

What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Infrastructure deployment & serverless application deployment. One single skillset to do both.

What Cloud Infrastructure Automation solution do you use?

Thanks for letting us know!
Sabitha M.
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Verified Current User
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"Building on demand infrastructure through Cloud Formation"

What do you like best?

Cloud formation helps one to put infrastructure as code .Individual Amazon resource can be put together as code in cloud formation template and create infrastructure with minimum effort and within time. Cloud formation template is easily understandable , it is written in json or yaml. Once cloud formation template is launched it shows user to select parameters from console. These parameters are defined in cloud formation templates . User can build complex infrastructure through CFT's and easily viewed on cloud formation services on AWS.If stack deployment is failed cloud formation template has capability to roll out the infrastructure and user can select to delete. User can easily update the new changes to existing stack through update option , if any failures stack with automatic roll out and delete the new changes which reduces lot of time on individual user to check . Errors can be easily view on the console, resource creation can be view and directly linked to the resources. Output of cloud formation can be configured in templates so that new user can able to understand what as configured. Using CFT user can create IAM roles,policies, Auto scaling group,Elastic load balancers and application code can be excuted when instance is getting started or at boot time through User data. User can automate application deployment through user date and make common tools available while bringing up the service.

Cloud formation is easily integrated with Jenkins for automation and errors can ve validated through error state codes through aws cli commands so that one can view the status onJenkins. Charges are applicable for the resource usage

What do you dislike?

writing conditions is little difficult in cloud formation templates

Recommendations to others considering the product:

Recommened

What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

It solved manual effort to create infrastructure in repeatable manner.User can build their own VPC, Instances,Autoscaling groups, And new IAM roles with small change in code

And new instances are having common tools tools installed before they start using through USer data.On the AWS cloud formation control every one can sed the resources created as part of stack creation and see who has access to what

Dan O.
Validated Reviewer
Verified Current User
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"Infrastructure as Code. Great, but there is a learning curve. "

What do you like best?

It's effectively a documented build sheet, except all of your infrastructure can be built automatically from code. Cloudformation is able to setup resources across the AWS stack and across all regions, it's free and you only pay for the resources that you use/deploy. It can be managed from a CLI or API. Code (JSON) can be built from a drag and drop GUI or by hand.

What do you dislike?

Whilst you can export the output values of a stack, you can't export the Cloudformation script of the infrastructure that you have built. Whilst Cloudformation will help you create and provision infrastructure, you've still got to build and deploy the applications on those infrastructures - it's only part of the puzzle of tools that you'll need to gain familiar with on the AWS stack.

What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Automatic creation of website infrastructure, provides the ability to build an instance for development work to proceed and stop using it overnight thus lowering the overall hosting cost.

U
User
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"Great way to spin up new hardware in a manageable repeatable way."

What do you like best?

I like that I can define how I want my hardware to be created and then tear it all down when I am done and know that all of the bits and pieces I created have been cleaned up!

What do you dislike?

The cloudformation syntax can be challenging. There are some features to some systems that are unavailable for configuration in cloudformation. There is a lag between the time a feature is launched and when it is available in cloudformation.

The end of 2018 they started a new console for deploying cloudformation. It is extremely clickly to get the same information as the old one. It is prettier, but not as usable.

Recommendations to others considering the product:

It is part of amazon, so it will be there. There are other tools out there, but they can have more lag than cloudformation,

What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Configuring infrastructure in AWS in a repeatable way that can be easily accounted for.

Apurv D.
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"Spin up Infrastructure with ease"

What do you like best?

1. All most all services are covered

2. Support of YAML and JSON

3. Excellent when on-demand spin up and tear down of infrastructure is required

4. Wait conditions support

5. Support of Nested Stack

6. Good support on failure and to rollback changes at last stable state / configuration

What do you dislike?

1. Can be used with AWS only. Integration with other cloud services is not possible.

2. It takes time for new services to be avail for cloud formation template

3. Community support is not excellent

Recommendations to others considering the product:

Before you explore this service, make sure to have enough hands on experience with other AWS services. As JSON formation is easy to program but bit difficult to debug, sometimes it takes more time to debug.

If you are setting up CI then I would recommend to use Cloud Formation with Code Pipeline. If you are setting up CD as well, use CodeBuild Stack along.

On demand environment-infrastructure creation becomes easy with Cloud Formation.

What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

We have some demo assets created which requires higher GPU and CPU cycles as they work mainly with Machine Learning and Image classification problems. To keep server up and running on local premises doesn't help always. To keep the server up and running on cloud makes it costly.

Cloud formation solves this problem with great extent. We created cloud formation script and put all required resources in S3 (including formation script). Now by one service call, we can spin up and tear down infrastructure.

UI
User in Information Technology and Services
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"DevOps made easy, again"

What do you like best?

