AWS, Cloud Computing

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AWS CloudFormation’s IaC Generator for Seamless Integration and Enhanced Efficiency

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In the fast-paced realm of cloud computing, Infrastructure as Code (IaC) stands as a cornerstone for efficient, scalable, and repeatable infrastructure management. AWS CloudFormation has been a trailblazer in this space, allowing users to declare, model, and provision infrastructure using YAML or JSON templates. However, managing non-IaC resources has been a challenge, requiring manual template creation and resource identification. In response to this, AWS has introduced the IaC generator, offering a comprehensive solution to integrate existing resources seamlessly into AWS CloudFormation.

This blog provides an in-depth guide on leveraging the AWS CloudFormation IaC Generator for seamless integration of existing resources into the Infrastructure as Code (IaC) framework. In this blog, we walk you through the steps to streamline your AWS infrastructure management, making it more efficient, scalable, and consistent.

AWS CloudFormation IaC Generator

The AWS CloudFormation IaC Generator stands out as a distinctive feature within the AWS CloudFormation suite, a powerful service dedicated to enabling users to articulate and deploy AWS infrastructure using Infrastructure as Code (IaC) principles. This innovative generator streamlines the integration of existing AWS resources into the AWS CloudFormation framework, even when these resources were first established without Infrastructure as Code.

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Step-by-step Guide

Step 1: Scanning the resources

The generator scans your AWS account, making a list of all your resources. AWS CloudFormation then cleverly figures out how these resources are connected, like recognizing that a subnet is linked to a VPC. Once these connections are identified, you get to choose the main actors – the top-level resources for your template. It’s like crafting your mini-show with the perfect cast!

Navigate to the AWS CloudFormation console and, on the left menu, locate and click on “AWS CloudFormation IaC Generator.”

On the right side of the AWS CloudFormation IaC Generator page, click on “Start Scan.” Keep in mind that each scan persists for 30 days, and you have the flexibility to run up to three scans per day within your account.


Step 2: Creating a Template

After the scan finishes, initiate the template creation process by clicking the “Create Template” button. Choose “Start from a new template” and provide the necessary information about the stack, such as the template name and any applicable stack policies. In this instance, keep it as “Retain.”



Step 3: Selecting a resource

Proceeding to the next page, you will encounter a list of all scanned resources. To streamline your view, you have the option to apply filters, such as tags, to focus on specific subsets of scanned resources. In this case, we will only utilize a Resource type prefix filter. Once you locate the VPC in the list, select it.


Moving to the subsequent page, you will find a compilation of resources that AWS CloudFormation has identified as having a connection to this VPC. This encompasses a variety of networking-related resources. Maintain the selection of all these resources to generate a template inclusive of them.


Now, click on “Create template,” and AWS CloudFormation will create a template for you using the resources you’ve chosen.

Step 4: Creating a Stack

As there isn’t an existing stack to import these resources into, you need to create a new stack. Choose the template you’ve just created and then click on the “Import to stack” button.


Once you’ve input the stack name, proceed to enter any parameters required by your template.


AWS CloudFormation will generate a change set for your new stack. Change sets provide a preview of the modifications AWS CloudFormation intends to make to a stack. In this scenario, all resources will be in the Import status. Once you’ve reviewed and are content with the identified resources, proceed to create the stack.


At this stage, the create stack operation will progress as usual, systematically going through each resource and importing it into the stack.


With the IaC generator, AWS CloudFormation empowers users to bridge the gap between existing resources and IaC seamlessly. This not only enhances the management of non-IaC resources but also paves the way for a more streamlined, efficient, and console-first development experience.

As AWS continues to innovate, the IaC generator stands as a testament to the commitment to providing customers with powerful tools for modern infrastructure management.

Drop a query if you have any questions regarding AWS CloudFormation and we will get back to you quickly.

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1. What is the purpose of the AWS CloudFormation IaC Generator?

ANS: – The AWS CloudFormation IaC Generator simplifies the process of integrating existing AWS resources into the AWS CloudFormation framework. It allows users to bring non-IaC resources under the umbrella of Infrastructure as Code, promoting consistency, repeatability, and enhanced management of their AWS infrastructure.

2. How does the IaC Generator determine relationships between resources during a scan?

ANS: – The IaC Generator conducts a thorough scan of your AWS account and utilizes the resource type schema. Intelligently interpreting this schema identifies relationships between different resources. For example, it can recognize that a subnet is connected to a Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) through specific properties like vpc-id. These relationships serve as the foundation for creating meaningful templates.

3. Can I run multiple scans using the AWS CloudFormation IaC Generator?

ANS: – Yes, you can. Scans initiated by the IaC Generator persist for a duration of 30 days, providing a window of time for comprehensive resource discovery. Users have the flexibility to run up to three scans per day within their AWS account, allowing for periodic updates and adjustments to accommodate changes in the infrastructure.

WRITTEN BY Mohammad Zubair Saifi

Mohammad Zubair Saifi works as a Research Associate at CloudThat. He has knowledge of AWS Cloud Services and resources and DevOps tools like Jenkins, Docker, K8s, Ansible, and Terraform. He is passionate about improving his skills and learning new tools and technologies.



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