DevOps in AWS: CloudFormation, CodeCommit, CodePipeline, and CodeDeploy

We are entering a new era of technology this is causing and a cultural shift in the way software projects are built. The waterfall model paved the way for agile development a few years back. Today a need exists for better collaboration between IT operations, developers, and IT Infrastructure engineers. This need brought about the new culture that we call DevOps.

DevOps is fundamentally about improved collaboration, integration, automation, reliable, and consistent IT operations. DevOps is an efficient journey from development to production. It requires the overlapping and intersecting responsibilities of developers and IT operations.

DevOps means:

  • Infrastructure as code
  • Continuous Deployment
  • Continuous Integration
  • Version Control Integration
  • Test Automation
  • Monitoring

The goal of this post is to introduce you to CloudFormation, CodeCommit, CodePipeline & CodeDeploy which fits separately into DevOps pipeline. I include other important tools and technologies such as OpsWorks, Cloudwatch, and Beanstalk because without them the discussion would be incomplete.

Infrastructure as a code with CloudFormation:

Treating infrastructure as code offers many benefits. It means creation, deployment, and maintenance of infrastructure in a programmatic, descriptive, and declarative way. It maintains the infrastructures’ version, putting in a defined format, maintaining the syntax and semantics helps in the long run for an IT operation engineer. When the code is maintained and deployed according to the above-mentioned practice, the expected result is a consistent and reliable environment.

Maintaining infrastructure as code is nothing new for the engineers who have worked with Opscode Chef, Puppet, Ansible, and Salt among others. A good example of this is cookbooks in Chef. This is what we like to call, Infrastructure as code. See below:

package 'nginx' do
  action :install
end
service 'nginx' do
  action [ :enable, :start ]
end
cookbook_file "/usr/share/nginx/www/index.html" do
  source "index.html"
  mode "0644"
end

Take a look at how easily an nginx server installation starts and displays the homepage in a defined code format. This is a cookbook in the Ruby language and maintained as if it were regular code. You can use version control software like git or svn to store it and make improvements.

Those are not new to AWS can easily find that from a very early time in cloud computing provides infrastructure as code in terms of CloudFormation. By using CloudFormation template (in JSON format) you can define and model AWS resources. They follow a defined syntax and maintained just like the way the DevOps principle demands. Take a look:

{
  "AWSTemplateFormatVersion" : "2010-09-09",
  "Description" : "AWS CloudFormation Sample Template Sample template EIP_With_Association: This template shows how to associate an Elastic IP address with an Amazon EC2 instance",
  "Parameters" : {
    "InstanceType" : {
      "Description" : "WebServer EC2 instance type",
      "Type" : "String",
      "Default" : " m2.xlarge",
      "AllowedValues" : ["m2.xlarge", "m2.2xlarge", "m3.xlarge", "m3.2xlarge"]
,
      "ConstraintDescription" : "must be a valid EC2 instance type."
    },
    "KeyName" : {
      "Description" : "Name of an existing EC2 KeyPair to enable SSH access to the instances",
      "Type" : "AWS::EC2::KeyPair::KeyName",
      "ConstraintDescription" : "must be the name of an existing EC2 KeyPair."
    },
    "SSHLocation" : {
      "Description" : "The IP address range that can be used to SSH to the EC2 instances",
      "Type": "String",
      "MinLength": "9",
      "MaxLength": "18",
      "Default": "0.0.0.0/0",
      "AllowedPattern": "(\\d{1,3})\\.(\\d{1,3})\\.(\\d{1,3})\\.(\\d{1,3})/(\\d{1,2})",
      "ConstraintDescription": "must be a valid IP CIDR range of the form x.x.x.x/x."
    }
  },
  "Mappings" : {
    "AWSInstanceType2Arch" : {
      "m2.xlarge"   : { "Arch" : "PV64"   },
      "m2.2xlarge"  : { "Arch" : "PV64"   },
      "m3.large"    : { "Arch" : "HVM64"  },
      "m3.2xlarge"  : { "Arch" : "HVM64"  }
    },
    "AWSInstanceType2NATArch" : {
      "m2.xlarge"   : { "Arch" : "NATPV64"   },
      "m2.2xlarge"  : { "Arch" : "NATPV64"   },
      "m3.xlarge"   : { "Arch" : "NATHVM64"  },
      "m3.2xlarge"  : { "Arch" : "NATHVM64"  }
    }
,
    "AWSRegionArch2AMI" : {
      "us-east-1"        : {"PV64" : "ami-5fb8c835", "HVM64" : "ami-60b6c60a", "HVMG2" : "ami-e998ea83"},
      "us-west-1"        : {"PV64" : "ami-56ea8636", "HVM64" : "ami-d5ea86b5", "HVMG2" : "ami-943956f4"}
    }
  },
  "Resources" : {
    "EC2Instance" : {
      "Type" : "AWS::EC2::Instance",
      "Properties" : {
        "UserData" : { "Fn::Base64" : { "Fn::Join" : [ "", [ "IPAddress=", {"Ref" : "IPAddress"}]]}},
        "InstanceType" : { "Ref" : "InstanceType" },
        "SecurityGroups" : [ { "Ref" : "InstanceSecurityGroup" } ],
        "KeyName" : { "Ref" : "KeyName" },
        "ImageId" : { "Fn::FindInMap" : [ "AWSRegionArch2AMI", { "Ref" : "AWS::Region" },
                          { "Fn::FindInMap" : [ "AWSInstanceType2Arch", { "Ref" : "InstanceType" }, "Arch" ] } ] }
      }
    },
    "InstanceSecurityGroup" : {
      "Type" : "AWS::EC2::SecurityGroup",
      "Properties" : {
        "GroupDescription" : "Enable SSH access",
        "SecurityGroupIngress" :
          [ { "IpProtocol" : "tcp", "FromPort" : "22", "ToPort" : "22", "CidrIp" : { "Ref" : "SSHLocation"} }]
      }
    },
    "IPAddress" : {
      "Type" : "AWS::EC2::EIP"
    },
    "IPAssoc" : {
      "Type" : "AWS::EC2::EIPAssociation",
      "Properties" : {
        "InstanceId" : { "Ref" : "EC2Instance" },
        "EIP" : { "Ref" : "IPAddress" }
      }
    }
  },
  "Outputs" : {
    "InstanceId" : {
      "Description" : "InstanceId of the newly created EC2 instance",
      "Value" : { "Ref" : "EC2Instance" }
    },
    "InstanceIPAddress" : {
      "Description" : "IP address of the newly created EC2 instance",
      "Value" : { "Ref" : "IPAddress" }
    }
  }
}

Here all the details required to launch an EC2 instance–coded and maintained. At first glance, it may not appear useful. But upon closer inspection, the code has every detail, what should be the size of the instance, what is the architecture we are looking for, the security group, the region we want to deploy etc. It is a very basic template. But imagine when you create a complete environment and you want to maintain the consistency and reliability, this kind of template will help you immensely at later point of time. No wonder, a PaaS platform like PCF on AWS can be completely deployed using a CloudFormation template.

You can also check the Cloud Academy blogs on:
1. Cloud Formation Deployment Automation
2. Cloud Formation Deployment Tool
3. Writing your first cloud formation template
4. Understanding nesting cloud formation stacks

for a better and detailed understanding of the topic.

Version Control Integration with CodeCommit:

AWS CodeCommit is the Git-as-a-Service in AWS. We have an introductory blog on CodeCommit which will be a useful starting point to get introduced to CodeCommit. A cloud-based source control system with features like HA, fully managed, can store anything, secure. It has virtually limitless storage and no repo size limit, secured with AWS IAM and data is replicated across AZs for durability.