FREE, All YAML, No new language to learn, No State to manage

Has a usable interface

Cross Stack Resource Reference, Nested Stacks

Intrinsic Functions

Autoscaling, Failure and Rollback Managed by AWS

Parallelism and flow management

Support Wait Conditions

Integrates nicely with other related AWS services (Code Pipeline)

Generate and deploy changesets (Terraform plan-deploy)

What do you dislike?

Not so great cli, poor logging

A new comer will need to go through vast AWS concepts and documentation

Can’t integrate with existing resources

Modularity (nested stacks/ import export values global)

Lack of programmatic statements (Loops/Iterations)

Tends to ignore actual deployed infrastructure in favor of it's own state

Infrastructure drift detection feature not live yet

Recommendations to others considering the product:

AWS CloudFormation is a great way to have your infrastructure coded. CloudFormation really shines in it's integrations with other AWS offerings in order to create an end-to-end solution. One of my favorite use-cases is AWS CodePipeline as code in order to achieve Continuous Delivery.

What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Infrastructure can be managed and provisioned using code

Programmatic representation of the state of our infrastructure

Changes can be read, tracked, accounted and reverted

The infrastructure itself can be re-created time and again

Less Human Intervention and Errors

Reilly H.
Validated Reviewer
Review Source
content

"CloudFormation makes deploying full environments or stacks easy and manageable"

What do you like best?

The ability to group resources together configured based on parameters that can be deployed from parameters supplied dynamically at stack creation time and also modified thereafter without having to necessarily rebuild the whole stack.

The ability to see what would update and how before submitting the update.

The ability to code the stack creation not as a language but as a set of final parameters a la Ansible/Chef/Puppet style rather than specifying each step individually.

What do you dislike?

JSON, anything JSON drives me bonkers. I am not really a programmer/developer.

I am a Systems Engineer, so YAML is where it's at. Thankfully YAML is supported, did I mention that previously?

Recommendations to others considering the product:

Consider using it to management a DevOps deployment model.

What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Make managing whole environments easy and help in us support blue/green "red/black in Netflix nomenclature" deployments.

UI
User in Information Technology and Services
Validated Reviewer
Review Source
content

"AWS CloudFormation makes Devops easy"

What do you like best?

I work with machine learning and although making models is a tedious process, it's something that I have trained myself over the years, however when it comes to product-ionize the model, I have to depend on the engineers in my team. No more, with AWS CloudFormation I can run anything just by making either a JSON or YAML file and then running it over either on AWS console or programmatically.

Moreover, if the script doesn't run successfully, AWS CloudFormation is smart enough to roll back all the changes.

Since, all the deployments over AWS happen via AWS CloudFormation, so this is much faster and one can access AWS CloudFormation log to understand what went wrong.

What do you dislike?

There is a good learning curve and someone on his/her first day would find this very difficult. I nearly gave this up, but then I watched some Youtube videos that gave me better understanding of the platform.

There are certain things that you'd learn over time. Also, you can't export the infrastructure script but only the stack script.

Another thing is this can't be used with any other cloud service provider and is only specific to AWS

Recommendations to others considering the product:

I would suggest two things

1. Follow some tutorials from youtube or any other post before you deep dive yourself

2. Don't give up easily, as this is a good service but might take some time to learn

What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

I was using this to create the infrastructure automatically without going to the console to create a particular stack

UI
User in Information Services
Validated Reviewer
Review Source
content

"Cloudformating makes DevOps easy"

What do you like best?

Its really easy service. If you understand YAML/ JSON format, it should not be difficult to understand cloud-formation. If you prefer json over yaml, just use a converter and get it to yaml format and vice versa

So, the good thing - all things we do on AWS, they basically get executed via cloudformation. Therefore if we use cloudformation it is bound to be faster. For example, if we want to start an EC2 instance, we can either go to the console, or cli, or programmatic access. Well, nothing can beat cloudformation.

Cloudformation is also smart and creates resources simultaneously and in order so that you don't face any issues. I was recently creating a Lex bot and I used aws console, programmatic access and cloudformation and of all them, cloudformation was the easiest. All I had to do was change or copy-paste some parameters.

When the cloudformation script fails, it rolls back everything so you don't have to worry about that.

What do you dislike?

Well, cloudformation is easy but only if you've worked before on it or you understand YAML/JSON. If you have to start anything from scratch on cloudformation, I am pretty sure it is very difficult to work out. One can't write those yaml from scratch. So, it does have learning curve.

Recommendations to others considering the product:

I would suggest that you start first with the console and then get the cloudformation template from it and then start editing it. Starting right away might cause problem.

What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Clouformation can be thought of as code to create infrastructure. I have used it for EC2 instances and lex bots.

Konstantin V.
Validated Reviewer
Verified Current User
Review Source
content

"CloudFormation as a virtual applience"

What do you like best?

