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AWS OpsWorks is an application management service that provides an integrated experience for overseeing the complete application lifecycle. With AWS OpsWorks, you can provision AWS resources, supervise their configuration, deploy applications to those resources, and monitor their health.
AWS OpsWorks uses automation to simplify operations. You create blueprints that define your instance and its software configuration, including installation scripts and initialization tasks. You can automate scaling out your instances and determine the configuration of like instances all at once instead of one at a time. You can then specify how to deploy, scale, and maintain your applications. You can let AWS OpsWorks perform many operational tasks for you or add your own custom actions.
AWS OpsWorks supports a wide variety of application architectures. It can work with any software that has a scripted installation. Because AWS OpsWorks uses the Opscode Chef framework, you can use existing recipes or leverage hundreds of community-built configurations.
In AWS OpsWorks, you start by creating a stack, which is a container for all the Amazon EC2 instances and other resources that you want to manage together. Within a stack, you define layers that describe how to provision and configure instances. A stack can have multiple layers. Within a layer, you can specify, for example, packages to install, Amazon EC2 security groups to add, and Elastic IP addresses to assign. This structure gives you the flexibility to define different instance configurations.
After you add a layer, you pre-provision the instances that you will launch by using the layer's configuration description. You can pre-provision your instances either as on-demand instances that you can manually start and stop or as auto-scaled instances that AWS OpsWorks runs for you according to a schedule or a load threshold.
AWS OpsWorks also helps you manage your own applications with apps. You define an app by specifying what layer it applies to, the code to run, and some basic configuration. You then deploy the app to the instances on the layer.
AWS OpsWorks uses its own Chef recipes to configure the instances on a stack. Chef Solo runs on every instance, and AWS OpsWorks sends commands to each instance to run recipes that set up, configure, and shut down the instance. You can extend these actions with your own custom recipes. You can also run your custom recipes on a specific instance or on all instances in your stack.
To help you monitor and debug your instance configurations and app deployments, AWS OpsWorks provides detailed logs and performance and health monitoring with Amazon CloudWatch metrics and the Ganglia monitoring system.
With AWS OpsWorks, you can automate configuration, deployment, auto scaling, monitoring, and more.
The following video walks you through the example presented in this guide.
Use these links to start learning and using AWS OpsWorks:
Read a brief summary of AWS application management services, including a side-by-side comparison of AWS OpsWorks with the other services.
Learn about how AWS OpsWorks works. An understanding of some basic concepts and the essentials of what this service does will make using AWS OpsWorks easier.
Test drive AWS OpsWorks by following Walkthrough: Learn AWS OpsWorks Basics by Creating an App Server Stack, or check out the walkthrough video on this page.
Chef cookbooks are the way that you customize how AWS OpsWorks manages your instances. Learn more about how to use Chef with AWS OpsWorks.
If you are a developer, see the AWS OpsWorks API reference and the following AWS SDKs:
Now that you are using AWS OpsWorks, learn how to give access to other users and manage the instance profile on your instances.