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Cloud App Deployment Templates Added by Amazon

To ease the development and deployment of apps to the cloud, Amazon Web Services today launched its CloudFormation.

According to a description on the company's Web site, CloudFormation lets developers and system administrators gather various AWS services and deploy them in an "orderly and predictable" manor.

The release comes just a month after Amazon launched Elastic Beanstalk, the company's newest tool designed to simplify the deployment of apps to its core services such as EC2 and S3.

CloudFormation provides sample templates that let developers and system administrators describe various AWS resources such as Amazon EC2 Instances, Elastic Load Balancers, AWS Elastic Beanstalk and Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS) Instances, among others. Amazon refers to the complex combination of resources as "stacks."

With CloudFormation, customers can create an entire stack with one function call, said AWS evangelist Jeff Barr in a blog post. "AWS CloudFormation is really easy to use," Barr noted. "You simply describe your stack using our template language, and then call the CreateStack function to kick things into motion."

Amazon CTO Werner Vogels, explained in a blog post how CloudFormation will simplify the deployments of apps to the cloud. "Often an application requires several infrastructure resources to be created and AWS CloudFormation helps customers create and manage these collections of AWS resources in a simple and predictable way," he noted. "Using declarative Templates customers can create Stacks of resources ensuring that all resources have been created, in the right sequence and with the correct confirmation."

Customers can also create their own templates from the AWS Management Console or via command line tools and APIs, the company said. CloudFormation is a free offering, customers only pay for the AWS resources they consume.

About the Author

Jeffrey Schwartz is editor of Redmond magazine and also covers cloud computing for Virtualization Review's Cloud Report. In addition, he writes the Channeling the Cloud column for Redmond Channel Partner. Follow him on Twitter @JeffreySchwartz.

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