I like the idea of creating a self-containing CloudFormation templates (with inline Lamnbdas) to solve a business task. Just send CFN template as an attachment to an email.

What do you dislike?

I think Amazon should provide a marketplace for pure CloudFormation solutions. So we should be able to sell them and track the usage at the same time. So some surrounding with licensing is required to unfold the whole new market of cloud "paper-based" appliances.

Size limit for a CloudFormation template when run within inside a AWS CodePipeline

Recommendations to others considering the product:

CloudFormation is integral part of server-less Ci/CD on AWS. I would recommend to anyone to use AWS CloudFormation + AWS CodePipeline + AWS CodeBuild stack.

What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

CloudFormation is a part of our CI/CD strategy; Cloud appliances;

Srdjan P.
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Verified Current User
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Business partner of the vendor or vendor's competitor, not included in G2 scores.

"AWS CloudFormation Stack"

What do you like best?

The easy way to create Stack with all AWS functions like lambda, SNS, SQA, DynamoDB and more, with permissions for all this function.

What do you dislike?

Better documentation how to create AWS Stack yaml file. Not easy way to create more different environments.

Recommendations to others considering the product:

I think AWS CloudFront is the future for backend side.

What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Integration all AWS function in one Stack (yaml file). Better deployments and easy way to change new version of Stack for production.

U
User
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Business partner of the vendor or vendor's competitor, not included in G2 scores.

"Using it for everything"

What do you like best?

It helps you ensure that all infrastructure that is deployed is managed as code. CloudFormation templates give you all the control over what you put into your account in an auditable and controllable way (provided you configure your repositories etc correctly, but CloudFormation is still at the heart of it).

What do you dislike?

My main annoyance is that not all new resources or features in AWS are adopted by CloudFormation out of the box. You typically see that new features have immediate console, CLI and SDK support, but in cases CloudFormation is lacking which is frustrating if you build your whole infrastructure through CloudFormation.

Recommendations to others considering the product:

It's an automated and native way of managing your resources.

What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

We currently deploy our SaaS product through CloudFormation templates. The SaaS product is a version of our on-premise software realized in the cloud. CloudFormation allowed us to build the tooling required to deploy and manage our environments with it relatively costing less time.

Manil C.
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Verified Current User
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"CloudFormation is great but sadly supported only on AWS"

What do you like best?

It is become more and more difficult to choose the right provisioning tool to build even the relatively complex infrastructure on any Cloud provider. For AWS, what you would be looking for is the ability to provision resources (e.g. EC2, VPC) and the ability to reuse the same configuration to build multiple environments (e.g. development, staging and production). CloudFormation address these two concerns, it is a template driven that can be used to leverage the infrastructure as code paradigm. It is provided by AWS and thus garante the ability to automate the provisioning of any AWS service with their respective latest configuration parameters unlike other tools like terraform that tend to provide generic resource representation despite the target Cloud provider. CloudFormation handles failure nicely, it gives you the possibility to rollback changes to the infrastructure to a last stable configuration.

What do you dislike?

CloudFormation is tide to AWS and cannot be used to provision resources on any other Cloud provider. CloudFormation is maintained by Amazon and no community involvement is possible. Also, the templates writing for CloudFormation tend to be too long (it is a JSON document) compared to other tools that provide a concise DSL (Domain Specific Language). Furthermore, some AWS services (especially new one) are not fully supported by the CloudFormation syntax.

Recommendations to others considering the product:

CloudFormation is the right tool for building infrastructures on AWS but if you need a provisioning tool that support multi-cloud environment than it's not the way to go.

What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

We were charged by a client to migrate some services from it's own data center to the AWS cloud. The task consisted of building similar environment one for each delivery stage (staging and production). The team was mostly composed of DevOps consultants, a handful of ops guys and a solution architect. We ended up choosing CloudFormation as our migration tool thanks for its deep integration with AWS which made the task less painful for us.

Karl D.
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"I still struggle with cloudformation.."

What do you like best?

It's provided by Amazon Web services free of charge and can be integrated with CDK or other wrappers.

What do you dislike?

The vanilla version is written in yaml and can get quite long and messy. I dislike that there's quite a learning curve and so many ways to approach CFN.

Recommendations to others considering the product:

Use it and get use to it, then hopefully begin to craft it with some sort of imperative language rather than declarative.

What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Automation. One stop shop with AWS cloudformation and many other integrated AWS services. We've realized benefits such as managed state storage and drift detection.

Austin C.
Validated Reviewer
Verified Current User
Review Source
content

"basic deployment orchestration service"

What do you like best?

Everything can be deployed with cloudformation in an AWS environment.

What do you dislike?

Communication between cloudformation deployments is growing, but still incomplete.

