Amazon unveils Parallel Stack Creation and Nested Stack Updates to AWS

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Amazon has launched two updated features to its AWS CloudFormation service that the company claims will give developers an easier way of managing and provisioning AWS resources.

It has updated its Parallel Stack Processing feature to allow its CloudFormation service to create, update and delete resources in parallel in order to improve performance of these operations.

The firm gave an example where provisioning a RAID 0 setup, which involves the creation of multiple EBS volumes, would now be faster because CloudFormation can provision the volumes in parallel.

With the update, CloudFormation will automatically determine which resources in a template can be created in parallel. CloudFormation template authors can use the DependsOn attribute for control over the order of resource creation.

Additionally, CloudFormation now allows developers to nest a stack as a resource inside a template. This feature has enabled design and creation of related stacks together.

“Today, we are introducing the ability to update a top-level stack and nested stacks together,” said Chetan Dandekar, senior product manager at AWS.

“Nested stack updates can be triggered by running the UpdateStack command on a top-level stack, or by selecting the top-level stack and clicking 'Update Stack' in theCloudFormation Management Console.”

This will detect the updates made to the top-level template as well as to the nested templates and update only those stacks whose templates have changed. Before introduction of this feature, users had to update each nested stack separately.

“With the introduction of nested stack updates, we can update the top level stack, the web tier stack, and the app tier stack together and in the correct order,” said Dandakar. “The stack for the database tier, which has no changes, would not be updated. Before introduction of nested stack updates, we would have had to update each of the nested stacks individually.”

AWS has made available a collection of sample templates to allow developers to try out the service.


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