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AWS CloudFormation OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

AWS CloudFormation is #14 ranked solution in top Configuration Management tools. PeerSpot users give AWS CloudFormation an average rating of 8.2 out of 10. AWS CloudFormation is most commonly compared to Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform: AWS CloudFormation vs Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform. AWS CloudFormation is popular among the large enterprise segment, accounting for 68% of users researching this solution on PeerSpot. The top industry researching this solution are professionals from a comms service provider, accounting for 18% of all views.
Buyer's Guide

Download the Configuration Management Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: September 2022

What is AWS CloudFormation?

AWS CloudFormation provides a common language for you to model and provision AWS and third party application resources in your cloud environment. AWS CloudFormation allows you to use programming languages or 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. This gives you a single source of truth for your AWS and third party resources.

AWS CloudFormation was previously known as CloudFormation.

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Archived AWS CloudFormation Reviews (more than two years old)

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Multi-Cloud Consulting at a construction company with 5,001-10,000 employees
MSP
Excellent initial setup, good integration capabilities and very good time to market
Pros and Cons
  • "The integration of the solution is very good."
  • "The solution needs to offer better support to other cloud vendors."

What is our primary use case?

We primarily use the solution for creating automated blueprints for deploying machines, infrastructure as a service, and platform as a service.

What is most valuable?

The integration of the solution is very good.

The time to market is really good, I would say. You can quickly set up a blueprint and deploy it.

The initial setup is simple.

What needs improvement?

The customization is weak. Whether it is good or not depends on the customer's use case.

The solution needs to offer better support to other cloud vendors.

The solution requires Kubernetes support including container ops and staging support.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for about a year.

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Configuration Management
September 2022
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635,987 professionals have used our research since 2012.

How are customer service and support?

We've never had to contact technical support. So far, there haven't been any problems.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I also use vRealize and find that it is better compared to CloudFormation. It has better features.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is very straightforward. It's not complex at all.

It only takes about 15-20 minutes to set up. After that, there's a bit of blueprinting that needs to happen, however, how long that takes really depends upon the person who's building it.

In terms of maintenance, our clients have three options: they could take a managed service from us, where our engineers will go and support the system, they can have some resident engineers in their own company, or, if there are technical problems, they can contact Amazon AWS to get support.

What about the implementation team?

We are system integrators. We help our clients during implementation.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

I don't know what the cost of the solution is.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We also use VMware's vRealize automation. vRealize has better orchestration workflows. We have prebuilt orchestration workflows available on vRealize and can build the blueprint and basically deploy in any public or private cloud vendor, so it's a cloud-agnostic product. This is something AWS lacks.

It also is created on YAML. It's an industry standard, which can, again, be compatible with multiple platforms.

What other advice do I have?

We are a solution provider and system integrator with AWS. We are also a solution provider with VMware.

We don't personally use the solution. Instead, we deploy it for our customers. The companies we work with range from small companies to large enterprises. Our clients use the solution daily.

I'd advise other organizations to definitely have an understanding of the AWS portfolio, and the product portfolio. It's also important to first understand the manual structure because it's basically automating manual tasks. It depends upon how repetitive those tasks are, because sometimes building a blueprint might take a sufficient amount of time and if those are not very repeatable and it's done once in a week or more, then it doesn't make sense to use CloudFormation to automate that.

I'd rate the solution seven out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Amazon Web Services (AWS)
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
PeerSpot user
Infrastructure - Presales & Solution Consultant at a tech company with 5,001-10,000 employees
Real User
Templates help to get started quickly and the technical support is nice, but the interface is not intuitive
Pros and Cons
  • "There is a cost-benefit to using CloudFormation that comes about because of the automation that it provides."
  • "This tool is not intuitive and there are others that are easier to understand."

What is our primary use case?

We are a computer consulting company and AWS CloudFormation is one of the solutions that we provide to our customers.

CloudFormation is definitely an integral part of AWS Native solutions. It is used for setting up your environment, such as your DNS structure. If something happens in your current environment, such as a disaster, then you can bring up the environment in another region by using the CloudFormation template. Essentially, it is a tool that is used for automating cloud deployment.

What is most valuable?

The templates are helpful because they can help to get a quick start on a project. You can spin up your development environment immediately, do some jobs, and get it out of the way.

There is a cost-benefit to using CloudFormation that comes about because of the automation that it provides.

One really good thing is that you don't have to be specific when it comes to sequencing.

The automatically template creation feature is good, although it needs to be made a bit more extensive.

What needs improvement?

This tool is not intuitive and there are others that are easier to understand. It is very powerful but it can be developed to make it much easier to use. The learning curve is pretty steep. Unless you have been working with it for a long time, looking at a CloudFormation template is a tough job. The aim should be usability for a person with a non-coding background.

There is a lot of syntax and components that require you to look at the documentation, whereas with the inclusion of a few drop-down menus and choices, it would be much easier to work with.

You can have CloudFormation create a template based on your existing infrastructure, but not all of the services are included. For example, if you manually set up an environment and you have put in all of the scaling information then you can extract the entire infrastructure and get back a template. CloudFormation is then capable of recreating the environment but it might not have the scaling included automatically.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using AWS CloudFormation for six to seven months.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This is a stable solution. It is a bit of a challenge because the learning curve is steep and it requires a lot of expertise, but it is stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Our customers are a mix in terms of size. We have small, medium, and large-sized companies as clients.

How are customer service and technical support?

We have interacted with technical support at times and from my experience, it has been pretty nice. The support is okay.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I have also used Terraform, which is a bit more user-friendly than CloudFormation. It is quite a bit more intuitive.

How was the initial setup?

CloudFormation doesn't require any installation. In fact, it is part of the services provided by AWS. The length of time for deployment depends on the type of infrastructure that you're deploying. For example, a simple three-tier, without scaling, with perhaps six or seven instances, will probably take ten or fifteen minutes. Speed-wise it is pretty good, although ultimately it depends on what services you want.

What about the implementation team?

When you are providing this solution to a customer there are a lot of things to consider because there are a lot of moving parts. You always have to get them validated from the AWS site. 

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

This solution is free to use and does not require a license.

What other advice do I have?

When it comes to this solution, there are a lot of things that happen. New features can come out every week and down the line, there are a lot of new things that come very fast. Keeping up with the innovations or product services that are being introduced is a taxing job.

CloudFormation is not used on a daily basis. It is only used for specific purposes whenever there is a requirement. You use it to set up a certain environment.

My advice for anybody who is considering using this solution to implement their environment is to consider the complexity of what they want to do. If you want to bring up a simple environment and are familiar with coding using JSON or YAML then try it on your own. Importantly, however, it is not enough to be familiar with the scripting language. You need to understand AWS architecture. The combination of these things is required for the template. If you do build it on your own then I would still suggest having it validated by AWS.

If you are unfamiliar with coding or the infrastructure then I would suggest involving a third-party to assist. Not having the proper expertise internally will increase the time required for the project. I feel that it is not a bad idea to involve AWS, as well.

Overall, this solution is good but there is always room for improvement.

I would rate this solution a seven out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Amazon Web Services (AWS)
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
PeerSpot user
Buyer's Guide
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Updated: September 2022
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Buyer's Guide
Download our free Configuration Management Report and find out what your peers are saying about Amazon, Red Hat, Chef, and more!