Recommendations to others considering the product:

If you're doing deployment orchestration in AWS you will need cloudformation. If you have complicated deployments, you will need some sort of system to augment cloudformation, because it won't cover everything.

What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Repeatable deployment orchestration in an AWS environment has to be done with cloudformation, and it does a good job of handling it.

Joshua P.
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Verified Current User
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Business partner of the vendor or vendor's competitor, not included in G2 scores.

"A powerful tool, broadly applicable to other AWS services"

What do you like best?

Nearly every service AWS offers can be enumerated and configured using CloudFormation. For simple syntax checking, JSON is a great format. The available tools for working with CloudFormation templates in IDEs or browser editors is steadily growing, and AWS has released their own visual editing tool which allows less-experienced users to quickly create an environment template and deploy it using CloudFormation. For more advanced users, CloudFormation templates are a powerful and complete means of deploying entire environments in AWS.

What do you dislike?

CloudFormation does not always receive the very latest features for every AWS service when they are launched. This diminishes the effectiveness of this tool for describing and building entire environments from CloudFormation templates, which can increase the time it takes to perform a rebuild or recovery.

Recommendations to others considering the product:

Manage your templates in a revision control (source control) system.

Ensure any iterative changes or extensions to existing configuration (e.g. new security group rules, new systems, everything really) make it into the appropriate CloudFormation template.

Make use of variable declarations and run-time template inputs: do not hard-code resource names or other attributes. You never know when you will want to stand up an exact copy of your environment, and name-space conflicts will prevent you from doing that with CloudFormation!

If you have a production environment which leverages more than 1-2 AWS services, but lack hands-on experience with CloudFormation, definitely enlist the expertise of an AWS Certified consultant or an Amazon Partner Network member who has deployed production environments with CloudFormation before.

Do not try to enumerate an entire environment in a single template. Instead, use at least one template per AWS service: have a template file solely for each type of resource such as RDS, EC2, VPCs. Subnets and security groups within a VPC should go in the template for that VPC (keep dependent resources together in a single template). If you have resources which may be changed or replaced frequently, separate them from resources that change little and absolutely keep templates for database systems separate from all other resource types.

What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

CloudFormation permits the teams we work with to track changes to an environment's infrastructure as code, and provides a simple disaster recovery mechanism in cases where resources might be mistakenly or maliciously deleted. Strictly enforcing infrastructure configuration changes in CloudFormation means we never have to worry about whether a change will persist, and lets us quickly re-deploy entire environments "from scratch" with minimal effort.

Ricardo A.
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Verified Current User
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"Excellent tool for bringing up multiple AWS services at once, but challenging to debug"

What do you like best?

The fact the with one click of a button I can bring a full stack of services for my application. Just fire and forget, generally if the cloudformation template is bug free.

What do you dislike?

The template is purely in JSON (although JSON is a popular data representation format and generally is easy to read) which makes it difficult to debug if you missed a comma or close quotation, etc. It's also difficult to debug if you are have included the right services or right "String" configuration for your service. This actually gets a bit easier if you use tools like troposphere, but out the box is not that easy to debug.

Recommendations to others considering the product:

You generally need to become an expert at debugging JSON with this tool but like I mentioned before there are open source tools that you can use for that such as troposphere. Also, once you move to CloudFormation you generally want to keep using it to bring up all your services for your application because there's no way to decouple parts of the services used in your application. Unless you create another service or microservice to handle parts of the functionality of your application.

What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Bring up full stack of services for a software solution in our company with just a click of button. The benefit there is that we reduce the chance of human error but fully automating the bring up of all the AWS services required instead of just bring them up one by one.

Sheehan A.
Validated Reviewer
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"Great tool for automatically provisioning and deploying your cloud native apps"

What do you like best?

CloudFormation is a free service that comes with your AWS subscription that allows you to define a template for all of your cloud resources and launch them in a predictable and reliable way. You can write either JSON or YAML to define all of your instances, databases etc. and then launch them into production without having to do any manual operation. This is a great way to start diving into the world of devops and continuous delivery.

What do you dislike?

CloudFormation is not as robust as Chef, Terraform or other competitors. Specifically, what you configure is what you ultimately launch. Tools like Terraform will allow you to visualize your "Plan" before you launch it, in case you want to edit it before launching. This makes it easy to prototype and set configurations without having to launch them into production to test.

Recommendations to others considering the product:

You can use other AWS tools such as AWS Config to get a baseline snapshot of your infrastructure. It will create a CloudFormation template for you, and then you can use that baseline to create other cloud formation templates for all of your applications. This will save time, from having to do the initial cloud formation creation up front.

What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

We are trying to automate the deployment and setup of our cloud infrastructure using infrastructure as code. One of the biggest benefits of cloud computing is the ability to instantiate and terminate resources on demand. CloudFormation is a key pillar in providing these setup capabilities through code.

