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Amazon CloudFormation

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Note: This article applies to Fuji and earlier releases. For more current information, see CloudFormation at

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Amazon Web Services (AWS) CloudFormation gives developers and systems administrators an easy way to create and manage a collection of related AWS resources, provisioning and updating them in an orderly and predictable fashion.

AWS CloudFormation enables you to use a template file to create and delete a collection of resources together as a single unit called a stack. With CloudFormation, you no longer need to figure out the order for provisioning AWS services or the details of making those dependencies work. After the AWS resources are deployed, you can modify and update them in a controlled and predictable way. This allows you to apply version control to your AWS infrastructure the same way you do with your software.

In order to provision an AWS CloudFormation stack, you must do the following tasks:

CloudFormation Provisioning Tasks by Group

Tasks for setting up CloudFormation, provisioning CloudFormation templates, and requesting CloudFormation stacks from the service catalog depend on the user group to which you belong.

  • CloudFormation Administrator: Members of this group own the cloud provisioning environment and are responsible for configuring the AWS resources used by cloud provisioning. Administrators can create service catalog items from Amazon EC2 images and CloudFormation templates and approve requests for CloudFormation stacks, and monitor the cloud provisioning environment using the Service Monitoring Portal.
  • CloudFormation Operator: Members of this group fulfill provisioning requests from users. Operators perform the day-to-day work of cloud provisioning by completing tasks that appear in the Cloud Operations Portal. Operators are assigned to specific virtualization providers and must be technically adept with the products they support.
  • CloudFormation Users: Members of this group can request CloudFormation stacks from the service catalog and use the My Amazon Assets portal to manage any stacks that are assigned to them.

Activating AWS CloudFormation

AWS CloudFormation requires the Amazon Web Services plugin.