AWS Automation with Cloudify

AWS has grown from a simple storage service to over 70 services that can be used to build, deploy, run and manage applications in the cloud. Some of the common problems for companies working with AWS lie with automation. Cloudify is an open-source multi-cloud Application Deployment and Management Solution that can solve many AWS challenges.

The Platform

The AWS architecture is divided into several layers to allow developers to choose the right tool for the job. 

The biggest layer is the Amazon Web Services (AWS) platform itself, which offers a wide range of services and tools.

Hosting: This layer provides infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) to developers who want to run applications on their own servers rather than Amazon’s virtual machines.

Databases: This layer provides relational database services such as MySQL and PostgreSQL.

Analytics: This layer offers business intelligence tools such as RedShift and QuickSight.

Networking: This layer offers network storage and load balancing services such as Elastic File System (EFS) and Elastic Load Balancing (ELB).

Application runtime: This layer offers application development tools such as Lambda, API Gateway, S3 Storage, and SQS Queues.

Below are service-specific layers, such as Amazon S3 (Simple Storage Service) and Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2).

Amazon S3 provides a storage service for objects, similar to files. It’s extremely reliable, with 99.999999999 % durability, but it can also be accessed from anywhere in the world over HTTP or HTTPS. You can use S3 with any programming language or framework that supports its API.

AWS Lambda allows you to create your own serverless application by writing code that runs on AWS Lambda and automatically scales up or down as needed according to traffic levels. There’s no need to manage servers or monitor them — all you need is your code and an API key!

Autoscaling

Autoscaling is a feature of AWS that allows you to automatically add or remove computing capacity in response to changes in load. Autoscaling is a great way to reduce costs by turning off unused resources, and it can help you meet service level agreements (SLAs). It also provides extra flexibility when you need to scale up or down quickly.

EC2 (Elastic Compute Cloud)

EC2 is the core compute service in AWS, providing virtual machines that customers can use to run their own software or deploy web applications like WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla!

EKS

AWS EKS is a container management service that helps you run Kubernetes on AWS. AWS EKS is an add-on to the existing Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) infrastructure to use your existing EC2 and other Amazon services with AWS EKS.

In AWS EKS architecture, Kubernetes master nodes are responsible for running the Kube-API server and Kube-controller-manager components of Kubernetes. Kubelet is responsible for managing individual nodes within a cluster. It runs as a daemon on each host and reports its status back to the API Server.

EKS handles the provisioning of the underlying resources, such as EC2 instances and networking required to run your cluster. The Kubernetes control plane is virtualized using Docker containers, and this runs on top of EC2 instances.

AWS automation tools

There are multiple AWS automation tools:

Cloud Formation allows you to create stacks of multiple related resources.

CodePipeline is an AWS service that allows you to automate your build, test, and deployment processes. CodePipeline can also be used to create deployments from Git repositories hosted on GitHub or Bitbucket and Amazon S3 repositories.

CodeCommit allows you to host Git repositories in a secure and scalable environment on AWS. It integrates with other AWS services such as CodePipeline and ECS (Elastic Container Service).

CodeDeploy allows you to deploy applications into EC2 instances on-demand or via scheduled deployments. You can also use CodeDeploy together with CloudWatch Events or Lambda functions.

The Challenges:

AWS Automation

Despite these tools, AWS cloud deployment automation remains a challenge. This is because it is often necessary to deploy multiple services, and each service may need its unique configuration and dependencies. You may also need to keep track of many different resources, such as load balancers and autoscaling groups, making it difficult to manage your infrastructure.

AWS deployment orchestration and automation

Managing your cloud environment is challenging. Service silos, resource conflicts, and dependencies make maintaining a consistent application experience difficult.

The lack of central orchestration across on-premise and public cloud workloads can make adding, updating, or migrating applications difficult.

Tasks such as provisioning new nodes with the right resources, provisioning and updating applications, and implementing high availability functions such as failover and disaster recovery become more arduous when managing them separately in each environment.

AWS DevOps production

Another challenge in AWS is managing development and production environments. When developing an application on AWS, you typically use an IDE such as Eclipse or Visual Studio with a local instance of MySQL or PostgreSQL and an instance of Tomcat or Jetty running locally on your development machine. This setup works well during development because it allows you to debug issues quickly if something goes wrong with your code or database server. 

However, when deploying your application in production, you need to ensure that all the resources are properly configured to work together without any problems at scale.

The Solution:

Cloudify’s blueprints allow you to create your own custom cloud automation and layer it over the AWS platform. You can implement your corporate build processes and policies for AWS automated deployment. Blueprints can even define specific roles for particular individuals, reducing errors.

Cloudify automates the entire application lifecycle on AWS. Cloudify multi-cloud automation is focused on the user experience. Cloudify incorporates open source-based TOSCA to define an application’s resources, dependencies, and interrelationships. This enables everything from design time to deployment and ongoing management & monitoring to be carried out simple and user-friendly.

You can use Cloudify to implement a unified management platform that orchestrates applications in any virtualized or containerized environment from development through production.

Using this unified management platform, you can easily implement disaster recovery solutions that span multiple data centers, even if they run different hypervisors and operating systems.

Testing your application on AWS with Cloudify takes less time, so that you can develop faster. Cloudify’s clean, simple interface makes it easier to manage your AWS applications. Cloudify automates all necessary steps for each team member to manage workloads in an isolated environment.

Cloudify can help you manage your application at every stage of development. It helps you balance control and agility. Cloudify also provides you with built-in orchestration, which means that it’s easy to automate processes consistently across clouds and connect all your resources into a single workflow.

This cloud automation capability enables you to streamline and standardize your workflows to make them faster, more consistent, and reliable, as well as recreate them on demand. Another great feature is creating automated rollbacks that allow you to recover from a failed deployment quickly. Cloudify’s health check engine allows for quick and accurate incident response, which is incredibly valuable with cloud services.

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