U
User
Validated Reviewer
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content

"Automation in top gear"

What do you like best?

How convenient to automate the creation of an entire infrastrucutre and application stack in minutes! CloudFormation boost our productivty by at least an order of magnitude and enabled us to experiment new ideas very quickly. It's a must to treat all those resources as disposable commodity and get rid of the snowflake effect/config drift.

What do you dislike?

As the usage grow, it is getting cumbersome to manage all those CloudFormation templates. It is hard to componentize and reuse resources.

Recommendations to others considering the product:

Although there is a lot of improvement to CloudFormation, it is still better to use it than to manually manage your resources in AWS.

What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Ability to spin a complete prod-like environment in minutes... something that took weeks back in our datacenter. A big plus for reproducbility and deterministic results

Arjen S.
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Verified Current User
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"CloudFormation is an excellent tool for organizing your AWS infrastructure"

What do you like best?

CloudFormation allows you to easily create an infrastructure, and most importantly it allows you to keep track of the changes you make. This also means that you can quickly copy the infrastructure for a different environment (QA for example) or even an entirely different region.

What do you dislike?

As the templates are written in JSON, it's impossible to put comments inside them. There are ways around that, but it is a limitation in the tool.

Recommendations to others considering the product:

If you're going to be using AWS infrastructure, CloudFormation is probably the easiest way to manage it. There are 3rd party alternatives, but using Amazon's solution offers the best support.

What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

With CloudFormation I can quickly set up new environments, making it far quicker to set this up for different clients. As it's all code, I can also easily reuse (parts of) a template for different uses.

Moosa K.
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"Love it , want to use it more, but so much to learn"

What do you like best?

The fact that it can automate about anything and can collaborate multi-tiered provisioning.

What do you dislike?

Sometime templates can get really complex and although there are sample templates but there are pre-built and sometimes don't help understand the underlying concepts properly.

Recommendations to others considering the product:

Use it, it's the backend for a lot of things. Allows for a lot of granular control over services.

What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Deploying microservices basic application. Making provisioning automated. Help our AWS customers utilize our software easily without any manual involvement or minimal at least.

Seema S.
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"Making provisioning easier"

What do you like best?

This is a big enabler for our product - to allow us to provisioning infrastructure as code, quickly. Being that the provisioning is via code, we're also able to standardise the process, hence reducing errors, improving quality and making the process scalable.

What do you dislike?

Lack of talent pool in the market - so we're not able to hire and adopt as quickly as we would like to.

What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

building a Paas for internal customers to allow them to focus on business problems

Paulo Vitor R.
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Verified Current User
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"Making the infrastructure admin's life easier"

What do you like best?

CloudFormation is one of the amazing parts from the AWS ecosystem. The flexible and reusable way you can handle a group of services, like a template, makes any infrastructure admin's life much easier.

What do you dislike?

I don't think it's a huge limitation but so far it's not possible to name the resources once they are created by CloudFormation. The main reason for this is to avoid name collision between resources which is fair enough, but still, sometimes I miss it.

What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

I would recommend this service for environment replication (easily allowing A/B tests and ephemeral environments). I used this service a couple of times to create environment templates and then I was able to recreate them many times. Very useful for building environments or even replicate production environments to debug problems.

U
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Business partner of the vendor or vendor's competitor, not included in G2 scores.

"AWS CloudFormation"

What do you like best?

CloudFormation makes it easy to define Cloud Resources and perform consistent automation by creating resources via CloudFormation instead of manually creating things each time.

It supports both JSON & YAML which is nice as well.

What do you dislike?

While easy to use, digging down to finding the CloudFormation template documentation can be rather annoying- it's a bit hidden on the AWS website. But once you bookmark it, you're set!

What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Automation needs & it has saved us time and effort by being able to define a resource once and then consistently re-deploy a stack

UI
User in Information Technology and Services
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"Creating/Deleting all AWS resources using single service"

What do you like best?

1) Cloud Formation has integration support with almost all the AWS services. You can create all the resources you need in one step using a cloud formation template. Deleting the appropriate template will also delete all the resources created by it. This way managing of AWS resources becomes very easy. Without Cloud Formation you have to individually make calls to either create/delete the resource and needs to track the related resources. CloudFormation is good at solving this problem.

What do you dislike?

1) Only JSON support.

2) Lot of eventual consistency issues while deleting some of the AWS resources created using CloudFormation. Need to invoke delete multiple times.

3) Cloud Formation for new services with the launch of new service would be great rather than to wait for sometime.

Recommendations to others considering the product:

1) If you want to maintain multiple AWS resources at single place cloud formation is the place to go. Its like infrastructure as a code where you can specify all the infrastructure needed to run something as part of single template and let the template create all the resources you need. It also supports parametrization which is helpful for interactions between multiple resources.

