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Tidy Cloud AWS issue #22 - Best practices and guidelines

Hello all!

Welcome to the next issue of the Tidy Cloud AWS bulletin!

This issue of the bulletin talks about some frustrations with CloudFormation and AWS, code updates for the infrastructure as code ninja article series, Pulumi, Terraform and general good practice for infrastructure-as-code.

Enjoy!

CloudFormation frustrations

I recently wrote a short article called Infrastructure-as-code - where is the customer obsession, AWS. This article is about some particular pain points with CloudFormation, for resources created or changed outside of CloudFormation.

In an ideal work, all changes and updates are done in a nice and tidy way through scripts/code/configuration. In reality, that is rarely the case. CloudFormation does not provide much help there, which can be painful. Alternative solutions like Terraform and Pulumi offering better options in that regard.

If this is a pain point of yours as well, tell me what you think!

Sample code for infrastructure-as-code ninja

The article series How to become an infrastructure-as-code ninja, using AWS CDK, now has GitHub repositories with the code from the articles!

This article series uses Typescript as an example language. However, there are repositories with example code for multiple languages - Typescript, Python, and Go.

The repositories will contain all the code examples from the articles series, implemented in different languages with the AWS CDK. You can view the code from specific parts and stages in the series by checking out the code tagged with a specific part and step in that part. See the README file in each repository for more details.

Note: The Go language support is still in developer preview for AWS CDK. While it works, there may be glitches and issues - there is one case in part 6 of the article series.

Pulumi crash course

If you are curious about getting started with Pulumi for infrastructure as code, the Pulumi website has some nice tutorials, well worth a look.

If you are more included to watch a video course, you can look at the Pulumi Crash Course playlist on YouTube. It provides a very good explain some of the core concepts and features. It is almost 3 hours divided into 8 parts - the last part is over 1 hour while the other 7 are about 5-15 minutes long each. Check it out!

Terraform visually explained

Cloud engineer Bill Mfundo has made a great set of diagrams to provide a visual introduction to Terraform. It is quite neat and I think this is well worth a look, and a good complement to the regular documentation for Terraform. Great work!

Lessons from writing infrastructure-as-code

A quite nice video on YouTube for around practices around infrastructure-as-code is 5 Lessons Learned From Writing Over 300000 Lines of Infrastructure Code, with Yevgeniy Brikman from Gruntwork. It is a recording from HashiConf and thus covers Terraform and Terragrunt, but the talk itself is largely not focused on any specific tools.

If you work with other tools than Terraform, you will still get something out of this talk, recommended!

Another video covering best practices, with more Terraform focus, is Happy Terraforming! Real Life Experience and Proven Best Practices. This talk also includes good practices that apply to some extent to other tools than Terraform as well.


You can find the contents of this bulletin and older ones, and more at Tidy Cloud AWS. You will also find other useful articles around AWS automation and infrastructure-as-software.

Until next time,

/Erik