For aspiring AWS Certified Data Engineers, understanding Infrastructure as Code (IaC) for repeatable deployments is critical. This DevOps practice enables developers to manage their cloud infrastructure effectively by scripting it, allowing for consistency in the deployment of AWS resources and reducing the risk of manual errors. Key AWS services used for implementing IaC include the AWS Cloud Development Kit (AWS CDK) and AWS CloudFormation.

Table of Contents

AWS Cloud Development Kit (AWS CDK)

The AWS CDK is an open-source software development framework that enables you to model and provision your cloud application resources using popular programming languages. It allows developers to define their infrastructure using a high-level object-oriented, imperative context, lowering the learning curve typically associated with Infrastructure as Code.

Here’s an example of IaC using AWS CDK in Python:

from aws_cdk import (
aws_s3 as s3,

class MyFirstBucket(core.Stack):

def __init__(self, scope: core.Construct, id: str, kwargs) -> None:
super().__init__(scope, id, kwargs)

bucket = s3.Bucket(self,

This Python CDK code sets up an S3 bucket with access control set to private and a block put in place against a public policy.

AWS CloudFormation

AWS CloudFormation is a service that assists you in creating and managing a range of AWS resources. You can create templates for the service or application architectures you need, and AWS CloudFormation will take care of setting up all the necessary services and resources for you.

CloudFormation uses scripts written in either JSON or YAML format to define an AWS resource stack. AWS CloudFormation lets you use infrastructure as code for peak workflow automation.

Here’s an example of creating the same S3 bucket as earlier but with AWS CloudFormation:

Type: 'AWS::S3::Bucket'
AccessControl: Private
BucketName: 'my-first-s3-bucket'
- ServerSideEncryptionByDefault:
SSEAlgorithm: AES256

This YAML script defines an AWS S3 Bucket Resource and names it ‘MyBucket’. The bucket is given an Access Control setting of ‘Private’, and a bucket encryption method that uses a server-side AES256 algorithm.

AWS CDK vs AWS CloudFormation

Feature AWS CDK AWS CloudFormation
Language Support Supports multiple languages (Python, TypeScript, JavaScript etc.) Supports JSON, YAML
Higher-level constructs Yes No
Imperative Programming Yes No
Complexity Low-to-high complexity solutions High complexity solutions
Learning curve Lower Higher

The decision to use AWS CDK or CloudFormation will depend on your team’s programming language choice and the complexity of the deployment. It is essential to understand the strengths of both AWS IaC tools to use them effectively for your AWS deployments. As an AWS Certified Data Engineer – Associate (DEA-C01), you’ll handle AWS resources using IaC, thus reducing development time and increasing overall system stability.

Practice Test

True/False: Infrastructure as Code (IaC) is a software engineering approach that applies development and operations paradigms to infrastructure management.

  • True
  • False

Answer: True

Explanation: IaC means managing and provisioning computer data centers through machine-readable definition files rather than physical hardware configuration or interactive configuration tools.

Multiple Select: What are the advantages of using Infrastructure as Code (IaC)?

  • A. Cost Efficiency
  • B. Speed and Simplicity
  • C. Enhanced Security
  • D. All of the above

Answer: D. All of the above

Explanation: IaC can provide cost-efficiency, speed and simplicity, and enhanced security, as it automates the infrastructure deployment process and ensures consistent configurations across development, staging, and production environments.

Single Select: Which AWS service provides Infrastructure as Code (IaC)?

  • A. AWS Lambda
  • B. AWS CloudFormation
  • C. AWS SQS
  • D. AWS S3

Answer: B. AWS CloudFormation

Explanation: AWS CloudFormation provides Infrastructure as Code, as it allows users to model and provision AWS resources using JSON or YAML files.

True/False: AWS Cloud Development Kit (CDK) allows you to define your cloud resources in code and provision them through AWS CloudFormation.

  • True
  • False

Answer: True

Explanation: AWS CDK is an open-source software development framework to model and provision cloud application resources using familiar programming languages.

Single Select: What language does a developer use to create AWS CloudFormation templates?

  • A. Python
  • B. Go
  • C. Java
  • D. JSON or YAML

Answer: D. JSON or YAML

Explanation: AWS CloudFormation templates are written in either JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) or YAML (Yet Another Markup Language).

True/False: You should manually make changes in environments managed by AWS CDK and AWS CloudFormation.