What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Used this for creating or scaling multiple environments like testing, beta, gamma, prod. Not only creation but tearing down these environments.

Used this to setup services running in EC2 with all the VPCs, Security groups, subnets etc. These servers are used to hosting multiple websites.

Benefits:

1) Hassle free maintenance of multiple AWS resources using one service.

2) Scaling up/down is super easy with launching new templates or deleting the existing ones.

3) Good support in console with drag and drop support.

Jonathan H.
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"I've use cloudformation for about one and half year"

What do you like best?

I like the ability to create nested stack (using a stack to create another stack), this feature allows us to create a button up or top down design of the architecture and achieve the structure as code goal.

What do you dislike?

The document and the cloudformation function/feature is not always up to date with latest amazon features, so that sometimes we have to enable the feature from the AWS Web console manually or using AWS cli to enable that new feature.

Recommendations to others considering the product:

It's hard to tell that cloudformation can do much if you are running small architecture at single environment. But if you run your business in different amazon regions with multiple environment, You should consider use cloudformation to manage all the architecture and deployment, it's quite easy to integrate with chef (or just shell script).

What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

As an system engineer in a cellphone company, we have to handle multiple environment such as dev/test/staging/production. It become much more easy to create a new environment in new region or crate a sandbox environment during testing cycles with cloudformation template and chef, and it allows us to make both architecture and deployment changes at the same time which reduce both time and costs to deal with the inconsistence of different environments.

Duncan H.
Validated Reviewer
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content

"Cloudformation - infrastructure as code"

What do you like best?

Ability to manage our infrastructure in code, keeping it version controlled.

What do you dislike?

Some new parts felt a bit clunky, like the ability to export restful swagger for use in the template. Its improving rapidly though! Not a deterrent.

Recommendations to others considering the product:

If you are bound to AWS this is great, if you have plans to move away you could look into Terraform

What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Moving this to code has enabled non devops engineers to understand the architecture without having to log into the console. At a high level it provides documentation of the setup.

Simone S.
Validated Reviewer
Review Source
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"Professional"

What do you like best?

I'm a JSON lover, and I like the idea to keep everything I need under control by simply describing the infrastructure. It may sounds a bit verbose (it is), but I'd rather prefer it than creating resources via the Console, since I can't reproduce it in case of disaster recovery or rollback.

What do you dislike?

It's pretty powerful. Maybe the lack of versioning of the infrastructure. At the moment I'm implementing it by myself, by storing the templates along with the codebase on Git). The documentation cover all the aspects, but I would improve the examples. Sometimes I prefer look for a snippet on Google rather than using the official docs

Recommendations to others considering the product:

Using a library that generates the template programmatically is tempting, and is often useful. But if you want full control of Cloudformation, better go plain JSON.

What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

The entire infrastructure of the components I contributed to develop (stateless/stateful resources) has been described and set under revision control. The benefit is that I can reproduce my infrastructure, and gain more control over the rollback (which is not only a matter of codebase).

UC
User in Computer Software
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Verified Current User
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content

"If you love JSON, you'll love CloudFormation"

What do you like best?

My favorite feature of CloudFormation is the ability to natively group resources. As an operations engineer I often find that business requirements change fast, and you need to stand up services in a consistent and repeatable fashion.

Properly designed CloudFormation stacks serve this need. Although there are a number of frustrating limitations I still find it easier to use than something like boto/troposphere.

What do you dislike?

I wish that Amazon would offer CloudFormation resources for all of their services. As an example, they released ElasticSearch but have yet to provide any CloudFormation APIs to deploy these resources. It is also really confusing and frustrating to learn, especially things like data types in nested stacks and the proper usage of AWS::NoValue.

Recommendations to others considering the product:

If you have a lot of resources and need to easily manage many stacks, look at a Cloudformation template management tool such as Ansible. Using the EC2 API to query things like security group IDs is helpful and can eliminate a lot of the drudgery of maintaining parameter files.

CloudFormation is JSON, but it's also still code. You can't really add comments, but you can define organizational standards and make sure that your team sticks to them. Peer review and VCS management of your CF stacks is essential.

What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

It provides repeatability and consistency across team members. It really shines when you need to decommission infrastructure. You don't have to rely on tagging or tribal knowledge to find all of the resources to delete when shutting down resources.

U
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content

"Simple Autoamtion"

What do you like best?

I like how our complete infrastructure can be spun up down to the smallest details with cloudformation. This proved really effective for us at UMD when creating new environments for vendor-ed products which use the same resources.

What do you dislike?

The learning curve can be a bit steep and debugging can be non-intuitive when templates are large.

What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

- Hosting of various environments correlated to the needs for our division of IT.