Continuous Deployment with CodeDeploy:

Continuous Deployment is another principle of DevOps where the production-ready code is automatically deployed from version controlled system repository. AWS CodeDeploy helps to deploy codes in AWS EC2 with minimal downtime, with centralized deployment control and monitoring. Using CodeDeploy is easy and few step process which are:

  1. Create an AppSec file and package your application. AppSec file describes a series of steps that CodeDeploy will use to deploy.
  2. Set up your deployment environment. In this step, you define your DeploymentGroup such as AutoScaling Group and Install the agents in EC2 instances.
  3. Deploy.

A sample CLI command is as follows:

$aws deploy create-deployment --application-name test-app
            --deployment-group-name test-dg
            --s3-location bucket=test-bucket, key=myapp.zip

You can read about our blog posts on CodeDeploy from here.

Continuous Delivery and automation with CodePipeline:

AWS CodePipeline is Amazon’s offering for Continuous Delivery and release automation service. AWS CodePipeline automates the release process for building the code, deploying to pre-production environments, testing your application and releasing it to production. Every time there is a code change, AWS CodePipeline builds, tests, and deploys the application according to the defined workflow.
AWS CodePipeline

(Image Courtesy: Amazon)

CodePipeline is flexible which allows you to integrate partner tools and your own custom tools into any stage of the release process. The partner tools are GitHub for Source Control, Solano Labs, Jenkins & CloudBees for Build, Continuous Delivery & Integration, Apica, Blazemaster, Ghost Inspector for testing and XebiaLabs for deployment.

Conclusion

AWS has always put the best effort to provide its users with the best tools and technologies. The effort is also made to make them simple, effortless and not very tough learning curve to use. Every new announcement, we are experiencing that AWS has made the cloud journey smooth, agile and efficient by embracing the DevOps technologies and principles in its platform.

Avatar

Written by

Chandan Patra

Cloud Computing and Big Data professional with 10 years of experience in pre-sales, architecture, design, build and troubleshooting with best engineering practices.Specialities: Cloud Computing - AWS, DevOps(Chef), Hadoop Ecosystem, Storm & Kafka, ELK Stack, NoSQL, Java, Spring, Hibernate, Web Service


Related Posts

Avatar
Cloud Academy Team
— July 9, 2020

Which Certifications Should I Get?

The old AWS slogan, “Cloud is the new normal” is indeed a reality today. Really, cloud has been the new normal for a while now and getting credentials has become an increasingly effective way to quickly showcase your abilities to recruiters and companies.With all that in mind, the s...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • Certifications
  • Cloud Computing
  • Google Cloud Platform
Alisha Reyes
Alisha Reyes
— July 2, 2020

New Content: AWS, Azure, Typescript, Java, Docker, 13 New Labs, and Much More

This month, our Content Team released a whopping 13 new labs in real cloud environments! If you haven't tried out our labs, you might not understand why we think that number is so impressive. Our labs are not “simulated” experiences — they are real cloud environments using accounts on A...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • DevOps
  • Google Cloud Platform
  • Machine Learning
  • programming
Joe Nemer
Joe Nemer
— June 19, 2020

Kickstart Your Tech Training With a Free Week on Cloud Academy

Are you looking to make a jump in your technical career? Want to get trained or certified on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud Platform, DevOps, Kubernetes, Python, or another in-demand skill?Then you'll want to mark your calendar. Starting Monday, June 22 at 12:00 a.m. PDT (3:00 a.m. EDT), ...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • cloud academy content
  • complimentary access
  • GCP
  • on the house
Alisha Reyes
Alisha Reyes
— June 11, 2020

New Content: AZ-500 and AZ-400 Updates, 3 Google Professional Exam Preps, Practical ML Learning Path, C# Programming, and More

This month, our Content Team released tons of new content and labs in real cloud environments. Not only that, but we introduced our very first highly interactive "Office Hours" webinar. This webinar, Acing the AWS Solutions Architect Associate Certification, started with a quick overvie...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • DevOps
  • Google Cloud Platform
  • Machine Learning
  • programming
Rebecca Willis
Rebecca Willis
— June 3, 2020

Azure vs. AWS: Which Certification Provides the Brighter Future?