  • True
  • False

Answer: False

Explanation: Best practice is to avoid making manual changes in environments managed by IAC tools such as AWS CDK and AWS CloudFormation. Changes should be made in the code and redeployed.

Multiple Select: What are the capabilities of AWS CloudFormation?

  • A. Automatic rollback on error
  • B. Sequential and parallel stack creation
  • C. Infrastructure visualization
  • D. All of the above

Answer: D. All of the above

Explanation: AWS CloudFormation supports automatic rollback on error, sequential and parallel stack creation, and infrastructure visualization.

Single Select: Is AWS Cloud Development Kit suitable for Infrastructure as Code (IaC) for repeatable deployments?

  • A. Yes
  • B. No

Answer: A. Yes

Explanation: AWS CDK allows you to express your infrastructure in code and use AWS CloudFormation to provision and manage that infrastructure.

True/False: The purpose of Infrastructure as Code (IAC) is to slow down the software development process.

  • True
  • False

Answer: False

Explanation: The purpose of IAC is to expedite and streamline the software development process by managing infrastructure through code rather than manual processes.

Multiple Select: What are some of the best practices for using Infrastructure as Code (IaC)?

  • A. Keep your infrastructure code DRY (Don’t Repeat Yourself)
  • B. Conduct regular code reviews
  • C. Use a consistent structure for your code templates
  • D. All of the above

Answer: D. All of the above

Explanation: These practices enhance the efficiency and consistency of IaC deployments.

Interview Questions

What is Infrastructure as Code (IaC)?

Infrastructure as Code (IaC) is a method of configuring and managing computing and network infrastructure through machine-readable definition files, rather than physical hardware configuration or interactive configuration tools.

What is AWS CloudFormation and how it is related to Infrastructure as Code (IaC)?

AWS CloudFormation is an Amazon Web Services (AWS) service that allows you to define your cloud infrastructure using a simple text file. These files, known as templates, allow you to provision and manage AWS resources in an orderly, predictable fashion.

What is AWS CDK and how it supports Infrastructure as Code (IaC)?

The AWS Cloud Development Kit (AWS CDK) is an open-source software development framework to define your cloud infrastructure in code and provision it through AWS CloudFormation. It enables developers to harness the full power of modern programming languages to define reusable cloud components.

How does Infrastructure as Code (IaC) contribute to repeatable deployments?

IaC allows developers to automatically manage and provision the technology stack for an application through software, replacing the need for programming manual processes. This reduces errors and allows for repeatable deployments.

Why is AWS CloudFormation popular for IaC deployments?

AWS CloudFormation allows developers to use JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) or YAML to script the setup of their AWS infrastructure, making it easy to use and learn. AWS CloudFormation scripts are also reusable and can be version controlled.

What is the key advantage of using AWS CDK over AWS CloudFormation?

AWS CDK supports multiple high-level programming languages while CloudFormation supports only JSON or YAML. Therefore, with AWS CDK, developers can use familiar procedural coding languages to define and provision AWS infrastructure.

How can testing be automated with IaC in the AWS environment?

AWS provides multiple tools such as AWS CodePipeline and AWS CodeBuild which can be used to automate testing in the CI/CD pipeline. The infrastructure setup for the testing environment can be scripted and managed using AWS CloudFormation or AWS CDK.

How does Infrastructure as Code (IaC) improve consistency in AWS deployments?

IaC reduces the risk of manual errors by automating deployments, resulting in consistent and compliant infrastructure setups across different stages and environments.

Could you explain the concept of “Drift Detection” in AWS CloudFormation?

Drift detection in AWS CloudFormation allows you to detect if the actual configuration of an infrastructure has drifted from its expected configuration. The process helps identify manual changes or updates that could affect resource configuration and stability.

What is a Stack in AWS CloudFormation?

A stack in AWS CloudFormation is a collection of AWS resources that you create and manage as a single unit. You can create, update, or delete a collection of resources by creating, updating, or deleting stacks.

How secure is managing infrastructure with IaC on AWS?

Managing infrastructure with IaC on AWS is secure. Configuration scripts can be reviewed prior to execution and the access to execute scripts can be controlled with AWS Identity and Access Management policies. AWS also provides tools to manage encryption and secure secrets, for example, AWS Key Management Service and AWS Secrets Manager.

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