Bryan M.
Validated Reviewer
Review Source
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"AWS CloudFormation experience"

What do you like best?

Allows us to quickly implement true "infrastructure as code" on AWS; also, excellent documentation and examples really helped us climb the learning curve quickly.

What do you dislike?

I wouldn't call it a dislike but it seems like a graphical editor would allow users to visualize their environments while generating the required JSON in the background. The only other complaint I really have is the overall performance of complicated CloudFormation runs - the develop/debug process can be quite time-consuming.

Recommendations to others considering the product:

If you are targeting deployment on AWS, CloudFormation is extremely powerful. The ability to merge core infrastructure with AWS platform services, all tied together with security groups, and network routing is extremely powerful.

What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

We are building a new multitenant platform to support a suite of products for our public safety products. We are developing in public cloud regions but finalizing test, staging, and production in the AWS GovCloud region.

Darun J.
Validated Reviewer
Review Source
content

"Why AWS CloudFormation?"

What do you like best?

AWS CloudFormation allows you to create a template using almost all the services from the AWS environment. This allows us to replicate any model within minutes.

What do you dislike?

The block design UI used to create a YAML template could be improved.

Recommendations to others considering the product:

Best tool to replicate any architectural design

What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Created a chatbot with AWS lambda, Redshift and API gateway. Used CloudFormation to replicate this model for different clients

A
Administrator
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content

"Major step forward for infrastructure as code"

What do you like best?

Declarative syntax for creating almost any resource in AWS helps us create repeatable environments and assists with onboarding new team members.

What do you dislike?

Long integration testing times for nested stacks. The console needs improvements, especially in how stacks are organized, for example, if nested stacks could be rolled-up under the parent stack in the console, this would make using search less of a requirement.

Recommendations to others considering the product:

Nested stacks are very powerful but have some caveats and testing nested stacks can be very time consuming.

What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Reverse engineering snowflake servers and defining the requirements in templates. We are also using CloudFormation templates to help cross-train others.

Robert R.
Validated Reviewer
Review Source
content
Business partner of the vendor or vendor's competitor, not included in G2 scores.

"Not the best of ease of use, but drift management makes up for it!"

What do you like best?

Drift management will change office dynamics. We've all had a dev who couldn't be bothered to do things the right way. Now we can nail that person to the wall by showing the unofficial changes they've been making!

What do you dislike?

Ease of use isn't as good as some of the third party options, and obviously isn't multicloud.

What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Reproducable deployments for new software projects

Tamir R.
Validated Reviewer
Review Source
content

"The best service ever"

What do you like best?

Strong service to manage and control infrastructure in the cloud.

ITs a great service for Dev, Staging, Production, Hotfix, DR plan, etc.

What do you dislike?

for now, only the new UI, but maybe I just need to get used to that

Recommendations to others considering the product:

It's a MUST! Without using it, you are not a professional!

What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

control over all environments, duplicate stacks between environamnet and tests, etc

U
User
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content
Business partner of the vendor or vendor's competitor, not included in G2 scores.

"Making AWS Life Easier!"

What do you like best?

It's an easy and quick way to deploy as well as remove deployments. It's cool enough to be able to do a massive deployment with associated configuration but at the same time being able to remove it all in one shot goes that extra step. It's really nice to know that when it's removed it completely removed.

What do you dislike?

There's a bit of a learning curve to it and sometimes the instructions and example can be a bit cryptic. It would also help if there was a better repo of templates.

What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

IAM and EC2 configuration and deployments of solutions.

Ming H.
Validated Reviewer
Review Source
content

"Easy to deploy"

What do you like best?

It can defines everythings with cloudformation . It will create all define apps, services in one run. It is very easy to resovle the issues.

What do you dislike?

When it has errors, there not easy to follow documentation. It will need spend most of time to look for solution from Internet. Try it and redeploy it.

What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

WIth deploy apps to AWS cloud

Lawanda R.
Validated Reviewer
Review Source
content

"Quick deployments saving time and money."

What do you like best?

The ability launch a production environment without provisioning individual route tables, security groups or EC2 instances.

What do you dislike?

More custom AMI would be a nice addition.

Recommendations to others considering the product:

Definitely would recommend because of ease of use.

What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

The marketplace allows you to launch custom environments that you usually would have to build out yourself.

Anthony A.
Validated Reviewer
Review Source
content
Business partner of the vendor or vendor's competitor, not included in G2 scores.

"cloudformation makes resource provisioning easy and repeatable"

What do you like best?

yaml support has helped greatly in speed of writing cloudformation scripts without syntax and formatting errors.

What do you dislike?

cross stack tagging and referencing is still not smooth, something like the policy generator that can access existing resources and create dynamic references would be cool

What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

provisioning infrasctructure in GovCloud for development and production workloads

U
User
Validated Reviewer
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content

"Cloudformation to help customers reliably set up complex environments"

What do you like best?

