A portrait painting style image of a pirate holding an iPhone.

by The Captain

July 25, 2023

AWS CloudFormation: Infrastructure as Code

AWS CloudFormation is a powerful service from Amazon Web Services that allows you to provision and manage your cloud resources using Infrastructure as Code (IaC). With CloudFormation, you can describe and automate the creation, configuration, and deployment of your infrastructure resources in a declarative way.

Why Use AWS CloudFormation?

Using CloudFormation, you can define your infrastructure resources, such as Amazon EC2 instances, Amazon S3 buckets, Amazon RDS databases, and more, in a JSON or YAML template. This approach offers several benefits:

  • Version Control: CloudFormation templates can be stored in version control systems, allowing you to track changes and easily revert to previous versions.
  • Reusability: CloudFormation templates can be shared and reused to quickly set up similar environments.
  • Consistency: With CloudFormation, you can ensure consistent resource configurations across different environments, leading to fewer configuration errors.
  • Automation: You can automate the provisioning of your infrastructure resources, eliminating the need for manual steps and reducing the risk of human error.

CloudFormation Stack

When you create a stack in CloudFormation, it represents a single CloudFormation deployment. A stack can consist of multiple resources that are defined in the CloudFormation template.

CloudFormation provides the ability to create, update, or delete stacks, which in turn creates, updates, or deletes the associated resources. This makes it easy to manage the lifecycle of your infrastructure resources.

Template Structure and Syntax

A CloudFormation template is written in JSON or YAML format and follows a specific structure. It consists of several sections, including:

  • AWSTemplateFormatVersion: Specifies the CloudFormation template version.
  • Description: Provides a description of the CloudFormation template.
  • Parameters: Allows you to define input parameters that can be passed when creating or updating the stack.
  • Resources: Defines the AWS resources that will be created or managed by CloudFormation.
  • Outputs: Specifies the values that should be returned by the CloudFormation stack.

Deploying a CloudFormation Stack

To create or update a stack using CloudFormation, you can use the AWS Management Console, AWS CLI, or AWS SDKs. When deploying a stack, you need to provide the CloudFormation template and any required input parameters.

During the stack creation or update process, CloudFormation will automatically configure the specified resources according to the template. If any changes are made to the CloudFormation template, CloudFormation will update the stack accordingly, ensuring that the desired state is always maintained.


AWS CloudFormation is a powerful tool for managing your AWS infrastructure using Infrastructure as Code. With CloudFormation, you can define and provision your resources in a declarative way, ensuring consistency, reusability, and automation. By using CloudFormation, you can expedite the creation and management of your AWS environments.