StackSets concepts - Amazon CloudFormation
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StackSets concepts

When you use StackSets, you work with stack sets, stack instances, and stacks.

Administrator and target accounts

An administrator account is the Amazon account in which you create stack sets. For stack sets with service-managed permissions, the administrator account is either the organization's management account or a delegated administrator account. You can manage a stack set by signing in to the Amazon administrator account that created the stack set.

A target account is the account into which you create, update, or delete one or more stacks in your stack set. Before you can use a stack set to create stacks in a target account, set up a trust relationship between the administrator and target accounts.

Amazon CloudFormation StackSets

A stack set lets you create stacks in Amazon Web Services accounts across regions by using a single CloudFormation template. A stack set's CloudFormation template defines all the resources in each stack. As you create the stack set, specify the template to use, in addition to any parameters and capabilities that template requires.

After you've defined a stack set, you can create, update, or delete stacks in the target accounts and Amazon Web Services Regions you specify. When you create, update, or delete stacks, you can also specify operation preferences. For example, include the order of Regions you want to perform the operation, the failure tolerance threshold before stack operations stop, and the number of accounts performing stack operations concurrently.

A stack set is a regional resource. If you create a stack set in one Amazon Web Services Region, you can only see or change it when viewing that Region.

Permission models for stack sets

You can create stack sets using either self-managed permissions or service-managed permissions.

With self-managed permissions, you create the IAM roles required by StackSets to deploy across accounts and Regions. These roles are necessary to establish a trusted relationship between the account you're administering the stack set from and the account you're deploying stack instances to. Using this permissions model, StackSets can deploy to any Amazon account in which you have permissions to create an IAM role.

With service-managed permissions, you can deploy stack instances to accounts managed by Amazon Organizations. Using this permissions model, you don't have to create the necessary IAM roles; StackSets creates the IAM roles on your behalf. With this model, you can also turn on automatic deployments to accounts that you add to your organization in the future.

Amazon Organizations integrates with CloudFormation and helps you centrally manage and govern your environment as you scale and grow your Amazon resources.

For more information about creating and managing stack sets with service-managed permissions, see the following topics:

Stack instances

A stack instance is a reference to a stack in a target account within a Region. A stack instance can exist without a stack. For example, if the stack couldn't be created for some reason, the stack instance shows the reason for stack creation failure. A stack instance associates with only one stack set.

The following figure shows the logical relationships between stack sets, stack operations, and stacks. When you update a stack set, all associated stack instances update throughout all accounts and Regions.


                    A single stack set can serve as the basis to create, update, or delete
                        stacks instances and stacks across multiple accounts and Regions.

Stack set operations

You can perform the following operations on stack sets.

Create stack set

Creating a new stack set includes specifying a CloudFormation template that you want to use to create stacks, specifying the target accounts in which you want to create stacks, and identifying the Amazon Web Services Regions in which you want to deploy stacks in your target accounts. A stack set ensures consistent deployment of the same stack resources, with the same settings, to all specified target accounts within the Regions you choose.

Update stack set

When you update a stack set, you push changes out to stacks in your stack set. You can update a stack set in one of the following ways. Your template updates always affect all stacks; you can't selectively update the template for some stacks in the stack set, but not others.

  • Change existing settings in the template or add new resources, such as updating parameter settings for a specific service, or adding new Amazon EC2 instances.

  • Replace the template with a different template.

  • Add stacks in existing or additional target accounts, across existing or additional Regions.

Delete stacks

When you delete stacks, you are removing a stack and all its associated resources from the target accounts you specify, within the Regions you specify. You can delete stacks in the following ways.

  • Delete stacks from some target accounts, while leaving other stacks in other target accounts running.

  • Delete stacks from some Regions, while leaving stacks in other Regions running.

  • Delete stacks from your stack set, but save them so they continue to run independently of your stack set by choosing the Retain Stacks option. You can then manage retained stacks outside of your stack set in Amazon CloudFormation.

  • Delete all stacks in your stack set, in preparation for deleting your entire stack set.

Delete stack set

You can delete your stack set only when there are no stack instances in it.

Stack set operation options

The options described in this section help to control the time and number of failures allowed to perform successful stack set operations, and prevent you from losing stack resources.

Maximum concurrent accounts

This setting, available in create, update, and delete workflows, lets you specify the maximum number or percentage of target accounts in which an operation performs at one time. A lower number or percentage means that an operation performs in fewer target accounts at one time. Operations perform in one Region at a time, in the order specified in the Deployment order box. For example, if you are deploying stacks to 10 target accounts within two Regions, setting Maximum concurrent accounts to 50 and By percentage deploys stacks to five accounts in the first Region, then the second five accounts within the first Region, before moving on to the next Region and beginning deployment to the first five target accounts.

When you choose By percentage, if the specified percentage doesn't represent a whole number of your specified accounts, CloudFormation rounds down. For example, if you are deploying stacks to 10 target accounts, and you set Maximum concurrent accounts to 25 and By percentage, CloudFormation rounds down from deploying 2.5 stacks concurrently (which would not be possible) to deploying two stacks concurrently.

Note that this setting lets you specify the maximum for operations. For large deployments, under certain circumstances the actual number of accounts acted upon concurrently may be lower due to service throttling. The maximum speed of deployment is 100 concurrent stack instances per stack set.