The ability to declaratively describe an entire clustered Tableau Server setup is absolutely wonderful; one button push (Via Marketplace) allows customers to try (and hopefully buy) an entire working Tableau Server cluster. No documentation to decypher and minimal tech support hand-holding makes it easy.

What do you dislike?

A bit inflexible at times. Some recent developments (macros, for example) may reduce this pain a bit.

Recommendations to others considering the product:

Don't be afraid to ask for help; support at AWS is pretty great.

What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Allowing potential customers to set up a Tableau Server cluster with minimal headache

A
Administrator
Validated Reviewer
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content

"Cloudformation Review"

What do you like best?

I love how easy it is to deploy large amounts of infrastructure.

What do you dislike?

I think this has been fixed recently but if something is manually modified outside the template there can be large issues. If an IAM role is already created CF does not like it. I feel like it should be known that if a role already exists that is fine. I could probably tweek this by changing my CF setup but I feel like it should do this out of the box.

What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

large infrastructure deployments

Kristofer Earl S.
Validated Reviewer
Review Source
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Business partner of the vendor or vendor's competitor, not included in G2 scores.

"It was great using this service"

What do you like best?

This product is easy to use and very helpful in automating.

What do you dislike?

some of the aws resource are not intergrated yet

Recommendations to others considering the product:

If you want to automate the creation of your AWS resources. I think this service is for you.

What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Automation and fasten creation and deletion of all aws resources

AC
Administrator in Computer Software
Validated Reviewer
Verified Current User
Review Source
content

"AWS Cloudformation"

What do you like best?

it work well with many amazon components almost all amazon services as compared to its competitors like Chef Provisioning or Bosh.

it has capabilities to update the stack which is good.

What do you dislike?

work well with in AWS only, you can not reuse the work if you are not on AWS. like other tools chef provisioning or bosh which can work on other cloud provider.

Update do not update current machine user data which is good and bad

Recommendations to others considering the product:

all in AWS solution CF is best .. in class and have most AWS services then any other tool

What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

creating software stack on AWS with LB, machines DB's

A
Administrator
Validated Reviewer
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content

"Oh my god why?"

What do you like best?

AWS updates it; supports the latest features

What do you dislike?

My team found that once we started trying to break it apart and make it modular it was difficult to end up with anything that anyone enjoyed working with. We disliked it so much that we ended up writing our own python-based abstraction around it that allowed us to use simple and flat CloudFormation templates and connect them to each other via python code.

Recommendations to others considering the product:

Supported by AWS so always up to date.

What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Infrastructure as Code. Allows us to use version control to store the templates.

A
Administrator
Validated Reviewer
Review Source
content

"CFT for the Network Security Architect"

What do you like best?

Cloudformation is simply the best solution for deploying immutable security infrastructure in the cloud. It's flexibility and continuous development are key factors for dynamic deployments of security infrastructure within AWS for the large enterprise

What do you dislike?

Up to this point my only dislike was the lack of macros, that has just now been added to cloudformation and I'm looking forward to it's use

What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

As a network security architect CFT is the cornerstone of deploying security infrastrucutre in a consistent and verifiable manner

David L.
Validated Reviewer
Review Source
content
Business partner of the vendor or vendor's competitor, not included in G2 scores.

"Powerful but Confusing"

What do you like best?

CloudFormation is an everything AND the kitchen sink tool for managing AWS resources

What do you dislike?

The use of JSON for configuring CloudFornmation is tedious, hard to write and read, and makes it hard to debug.

Recommendations to others considering the product:

Don't use JSON

What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Spinning up on-demand ephemeral resourceds

Ben H.
Validated Reviewer
Review Source
content

"Changes in infrastructure is not the same as changes in code"

What do you like best?

For first time creation of infrastructure is done through code and no drift.

What do you dislike?

Making changes in infrastructure is often confused with changing code.

Recommendations to others considering the product:

Design to delete and rebuild stacks often.

What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Improve from the previous management style rely on system admins.

Ethan V.
Validated Reviewer
Review Source
content

"Strict control of your application infrastructure"

What do you like best?

I like the ablility to define everything about the infrastructure so that I can iteratively refine each component.

What do you dislike?

Working with the YAML or JSON templates can be daunting.

What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Launching the complete application with the ability to tear down.

Tzu-Chi Y.
Validated Reviewer
Verified Current User
Review Source
content

"Easy to use with prepared configuration json"

What do you like best?

I like the way that we can design our infrastructure using pure GUI.

What do you dislike?

I may need better knowledge of the backend for fine-tuning the infrastructure.

Recommendations to others considering the product:

Need better small examples for CloudFormation configurations, so that newbies get easier to learn it.

What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

I just want to set up the private VPN to use in China.

Kate from G2

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