More and more companies are using cloud services, prompting more and more people to switch their current IT position to something cloud-related. The problem is most people only have that much time after work to learn new technologies, and there are plenty of cloud services that you can ...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • certification
Alisha Reyes
Alisha Reyes
— June 2, 2020

Blog Digest: 5 Reasons to Get AWS Certified, OWASP Top 10, Getting Started with VPCs, Top 10 Soft Skills, and More

Thank you for being a valued member of our community! We recently sent out a short survey to understand what type of content you would like us to add to Cloud Academy, and we want to thank everyone who gave us their input. If you would like to complete the survey, it's not too late. It ...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • blog digest
  • Certifications
  • Cloud Academy
  • OWASP
  • OWASP Top 10
  • Security
  • VPCs
Alisha Reyes
Alisha Reyes
— May 11, 2020

New Content: Alibaba, Azure Cert Prep: AI-100, AZ-104, AZ-204 & AZ-400, Amazon Athena Playground, Google Cloud Developer Challenge, and much more

This month, our Content Team released 8 new learning paths, 4 courses, 7 labs in real cloud environments, and 4 new knowledge check assessments. Not only that, but we introduced our very first course on Alibaba Cloud, and our expert instructors are working 'round the clock to create 6 n...

Read more
  • alibaba
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • gitops
  • Google Cloud Platform
  • lab playground
  • programming
Avatar
Rhonda Martinez
— May 4, 2020

Top 5 Reasons to Get AWS Certified Right Now

Cloud computing trends are on the rise and have been for some time already. Fortunately, it’s never too late to start learning cloud computing. Skills like AWS and others associated with cloud computing are in high demand because cloud technologies have become crucial for many businesse...

Read more
  • Amazon Elastic Book Store
  • Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2)
  • AWS
  • AWS Certifications
  • Glacier
Alisha Reyes
Alisha Reyes
— May 1, 2020

Introducing Our Newest Lab Environments: Lab Playgrounds

Want to train in a real cloud environment, but feel slowed down by spinning up your own deployments? When you consider security or pricing costs, it can be costly and challenging to get up to speed quickly for self-training. To solve this problem, Cloud Academy created a new suite of la...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • Docker
  • Google Cloud Platform
  • Java
  • lab playgrounds
  • Python
Alisha Reyes
Alisha Reyes
— April 30, 2020

Blog Digest: AWS Breaking News, Azure DevOps, AWS Study Guide, 8 Ways to Prevent a Ransomware Attack, and More

  New articles by topicAWS Azure Data Science Google Cloud  Cloud Adoption Platform Updates & New Content Security Women in TechAWSBreaking News: All AWS Certification Exams Now Available Online As an Advanced AWS Technology Partner, C...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • blog digest
  • Certifications
  • Cloud Academy
  • programming
  • Security
Avatar
Stuart Scott
— April 27, 2020

AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate: A Study Guide

Want to take a really impactful step in your technical career? Explore the AWS Solutions Architect Associate certificate. Its new version (SAA-C02) was released on March 23, 2020, though you can still take SAA-C01 through July 1, 2020. This post will focus on version SAA-C02.The AWS...

Read more
  • AWS
  • AWS Certifications
  • AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate
Alisha Reyes
Alisha Reyes
— April 9, 2020

New on Cloud Academy: AWS Solutions Architect Exam Prep, Azure Courses, GCP Engineer Exam Prep, Programming, and More

Free content on Cloud Academy More and more customers are relying on our technology and content to keep upskilling their people in these months, and we are doing our best to keep supporting them. While the world fights the COVID-19 pandemic, we wanted to make a small contribution to he...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • Google Cloud Platform
  • programming