Getting Started

A quick tutorial for getting started with Cloudify and deploying your first blueprint

Try Instantly

You can take Cloudify for an instant test drive with an online trial.

What is Cloudify?

Cloudify is a Cloud Application Orchestrator. It automates common processes you need to perform to manage your applications in a cloud environment or a traditional data center.


In this tutorial you will start a Cloudify manager within a Vagrant box on your laptop, and install a sample blueprint on it.

Unlike a real cloud deployment, this example will install the application’s components on a single Vagrant VM. If you’d like to install an application(?) on an actual cloud, please refer to the Getting started with Openstack guide.

The blueprint you’ll be deploying, describes a nodejs application that connects to a MongoDB database and presents a wine catalog. To learn more about blueprint syntax and elements please refer to the Blueprints Guide.


The Terminology Reference Page will help you understand some of the terms stated in this guide. For your convenience, links are supplied throughout the guide to point you to the right term definition in the terminology page.

IMPORTANT: Before You Begin

You’ll need to have the following setup in your environment:

  • Oracle VirtualBox (this box has been tested with version 4.3 or higher, but earlier versions should work as well).
  • Vagrant (Make sure that you are using version 1.5 or above!).
  • At least 2GB of free RAM

Notes for Windows users

  • Do not run the command prompt as Administrator (privilege escalation).
  • Hyper-V & Virtualbox do not play nice together. Disabling Hyper-V is possible by running the bcdedit /set hypervisorlaunchtype off command (reboot is needed).

Step by Step Walkthrough

Step 1: Download and “Up” your Vagrant Box

The first thing you’ll need to do is download the Vagrant box which contains the Cloudify manager and CLI, and the Vagrantfile to run it.

Download this Vagrantfile to your local directory. Then, run this command:

vagrant box add --name=cloudify-box

This adds the Vagrant box to your local machine.

Note that this downloads a fully featured Ubuntu OS with Cloudify and its components installed, so it may take some time.

After the box is added, run this command (from the same directory the Vagrantfile is in):

vagrant up

Once the cloudify box is up you can access the manager web console through your local browser by pointing the browser to

Step 2: SSH to the Vagrant Box and Connect to the Running Manager

To connect to the newly Up’d box, type:

vagrant ssh

after which Cloudify’s CLI will be at your disposal.

Step 3: Download the blueprint

Cloudify uses blueprints(?) to describe the overall application orchestration, including the application nodes, workflows, and relationships.

You’ll have to clone a sample blueprint from our Github repository.

cd blueprints
git clone
cd cloudify-nodecellar-example/
git checkout tags/3.1

Step 4: Upload the Blueprint and Create a Deployment

Now, we upload a sample blueprint(?) to the Cloudify manager and create a deployment(?) based on it.

In the cloudify-nodecellar-example directory that you just cloned, you can see a blueprint file (named singlehost-blueprint.yaml) alongside other resources related to this blueprint.

To upload the blueprint run:

cfy blueprints upload -b nodecellar -p singlehost-blueprint.yaml

The -b flag specifies the unique name we’ve assigned to this blueprint on the Cloudify manager. Before creating a deployment, let’s see what this blueprint looks like. Point your browser at the manager’s URL again and refresh the screen. You will see the nodecellar blueprint listed there.

Blueprints table

Click the blueprint. You can see its topology. A topology(?) consists of elements called nodes(?).

In our case, we have the following nodes:

  • One VM
  • A nodejs server
  • A MongoDB database
  • A nodejs application called nodecellar (which is a nice sample nodejs application backed by mongodb).

Nodecellar Blueprint

This blueprint defines some input parameters:

Nodecellar Inputs

The inputs values are located at ~/cloudify/blueprints/inputs/nodecellar-singlehost.json. These are the values relevant for our example:

  "host_ip": "localhost",
  "agent_user": "vagrant",
  "agent_private_key_path": "/home/vagrant/.ssh/id_rsa"


Currently, these values cannot be changed, and are presented here only for the sake of clarity.

Now, we need to create a deployment. To do so, type the following command:

cfy deployments create -b nodecellar -d nodecellar --inputs ../inputs/nodecellar-singlehost.json

We’ve now created a deployment named nodecellar based on a blueprint with the same name. This deployment is not yet materialized, since we haven’t issued an installation command. If you click the “Deployments” icon in the left sidebar in the web UI and then click on a certain node from the list, you will see, in the Topology tab, that all nodes are labeled with 0/1, which means they’re pending creation, once it’s done the status will change to 1/1.

Nodecellar Deployment

Step 5: Install the Deployment

In Cloudify, installing a certain deployment is done by executing the a install workflow. Type the following command in your terminal:

cfy executions start -w install -d nodecellar

This will take a couple of minutes, during which the resources will be created and configured.

You can track the installation progress in the web console or in your terminal application. In your terminal, you will see that each event(?) is labeled with its time, the deployment name, and the node in our topology that it relates to, e.g.

2014-12-02T09:46:05 CFY <nodecellar> [nodejs_d36c8] Creating node

In the Web UI, you can checkout the Logs/Events page for an overview of all Logs and Events in a specific Manager.


Alternatively, click on a specific deployment in the deployment tab. A list containing events and logs for the deployment will be shown.

You can also have a look at the Monitoring tab and see some default metrics:



The blueprint we installed actually defines a custom collector for the Mongo database. To add mongo related graphs to the dashboard, have a look at Adding Custom Graphs.

Step 6: Test Drive the Application

To test the application, you will need to access it using its public IP address. Go to to access it from your web browser. The marvelous nodecellar application should be up on your screen. Click the “Browse wines” button, on the top left side, to verify that the application was installed suceesfully and can access the mongodb database to read the list of wines.


Step 7: Uninstall the Deployment

Uninstalling the deployment is just a matter of running another workflow, which will tear down all the resources provisioned by the install workflow. To run the uninstall workflow, type the following command:

cfy executions start -w uninstall -d nodecellar

Like with the install workflow, you can track the progress of the uninstall process in the CLI or the web UI using the events that are displayed in both. Once the workflow is completed, you can verify that the resources were indeed destroyed.

In a real cloud deployment, each and every resource provisioned by the deployment will be destroyed. Since this is a single-host example, there aren’t any external resources, only application related ones.

Step 8: Delete the Deployment

The next step is deleting the deployment. Assuming the un-installation went fine, all of the application resources will have been removed. The deployment itself still has record on the manager. All of its static and runtime properties are still stored in the manager’s database. To clean up the deployment’s information on the manager, delete the deployment by running this command.

cfy deployments delete -d nodecellar

Step 9: Tear down the Manager

If you have no use for it, you can tear down the manager. This can be done by issuing the following command:

cfy teardown -f

In a real cloud deployment, this will terminate the Manager VM and delete the resources associated with it. In our case, since the manager is installed on the same machine the CLI is installed on, it will not teardown the machine.

Once you’re done, you can exit the ssh session.

If you want to destroy the machine, run:

vagrant destroy -f

If you want to start the same machine again, just “Up” it. If you want to completely remove the box from your machine, run:

vagrant box remove cloudify-box

What’s Next

  • Understand the requirements for bootstrapping your very own Cloudify Manager by reading this.
  • Try to install the same application on OpenStack by following the OpenStack Tutorial.
  • Learn more about blueprints by following the Blueprints Tutorial.