The target for the Cumulus project is to make cloud deployments scriptable, reliable and repeatable. It is of great importance for productivity and product stability that you are able to release often and with as few manual steps as possible.

Cumulus consists of two parts, cumulus which is used to manage the software bundling and deployment and the cumulus-bundle-handler which handles the software installation on the target servers.

Basic concepts

Cumulus is built around three main concepts:

  • An environment references a whole environment and all it’s CloudFormation stacks. It holds together information about the AWS account, which stacks to deploy and in which version.
  • A stack is simply a CloudFormation stack.
  • A bundle is a .zip file with code and configuration to unpack to instances.

Deployment workflow

Deployments with Cumulus can take many shapes depending on your project needs. But a common pattern can look like the example below.

If your build server delivers a package, then Cumulus can use that for deployment. The procedure would be something like this:

  1. The build server builds the software
  2. The build server places a .zip file on the file system
  3. cumulus picks up the software package - called a bundle in Cumulus - and rename it according to the given version and target environment
  4. cumulus uploads the bundle to AWS S3
  5. cumulus initiates a AWS CloudFormation CREATE or UPDATE (depending on whether or not the stack exists previously)
  6. The EC2 instance has cumulus-bundle-handler installed
  7. cumulus-bundle-handler will download the bundle from S3
  8. cumulus-bundle-handler will deploy the bundle to the instance
  9. cumulus-bundle-handler will restart necessary services and run any configured deployment hooks
  10. Deployment is now completed

You can also use cumulus to build your bundle, if you don’t get a pre-packaged version of you software from the build server. cumulus can then take a certain path on the file system and convert it to a bundle.

Here’s an image of an example workflow. Please note that this is a very simple example with only one server, but there are no limitations in terms of what infrastructure you could set up with Cumulus.


Supported platforms

  • Cumulus supports Linux, Mac OS X and Windows
  • Cumulus Bundle Handler supports Linux and Windows (and likely Mac OS X, but testing is needed)

The rest of the work is down within the AWS CloudFormation template. Please have a look at our CloudFormation template examples.