AWS OpsWorks Orchestration War Stories

Speaker: Andrew Boag

Andrew Boag is the MD of Catalyst Australia, he likes playing about with various cloud tools and technologies.


From late 2012, when the Sydney region kicked off, Catalyst has been involved in the build and management of a set of sizeable AWS stacks.

We started out with the blue-green deployment method with a collection of immutable application servers behind a load balancer in an auto scale group (an approach that we still use for some solutions) into a fully orchestrated "stack-as-code" deployment model using AWS OpsWorks ( in mid 2013.

Working in the world of a fully orchestrated application stack has been an adventure and we have learnt a lot of lessons about the real challenges of working with orchestration in anger. It's a powerful approach but yet another paradigm shift in the way that infrastructure is built, deployed and managed.

The talk will focus on our experience with OpsWorks and AWS ... but we believe this case study has very useful parallels in the orchestration space.

This is not a tutorial or promotion for OpsWorks. But hopefully an interesting case study.