How to use CloudFormer – AWS CloudFormation Tutorial – Part 9

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How to use CloudFormer

AWS CloudFormer is a template creation tool that creates an AWS CloudFormation template. The template is created from the existing resources in your AWS account.

Why use CloudFormer?

Consider a use case: You are building an application where you have one EC2 web server, multiple EC2 app server for high availability and AWS RDS MySql database server. Along with this you would have the following in your application architecture:

  • VPC
  • Security Groups to protect your servers.
  • Network Acls as second layer of security.
  • Elastic IP’s.
  • Cloud Watch Alarms.
  • Load Balancers.
  • Route 53 to map server IP to domains.

Now if you want to create a cloud formation template from scratch it would take a hell lot of time. And if you are new to CloudFormation, then good luck!!!

This is where CloudFormer can come to your rescue, just create your AWS resources once and using CloudFormer you can just select these resource and generate the CloudFormation template. This template can be stored in S3.

CloudFormer is currently in Beta mode but it does the job very well. The template created would have some issues/syntax errors, but its far better than creating the whole template from ground zero.

Launch CloudFormer

  • In cloudformation console we start by clicking “Launch CloudFormer”
  • CloudFormerIn “Select Template” section we can give a stack name or we can leave it as default.
    select cloudformer template
  • In “Specify Details” section, we can define our VPC range that will be permitted to access the Cloudformer instance. and name, username & password, which we use to login out LAMP URL.

specify details cloudformerCloudformer optionsFinally we review it and start to create our Cloudformer stack.

cloudformer reviewWhen stack is completed, in output section we will see the url that we will access the cloudformer web page.

cloudformer output

When we click the link , Cloudformer web page welcomes us. After choosing which region you want to create template from, we start Cloudformation wizard by clicking “Create Template”.

Create cloudformer tempalteIn “Template Information” we can define a description and also by using “Resource Name Filter” you can automatically select the resources.
Cloudformer DNSIn “Dns Names” you can select the Route 53 records if you have any.

cloudformer VPCIn “Virtual Private Clouds” we select the vpc resources.

cloudformer vpc subnetNext steps are about vpc and its elements. Here we select vpc subnets,internet gateways,customer gateways and etc.
VPC securityThen again in “VPC security configuration” we select ACLs and Route tables.

networkIn “Network Resources” we select ELBs,EIPS and etc.

manage service

In “manage services” we select Auto scaling group etc

manage service configuration

In “manage service configuration”.

compute resourceIn “Compute Resources” we select the EC2 instances and ASGs.

storage

storage configurationIn “Storage” we select EBS volumes,RDS instances,DynamoDB tables and S3 buckets.

app servicesIn “Application Services” we can select SQS,SNS and etc if you have any.

security group

In “Security Groups” we can select our security groups.

oprationalAnd finally in “Operational Resources” we can select ASG policies and Cloudwatch alarms.
summaryIn “Summary we can modify the resources as needed.

And our template is ready. we can save it into a S3 bucket with a custom defined name.

save templateAfter saving our template we can create a new stack by using it. I want to remember that if your resource number is higher that 200, you will get a template error ( this is clouformation limit).

Read more: AWS CloudFormation Tutorial

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