introduction to aws opsworks
Updated on 07th Jun, 22 104 Views

In this blog, we will be discussing the following topics:

What is AWS OpsWorks?

AWS OpsWorks is an application management service that helps users manage and configure services in a cloud environment. It automates the deployment, operational, and configuration tasks for distributed apps. It helps developers and cloud administrators in configuring infrastructure and resources. They can then select the operating system (OS) and the instance type on which they want to deploy the application.

AWS OpsWorks organizes apps in layers to accommodate EC2 instances and the resources required for the application. Developers can use Chef to customize stacks or even use already built layer templates available on Chef Scripts. These are also known as cookbooks. It can also help to automate the way nodes are deployed, managed, and configured.

Check out this tutorial on AWS OpsWorks:

AWS OpsWorks vs CloudFormation

ParameterAWS OpsWorksCloudFormation
UsageUsed for app deployment, modeling, configuration, etc.Used for creating sets of AWS infrastructure
SupportSupports a narrow range of appsSupports a large range of apps 
ModelFollows application management model based on DevOpsDoes not follow any model; templates are directly created and exited

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Features of AWS OpsWorks

AWS OpsWorks is an application management solution that helps users manage the complete lifecycle of an application. It is achieved through some unique features:

  • Model and Support Any Application: With OpsWorks, we can model our applications in layers. These layers will help define how a set of resources are to be configured. We are also allowed to define the configuration of the software for each layer; this includes initialization tasks and installation scripts. Whenever an instance is added to a certain layer, the specified configuration is automatically applied by OpsWorks.
  • Automate Tasks: With OpsWorks, we can automate all our management actions. There are various features that we can take advantage of such as package management, automatic failover, rule-based auto-scaling, and EBS volume RAID setup. Continuous lifecycle integration is supported so that the configuration can automatically be updated to adapt to the changes. We do not have to log in to various machines and update the configuration ourselves; the configuration is updated as the environment changes.
  • Control Access: With OpsWorks, we can control the access to our applications. We can choose which AWS IAM user can have access to the resources. This helps to stop any alteration in the production resources.

AWS OpsWorks for Puppet Enterprise

Puppet Enterprise is a set of automation tools from Puppet. They help in application and infrastructure management. AWS OpsWorks for Puppet Enterprise helps to manage and host Puppet Enterprise. OpsWorks also maintains the Puppet master server by automatically updating, patching, and backing up the server.

AWS OpsWork for Puppet Enterprise

With OpsWorks, we do not have to be concerned about operating the configuration management system or about maintaining its infrastructure. We can access all the features of the Puppet Enterprise seamlessly with the Puppet console or code.

Benefits of AWS OpsWorks for Puppet Enterprise

  • Fully managed Puppet Master
  • Programmable infrastructure
  • Easy scaling
  • Support from the Puppet community
  • Highly secure
  • Simplified management of a hybrid environment

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AWS OpsWorks for Chef Automate

AWS OpsWorks for Chef Automate gives us a Chef Automate server that is completely managed along with the suite of automation tools. These tools help us automate the workflow, so that we can engage in continuous deployment, automated testing, and a user interface to look into the nodes. The Chef Automate platform already gives full stack automation; this is done by managing tasks that are operational such as operating system and software configurations, etc.

The configuration tasks are saved centrally and provided to each of the nodes in the system. OpsWorks for Chef Automate is fully compatible with cookbooks and tooling from the Chef community. OpsWorks registers all new nodes automatically with Chef Server.

Benefits of AWS OpsWorks for Chef Automate

  • Fully managed Chef Automate Server
  • Programmable infrastructure
  • Easy scaling
  • Support from the Chef community
  • Simplified management of a hybrid environment

AWS OpsWorks for Stacks

AWS OpsWorks helps to manage applications on AWS and on-site. It helps to make an application as a stack with various layers. It lets us configure and deploy Amazon EC2 instances in all the layers. We can also automatically scale the servers according to the preset schedules.

AWS OpsWorks uses lifecycle hooks to manage changes as per the scaling. We can also run Chef recipes on Chef Solo. This will let us automate the tasks such as installing programming languages and packages, etc.

Benefits of AWS OpsWorks for Stacks

  • It supports all applications.
  • It can use configuration as code.
  • It is automated to run at scale.
  • It organizes all resources.
  • It supports any server.

AWS OpsWorks Stacks vs AWS OpsWorks Chef Automate

AWS OpsWorks StacksAWS OpsWorks Chef Automate
It does not require Chef servers.It requires Chef servers.
It performs some of the Chef server jobs itself.It needs a separate server to do the job.
We have to pay for AWS resources that were created using OpsWorks Stacks.We have to pay for the number of nodes that are connected to the Chef server and the time for which they are run. We also have to pay for the EC2 instance that is running the Chef server.

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Monitoring AWS OpsWorks Metrics

AWS OpsWorks Stacks makes use of CloudWatch to provide metrics. There are 13 different metrics provided with detailed monitoring of each of the instances in the stack. CloudWatch metrics of your OpsWorks resources are divided into four categories:

  • Load: This is averaged over 1-, 5-, or 15-minute windows
  • CPU: This is the percentage of time the CPU has handled the system, user, and input or output operations
  • Memory: This is the amount of memory that is cached, buffered, in use, free, etc.
  • Processes: This is the number of active processes.

AWS OpsWorks Stacks integrates with AWS CloudTrail. This is done so all the logs for every AWS OpsWorks Stacks API call are stored in an Amazon S3 bucket. These logs help to monitor the stack’s system, custom logs, and applications.

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Conclusion

As we have already discussed in this blog, AWS OpsWorks is an essential tool for developers. It is an important tool that automates a large chunk of their work. From setting up instances to monitoring the metrics, OpsWorks has got it all. It helps developers easily configure resources and infrastructure. While there are three different ways to use AWS OpsWorks, you can choose the one that suits your needs the best according to their features and integration.

If you have any more queries, post them on Intellipaat’s AWS OpsWorks Community Page!

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