Rapid CloudFormation: cfn-modules
Today, we release a new open source project to make your CloudFormation live easier. We promise rapid CloudFormation with cfn-modules. Our modules provide common building blocks to automate your infrastructure with plain CloudFormation templates.
We started with aws-cf-templates in 2015. Three years later, we believe that we have learned enough to come up with a new approach to use CloudFormation more efficient.
Reusing CloudFormation templates is hard. Most often, templates are initially copied and then modified.
Two problems arise. First, updates to the copy are not applied to the original. Second, updates to the original are not applied to the copy. In essence: we do not learn from each other!
By using an easy to use package manager (npm) you can install and update
cfn-modules to spin up complex infrastructure in minuted that just works.
All modules are production-ready. If no other limitations are documented, they are:
- Highly available
- no single point of failure
- increase or decrease the capacity based on utilization
- using the latest operating systems and software components
- follow the least privilege principle (e.g., IAM policies and Security Groups)
- backups enabled
- encryption at-rest enabled
- encryption in-transit enabled and preferred
- Operations friendly
- logging enabled
- alerting enabled
All modules are licensed under Apache-2.0. Commercial use is allowed.
- AWS CLI installed (install)
- npm 3.x installed (install Node.js 8.x)
cfn-modules are installed and updated with the package manager npm. The module catalog contains all available modules. Let’s start with a simple example: An EC2 instance launched into a VPC.
Install Node.js 8.x if
npmis not installed on your system
Install the modules using npm:
npm i @cfn-modules/vpc
Use the modules as nested stacks in your CloudFormation template. The vpc module comes with no required parameters. The ec2-instance-amazon-linux module comes with the required
VpcModule parameter to make the connection with the
vpc module. The
UserData parameter is optional. Use it to install additional software like the Apache HTTP Server. Create a file named
example.yml with the following content:
Upload the CloudFormation template and the dependencies to S3 with the
aws cloudformation package command.
Install AWS CLI if
awsis not installed on your system
If you use
cfn-modules the first time, create an S3 bucket to store the artifacts first (otherwise, skip this step). Choose a unique bucket name, e.g.
In the following command, replace
$Name with a unique name (e.g. your initials or company name), and replace
$Region with your AWS default region (e.g.
us-east-1) to create an S3 bucket:
aws s3 mb s3://cfn-modules-$Name-$Region
Now you can upload all artifacts to S3:
aws cloudformation package --template-file example.yml --s3-bucket cfn-modules-$Name-$Region --output-template-file packaged.yml
Finally, you can create a CloudFormation stack with
aws cloudformation deploy:
aws cloudformation deploy --template-file packaged.yml --stack-name ec2-example --capabilities CAPABILITY_IAM
Creating the stack will take ~10 minutes. You can find the URL to the demo page in the stack outputs:
aws cloudformation describe-stacks --stack-name ec2-example --query "Stacks.Outputs"
After you have finished testing delete the stack to avoid unwanted costs.
aws cloudformation delete-stack --stack-name ec2-example
Fin. Check out our examples next.
- Auto Scaling Group (singleton)
Check out all examples if you need more.
- Auto Scaling Group (singleton)
- EC2 instance
Check out the module catalog to browse all modules.
I’m looking forward to your feedback! @hellomichibye or email@example.com.