As companies get more used to running applications in the cloud, they are putting together more complex systems. That in turn puts higher demands on management platforms, which have to allow users to take better advantage of the programmability and scalability of the cloud.
CloudFormation aims to give developers and systems administrators a way to create and manage a collection of related resources, provisioning and updating them in an orderly and predictable fashion.
The latest additions to the platform are parallel stack processing and nested stack updates.
The first feature allows CloudFormation to create, update, and delete resources in parallel in order to improve the performance of these operations. For example, provisioning a RAID 0 setup, which involves the creation of multiple Elastic Block Store volumes, is now faster because CloudFormation can provision the volumes in parallel, Amazon said in a blog post.
The platform automatically determines which resources in a template can be created in parallel. Templates are used as a blue print when running CloudFormation to describe the stack of applications and resources needed.
The second new feature, called nested stack updates, deals with how resources are updated. Using CloudFormation, a three-tier application consisting of, for example, a web tier, app tier, and database tier can be created together and in the correct order. With the introduction of nested stack updates, users can also update all the parts in one swoop, instead of having to update each part individually.
CloudFormation is available at no additional charge.