Using Powershell & Amazon CloudFormation

I first started building proof of concepts in the Amazon cloud over two years ago. You can read about all of them here. We’ve come a long way with the recent developments we have been working on with Amazon. Since then, Amazon has released some new tools that make a datacenter in the cloud very apetizing. Recent tools now allow us to build a CloudFormation template, and when used with a Powershell script, give us the ability to automatically create a complete, scalable, Medium sized XenApp Farm in Amazon VPC. Different XenApp Farm sizes and architecture descriptions can be found here.

Amazon VPC has had some recent updates as well, that provide the ability to connect to your farm without having to have a site-to-site VPN installed into your datacenter. A major change is the ability to create security groups that act like firewalls to segment your network infrastructure, and keep the servers safe, the same way you would architect your on premise datacenter using firewalls. Now we can have a secure, scalable XenApp farm in the cloud.

What is exciting is the use of Powershell and Cloudformation to automatically launch all fo the XenApp AMI’s necessary to create a Medium sized XenApp farm in the cloud. The video below describes the steps required to perform this automation yourself. There are essentially three ways to create a XenApp farm in Amazon, the last of which is using automation scripts.

Build the XenApp servers from scratch

Launch pre-built XenApp AMI’s

Use automation

See CloudFormation in action

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