Failure tolerance

This setting, available in create, update, and delete workflows, lets you specify the maximum number or percentage of stack operation failures that can occur, per Region, beyond which CloudFormation stops an operation automatically. A lower number or percentage means that the operation performs on fewer stacks, but you are able to start troubleshooting failed operations faster. For example, if you are updating 10 stacks in 10 target accounts within three Regions, setting Failure tolerance to 20 and By percentage means that a maximum of two stack updates in a Region can fail for the operation to continue. If a third stack in the same Region fails, CloudFormation stops the operation. If a stack can't update in the first Region, the update operation continues in that Region, and then moves on to the next Region. If two stacks can't update in the second Region, the failure tolerance reaches 20%; if a third stack in the Region fails, CloudFormation stops the update operation, and doesn't go on to subsequent Regions.

When you choose By percentage, if the specified percentage doesn't represent a whole number of your stacks within each Region, CloudFormation rounds down. For example, if you are deploying stacks to 10 target accounts in three Regions, and you set Failure tolerance to 25 and By percentage, CloudFormation rounds down from a failure tolerance of 2.5 stacks (which would not be possible) to a failure tolerance of two stacks per Region.

Retain stacks

This setting, available in delete stack workflows, lets you keep stacks and their resources running even after removing stacks from a stack set. When you retain stacks, Amazon CloudFormation leaves stacks in individual accounts and Regions intact. Stacks disassociate from the stack set, but saves the stack and its resources. After a delete stacks operation is complete, you manage retained stacks in CloudFormation, in the target account (not the administrator account) that created the stacks.

Region concurrency

This setting, available in create, update, and delete workflows, lets you choose how StackSets deploy into Regions.

Sequential – Deploy StackSets operation into one Region at a time as specified by Region Deployment order box as long as a Region's deployment failures don't exceed a specified failure tolerance. Sequential deployment is the default selection.

Parallel – Deploy StackSets operations into all specified Regions in parallel as long as a Region's deployment failures don't exceed a specified failure tolerance.

Tags

You can add tags during stack set creation and update operations by specifying key and value pairs. Tags are useful for sorting and filtering stack set resources for billing and cost allocation. For more information about how to use tags in Amazon, see Using cost allocation tags in the Amazon Billing and Cost Management User Guide. After you specify the key-value pair, choose + to save the tag. You can delete tags that you are no longer using by choosing the red X to the right of a tag.

Tags that you apply to stack sets apply to all stacks, and the resources your stacks that are create. You can also addTags at the stack-only level in CloudFormation, but those tags might not show up in StackSets.

Although StackSets doesn't add any system-defined tags, you shouldn't start the key names of any tags with the string aws:.

StackSet status codes

Amazon CloudFormation StackSets generates status codes for stack set operations.

The following table describes status codes for stack set operations.

Stack set operation status Description

RUNNING

The operation is currently in progress.

SUCCEEDED

The operation finished without exceeding the failure tolerance for the operation.

FAILED

The number of stacks on which the operation couldn't complete exceeded the user-defined failure tolerance. The failure tolerance value you've set for an operation applies for each Region during stack creation and update operations. If the number of failed stacks within a Region exceeds the failure tolerance, the status of the operation in the Region changes to FAILED. The status of the operation as a whole is also set to FAILED, and CloudFormation cancels the operation in any remaining Regions.

QUEUED

[Service-managed permissions] For automatic deployments that require a sequence of operations, the operation enters into a queue to perform. For example:

  • Moving an account from one organizational unit (OU), OU1, to another, OU2, triggers an automatic deployment. StackSets runs a delete operation to remove the stack instance from the target OU1 account in the target Region and queues a create operation to add a stack instance to the target OU2 account in the target Region.

  • Adding an account AccountA to an OU triggers an automatic deployment. StackSets runs a create operation to add a stack instance to AccountA in the target Region. If you add another account AccountB to the OU while this create operation is running, StackSets queues a second create operation. When the first create operation is complete, StackSets runs the second create operation to add a stack instance to AccountB in the target Region.

STOPPING

The operation is in the process of stopping, at the user's request.

STOPPED

The operation has stopped, at the user's request.

Stack instance status codes

Amazon CloudFormation StackSets generates status codes for stack instances.

The following table describes status codes for stack instances within StackSets.

Stack instance status Description

CURRENT

The stack is up to date with the stack set.

OUTDATED

The stack isn't up to date with the stack set for one of the following reasons.

  • A CreateStackSet or UpdateStackSet operation on the associated stack failed.

  • The stack was part of a CreateStackSet or UpdateStackSet operation that failed, or stopped before creating or updating the stack.

INOPERABLE

A DeleteStackInstances operation has failed and left the stack in an unstable state. Stacks in this state are excluded from further UpdateStackSet operations. You might need to perform a DeleteStackInstances operation, with RetainStacks set to true, to delete the stack instance, and then delete the stack manually.

CANCELLED

The operation in the specified account and Region has been canceled. This happens because a user has stopped the stack set operation, or because the stack set operations exceed the failure tolerance.

FAILED

The operation in the specified account and Region failed. If the stack set operation fails in enough accounts within a Region, the failure tolerance for the stack set operation as a whole might be exceeded.

PENDING

The operation in the specified account and Region has yet to start.

RUNNING

The operation in the specified account and Region is currently in progress.

SUCCEEDED

The operation in the specified account and Region completed successfully.