Deploy the workload

Traditionally most workloads are designed to withstand infrastructure failure by deploying workload components across multiple Availability Zones/Regions, implementing self-healing capabilities such as AutoScaling, etc. While such techniques are effective in ensuring uptime of workload resources, they do not address issues introduced at the workload application level (i.e. a software bug). Leveraging bulkhead architectures and shuffle sharding techniques will provide additional reliability to workloads by limiting the blast radius of failures so that only a subset of users are impacted by such failures.


You will use AWS CloudFormation to provision the resources needed for this lab. The CloudFormation stack that you provision will create an Application Load Balancer, Target Groups, and EC2 instances in a new VPC.

1.1 Log into the AWS console

If you are attending an in-person workshop and were provided with an AWS account by the instructor:

Click here for instructions to access your assigned AWS account:

If you are using your own AWS account:

Click here for instructions to use your own AWS account:

1.2 Deploy the workload using AWS CloudFormation

  1. Go to the AWS CloudFormation console at and click Create Stack > With new resources (standard)


  2. For Prepare template select Template is ready

    • For Template source select Amazon S3 URL
    • In the text box under Amazon S3 URL specify


  3. Click Next

  4. For Stack name use Shuffle-sharding-lab

  5. No changes are required for Parameters. Click Next

  6. For Configure stack options click Next

  7. On the Review page:

    • Scroll to the end of the page and select I acknowledge that AWS CloudFormation might create IAM resources with custom names. This ensures CloudFormation has permission to create resources related to IAM. Additional information can be found here .

    Note: The template creates an IAM role and Instance Profile for EC2. These are the minimum permissions necessary for the instances to be managed by AWS Systems Manager. These permissions can be reviewed in the CloudFormation template under the “Resources” section - InstanceRole.

    • Click Create stack


This will take you to the CloudFormation stack status page, showing the stack creation in progress.

  • Click on the Events tab
  • Scroll through the listing. It shows (in reverse order) the activities performed by CloudFormation, such as starting to create a resource and then completing the resource creation.
  • Any errors encountered during the creation of the stack will be listed in this tab.

The stack takes about 5 mins to create all the resources. Periodically refresh the page until you see that the Stack Status is in CREATE_COMPLETE. The stack creates the following resources:

  • A new VPC, subnets, Internet Gateway, Route tables to host the workload in
  • 4 EC2 instances that host the application
  • An Application Load Balancer, Listener and rules, and Target Groups to route traffic
  • IAM resources (roles, policies) that allow the EC2 instances to be managed by AWS Systems Manager
  • An SSM Document that will be run on the instances

Once the stack is in CREATE_COMPLETE, visit the Outputs section for the stack and note down the Key and Value for each of the outputs. This information will be used in the lab.

1.3 Test the application

Now that the application has been deployed, it is time to test it to understand how it works. The sample application used in this lab is a simple web application that returns a message with the Worker that responded to the request. Customers pass in a query string with the request to identify themselves. The query string used here is name.

  1. Copy the URL provided in the Outputs section of the CloudFormation stack created in the previous string.


  2. Append the query string /?name=Alpha to the URL and paste it into a web browser. The full string should look similar to this - Refresh the web browser a few times to see that responses are being returned from different EC2 instances on the back-end

    • The list of EC2 instances in your workload can be viewed in the AWS Console here


  3. Update the value for the query string to one of the other customers, the possible values are - Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, Delta, Echo, and Foxtrot


    Note: If you see a response that says “This site can’t be reached”, please make sure you are using the URL obtained from the outputs section of the CloudFormation stack and not the sample URL provided in this lab guide.

  4. Refresh the web browser multiple times to verify that all customers are able to receive responses from all EC2 instances (workers) in the back-end