[Baypiggies] Who else has played with AWS new OpsWorks?

AM ams.fwd at gmail.com
Mon Apr 1 20:04:38 CEST 2013

On 03/30/2013 10:26 PM, Glen Jarvis wrote:
> AWS has a fairly new OpsWorks app that is basically Chef in a web 
> interface so one can deploy their own python apps.
> I'm trying to add a custom Django 1.5 layer and app and was wondering 
> if anyone has already approached this problem?
> Cheers,
> Glen
> -- 
> "Pursue, keep up with, circle round and round your life as a dog does 
> his master's chase. Do what you love. Know your own bone; gnaw at it, 
> bury it, unearth it, and gnaw it still."
> --Henry David Thoreau
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Based on some early deployments that I have tested out, my experience 
has been the following:

- Rapid deployment to many many instances via a single click or cli command.
- Easy interface for setting up stacks and layers
- I would recommend using their interface for installing system packages 
instead of using chef (appears to be faster)
- Since it runs chef-solo, you can test out chef changes easily without 
messing with environments

- Its based on the Peritor/Scalarium branch of chef which is roughly a 
patched version of 0.9.14 or so,  not all existing cookbooks will work 
and may require patching.
- No databags, though it can be simulated with custom chef options in 
the stack
- Instance bringup time is looong. From what I can tell the instance 
boots at least twice.
- I would recommend wrapping all recipes for each of the layer steps in 
a single recipe, so that you can run it when you need it. There seems to 
be no way to run setup or configure from the API or UI other than 
executing custom recipes.
- Non-instance bring-up steps can randomly fail or take a long time so 
you do need to watch it to make sure that they completed properly
- No ELB support, you have to manually add it to an AS group
- EIP support is a bit weird, ie if you already have one, you cannot use 
it, although it /can/ generate one for you which seems a tad useless.
- For development purposes I would highly recommend running an instance 
with 0.9.16 for testing purposes or else it gets very very painful.


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