How to Create A Cloud Formation Template Using AWS

Since the evolution of Amazon Web Services as the mainstay of virtual computing, a number of AWS technologies have been devised for facilitating the operations done by users. A cloud formation template is a revolutionary technology that has provided more power to the users when it comes to securing AWS deployments. By letting a user deploy entities like virtual machines, and security appliances on the AWS cloud platform by using code and not clicking buttons, it has bolstered security of the online cloud environment. A CloudFormation Template is a text file, which is written in a specific format for defining the AWS resources that you want to create.

The AWS CloudFormation templates are text files written in JSON or YAML. For creating these templates, you need to use the AWS CloudFormation designer or any text editor. You can learn this skill by completing AWS certifications and earn up to $111,628 as solution architect.

Benefits of Using Cloud Formation Template

Higher Level of Security

As human errors contribute to most of the security errors and repetitive tasks performed by many individuals can result in mistakes, writing code is a better alternative than clicking buttons. Cloud Formation Template allows for this functionality and ensures that you are able to automate the repetitive tasks and reduce mistakes.

Easy to roll back After a Failure

In case of a security breach or system failure; it is possible to deploy, re-deploy, and roll back changes.

Creating Cloud Formation Template Using AWS

It is possible to create AWS CloudFormation Templates by using CloudFormer. CloudFormer is a template creation beta tool that makes use of existing AWS resources in your account for creating AWS CloudFormation Templates. It should be noted that not all AWS resources or resource properties are supported by CloudFormation. Below is a step-by-step procedure for creating Cloud Formation Template:

  • Build a CloudFormer stack using the AWS CloudFormation Console
  • Once the CloudFormer stack's status reads CREATE_COMPLETE, it is time to launch the stack
  • User name and password should be specified while creating the CloudFormer stack
  • Before using CloudFormer to create a template, your account needs to have all the AWS resources that you want to include in your template.
  • Your account should have an Amazon EC2 instance, an Amazon EC2 security group, an Elastic IP Address

Creating a template from your AWS resources

  • Under Select the AWS Region, select the template's region from the list, and click Create Template. The tool must first analyze your account, so it might take a few minutes before the Intro page is displayed.
  • On the Intro page, enter a description for your template.
  • Note that you can use this page to select resources with a filter or select all resources in your account. However, this walkthrough specifies resources manually, so leave the Resource Name Filter field blank, remove the option that says Select all resources in your account checkbox, and then click Continue.
  • Now, you will see multiple pages that show resources that are not used in this guide, so just examine the pages for future reference and click Continue. The pages include features like Network Resources, Compute Resources, Storage, Application Services, and System Configuration.
  • An important page that you will see while creating the template is the Security Groups page that allows you to include security groups. On reaching this place, CloudFormer selects dependent security groups. You only need to ensure that your group is selected and then click on Continue.
  • You will see an Operational Resources page, which we do not have to work on, so just click Continue.

Now, you will arrive at Summary page which has many purposes:

  • Let’s you review the recources added by you
  • Allows you to change the auto-generated logical names
  • Allows you to specify outputs that provide necessary information

Make necessary changes through the summary page and click Continue to generate the template.

  • You will get to a AWS CloudFormation Template page that shows the generated template. Now, Select an Amazon S3 bucket from the S3 Bucket list and click Save Template for saving the template to the bucket for adding it to the collection of stacks in your account.
  • Now, delete the CloudFormer Stack. This can be done by choosing Actions > Delete Stack.

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