I have been self educating myself on AWS for a few weeks now with sites like Pluralsight and A Cloud Guru. I really enjoy both of these sites and feel their content is very detailed and very helpful. What I like about Pluralsight is the ability to pick a “Path” and they will show you the courses to watch from beginner to advanced. This is very helpful so that you don’t skip around and watch topics in an out of order sequence.

I am sitting my first live class this week for Expanding on AWS adoption which covers a bit more in-depth on topics like S3, EFS, Cloudformation, and advanced monitoring for RDS. Why these are picked for this class I do not know. Cloudformation was interesting to me as I am learning Terraform in parallel with all things AWS and they are very similar in what they achieve.

The issue I see with Cloudformation, like other things within AWS are they native to AWS. I find it hard to believe that corporations are going with single cloud deployments anymore these days so native tools really lock you into AWS and drive you to have to rebuild your infrastructure when you go to Azure or GCP.

Cloudformation is really helpful for deploying what AWS calls “stacks”, which is nothing more than a collection or resources that can be managed as a single unit. Stacks are built from predefined Cloudformation templates built with JSON or YAML that are comprised of five types of elements to deploy the stacks. I have been focusing on JSON myself since that’s what I come across most often when learning Terraform rather than YAML, which I see a lot with Ansible. What I found really beneficial about Cloudformation is the visual designer. I mean who doesn’t like being able to drag and drop and look at pictures to see the outcome of a template. When you are done building your template you can change the template language to JSON or YAML and save it off to your local network, S3 bucket, or even GitHub and import it when deploying a stack.

While I am not sold on pigeonholing myself or any organization really into using Cloudformation as their automation method since it is only for AWS, it is something to get started with when working with AWS.

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