AWS OpsWorks
User Guide (API Version 2013-02-18)

Getting Started with Linux Stacks

Cloud-based applications usually require a group of related resources—application servers, database servers, and so on—that must be created and managed collectively. This collection of instances is called a stack. A simple application stack might look something like the following.

The basic architecture consists of the following:

  • A load balancer to distribute incoming traffic from users evenly across the application servers.

  • A set of application server instances, as many as needed to handle the traffic.

  • A database server to provide the application servers with a back-end data store.

In addition, you typically need a way to distribute applications to the application servers, monitor the stack, and so on.

AWS OpsWorks provides a simple and straightforward way to create and manage stacks and their associated applications and resources. This chapter introduces the basics of AWS OpsWorks—along with some of its more sophisticated features—by walking you through the process of creating the application server stack in the diagram. It uses an incremental development model that AWS OpsWorks makes easy to follow: Set up a basic stack and, once it's working correctly, add components until you arrive at a full-featured implementation.