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AWS Outlines CloudFormation Coverage Progress in New Roadmap

To help cloud customers with planning, Amazon Web Services Inc. (AWS) has published a new coverage roadmap for its CloudFormation service, which simplifies the process of describing and provisioning all of the infrastructure resources in a cloud environment.

Using CloudFormation involves creating a text file to model and provision various resources needed for an application across all platform regions and accounts. Serving as a "single source of truth for your cloud environment," it automatically creates a stack based on template code and then provisions and configures the stack with the specified resources.

The service is associated with the infrastructure-as-code movement, for which the company has published the open source Cloud Development Kit.

Though CloudFormation was unveiled in 2011, AWS spokesperson Jeff Barr admitted the company's goal of providing complete coverage of all cloud services and resources is yet a way off.

"CloudFormation use is growing even faster than AWS itself, and the team has prioritized scalability over complete resource coverage," Barr said in a recent announcement post. "While our goal of providing 100 percent coverage remains, the reality is that it will take us some time to get there. In order to be more transparent about our priorities and to give you an opportunity to manage them, I am pleased to announce the much-anticipated CloudFormation Coverage Roadmap."

CloudFormation Coverage Roadmap
[Click on image for larger view.] CloudFormation Coverage Roadmap (source: AWS)

The roadmap includes four categories, with the project FAQ providing these descriptions:

  • Shipped -- should be obvious :)
  • Coming soon -- nearing completion, likely being planned for an upcoming coverage update release. Think a couple of weeks out, give or take [though Barr in his own post described this category as "generally a few months out"].
  • We're working on it -- in progress, but further out. We might still be working through the implementation details, or scoping stuff out.
  • Researching -- We're thinking about it. This might mean we're still evaluating designs and options, or thinking through how this should work. This is a great phase to give us feedback as to how you want to see something implemented! We'll benefit from your specific use cases here.

Barr also provided some Cloud Development Kit "goodies" for the infrastructure-as-code approach, including:

Barr also addressed the continuing wait for complete CloudFormation resource coverage:

Before I close out, I would like to address one common comment -- that AWS is part of a big company, and that we should simply throw more resources at it. While the team is growing, implementing robust, secure coverage is still resource-intensive. Please consider the following quote, courtesy of the must-read Mythical Man-Month:

"Good cooking takes time. If you are made to wait, it is to serve you better, and to please you."

About the Author

David Ramel is an editor and writer for Converge360.

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