Thursday, July 25, 2013

No magic bullet, I guess

Amazon introduced a new service, Opsworks, back in the spring. This is supposed to make cloud stack creation, cloud formation, and instance management easier to handle than their older Puppet-based CloudFormation service. Being able to fail over gracefully from master to slave database, for example, would be a Very Good Thing, and they appear to have hooks that can allow that to happen (via running Chef code when a master fails). Similarly, if load gets too high on web servers they can automagically spawn new ones.

Great idea. Sort of. Except it seems to have two critical issues: 1) it doesn't appear to have any way to handle our staging->production cycle, where the transactions coming into production are replicated to staging during our testing cycle, then eventually staging is rolled to production via mechanisms I won't go into right now, and 2) it doesn't appear to actually work -- it claims that the default security groups that are needed for its version of Chef to work don't exist, and they never appeared later on either. Which isn't because I lack permission to create security groups, because I created one for an earlier prototype of my deployment. This appears to be a sporadic bug that multiple people have reported, where the default security groups aren't created for one reason or another.

Eh. Half baked and not ready for production. Oh well. Amazon *did* say it was Beta, after all. They're right.

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