AWS OpsWorks is a configuration management service that uses Chef, an automation platform that treats server configurations as code. OpsWorks uses Chef to automate how servers are configured, deployed, and managed across your Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instances or on-premises compute environments. OpsWorks has two offerings, AWS Opsworks for Chef Automate, and AWS OpsWorks Stacks.
AWS OpsWorks for Chef Automate provides a fully managed Chef server and suite of automation tools that give you workflow automation for continuous deployment, automated testing for compliance and security, and a user interface that gives you visibility into your nodes and their status. The Chef server gives you full stack automation by handling operational tasks such as software and operating system configurations, package installations, database setups, and more. The Chef server centrally stores your configuration tasks and provides them to each node in your compute environment at any scale, from a few nodes to thousands of nodes. OpsWorks for Chef Automate is completely compatible with tooling and cookbooks from the Chef community and automatically registers new nodes with your Chef server.
With OpsWorks for Chef Automate, you are charged based on the number of nodes connected to your Chef server and the time those nodes are running, and you also pay for the underlying Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instance running your Chef server.
AWS OpsWorks Stacks lets you manage applications and servers on AWS and on-premises. With OpsWorks Stacks, you can model your application as a stack containing different layers, such as load balancing, database, and application server. You can deploy and configure Amazon EC2 instances in each layer or connect other resources such as Amazon RDS databases. OpsWorks Stacks lets you set automatic scaling for your servers based on preset schedules or in response to changing traffic levels, and it uses lifecycle hooks to orchestrate changes as your environment scales. You run Chef recipes using Chef Solo, allowing you to automate tasks such as installing packages and programming languages or frameworks, configuring software, and more.
There is no additional charge to use OpsWorks Stacks for Amazon EC2, and you only pay for the underlying resources created using OpsWorks Stacks.