Amazon helps automate software upgrades

IT staff can use CodeDeploy to upgrade apps running in their own data center and Amazon's cloud

Amazon Web Services has expanded to data centers in Australia and Europe the availability of its CodeDeploy service for automating software updates.

The service is being promoted as a way to do away with what Amazon calls error-prone manual operations, when rolling out new features and applications on its cloud or enterprise data centers. There are also features for performing rolling updates and tracking application health. If something goes wrong, deployments can be stopped and rolled back.

The expanded availability to the Ireland and Sydney data centers of AWS should improve performance and will likely win over companies that want to run their entire infrastructure locally. CodeDeploy has until now only been available from the U.S.

As with any type of automation, CodeDeploy doesn't work straight out of the box. To use the service, administrators have to specify the files to copy and the scripts to run on each instance during the installation.

Still, CodeDeploy offers a lot of flexibility. It's programming language and architecture agnostic, and there are agents for Amazon's own Linux, Ubuntu Server and Microsoft's Windows Server. For organizations that want to use it with other operating systems, the agent is available as open-source software.

Amazon has also published templates for using CodeDeploy with configuration management systems such as Chef, Puppet, Ansible and SaltStack. CodeDeploy is free with applications hosted on Amazon's own infrastructure and costs US$0.02 per update for on-site deployments.

The service was one of three new offerings Amazon announced in November to help developers and system administrators store, integrate and deploy their code on the cloud.

The other two -- CodeCommit and CodePipeline -- will be used to keep source code safe and model how applications should be rolled out. The respective product pages still state they will become available in early 2015.

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Mikael Ricknäs

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