Jenkins, Powershell, AWS and Cloudflare Automated Deployment.

If your interested in only the code, and export of the Jenkins template and list of needed plugins it can be found on my Github


This multipart series is about using Jenkins to spin up an EC2 instance, add an elastic IP, and deploying the DNS to cloudflare using powershell. This is meant to be a template configuration for Windows DevOps teams to start building out environments. From here you can build your own AMI, or tie in your own github/svn code deploy or use ansible/chef/puppet/powershell/million other options to complete an automated deployment.

Some advantages to this method:

The user doing the build will be able to pick an instance, pick a security group, and deploy into multiple regions while Jenkins 100% controls the options available. This insures consistency across builds and allows you to limit who requires credentials to critical infrastructure. We can also apply tags and enforce mandatory tagging. This method also utilizes the concept of “only right answers.”  Though the user is given options, those options are limited within jenkins, and those limitations make sense for the project. This project is a template that will let you have confidence that tomorrow morning you will not wake up to a dozen d2.8xlarge with 5tbs of ESD storage to act as a cluster of DNS servers.

I have written posts about many of the tools used for this series ( AWS Report using Powershell ,Managing Cloudflare with Activedirectory, Jenkins EnvInject Plugin, Migrating Powershell Scheduled tasks to Jenkins). So if you want some other posts that cover the getting started concepts I’d recommend those.  I will note that  Matthew Hodgkins’ wrote a really great 2 part blog entry on getting started with Jenkins and Powershell, and the AWS plugin getting started  docs are a great resources if you are trying to do this project from scratch.

Plugins and Configuration:

For this project to work there are a few plugins you will absolutely need:

Jenkins (latest version)

Powershell 4.0

Aws Powershell plugin : Used to integrate the powershell script and AWS.

Environment Injector Plugin : Used to keep some variables between Jenkins build steps

User build vars plugin : Used to get data about who triggered the Jenkins build.

Role-based Authorization Strategy (Optional) : This can be used to limit which builds a user has access to. I’ll cover this in a later post.


Additional configuration notes:

I have Jenkins running as a service account. I did this due to wanting to run powershell plugins, and a few times I have run into odd behavior without a full user space provided. I havn’t tested to see if this works without it.


User has connected to Jenkins and found the build the want.

When initializing the build they encounter configuration options:

They Click build and Jenkins launches the build. The user waits a few minutes and on the AWS console, a new EC2 instance has spawned with Tags:

The Name has been Tagged “WebDeploy”, and two new tags have been created. The BuildTag that shows the Jenkins job that launched the instance. In this case since we have 256 Unicode characters to work with in aws and 200+ in Jenkins I was able to name the Build after the environment it was launched in (Prod or production), and a Billing code (Billcode0001), the last -2 is which Jenkins build the deploy is from.  The other tag is BuiltBy which is the user account in Jenkins that triggered the build.

After the AWS instance is fully online Powershell does API calls back to Cloudflare. A new entry is created, or an old entry is updated. Webdeploy is given the FQDN of

Under the Hood:

#Import AWS powershell module
import-module awspowershell

#Enforce working in our current Jenkins workspace.

#ENV:AWS_Profile is from the build parameters earlier it provides the AWS profile credentials

$aws_profile = $ENV:AWS_Profile
Set-AWSCredentials -ProfileName $aws_profile

#Load all the other environment variables AWS needs to to create an instance

$region = $ENV:Region
$instance_name = $ENV:Instance_Name
$builder = $ENV:BUILD_USER
$buildtag = $ENV:BUILD_TAG
$image_type = $ENV:image_type
$Instance_Type = $ENV:Instance_Type
$domain = $ENV:Domain
$public_key = $ENV:Public_Key
$SecurityGroup = $ENV:Security_Group

#Search for the Security group Name tag Value. More on this in the next post.

try {
$SecurityGroup_Id = Get-EC2SecurityGroup -Region “$region” | where { $_.Groupname -eq “$SecurityGroup” } | select -expandproperty GroupId
echo “Security group Identification response:”

} catch {
exit 1

#Make sure that the Instance name is not blank.

if($instance_name.length -le 1) {
echo “ERROR: Instance must be named and the length must be greater than 1.”
echo “ERROR: Instance name: $instance_name”
echo “ERROR: Instance name length” $instance_name.length
exit 1

#Select AWS AMI. This is limited to the ones owned by Amazon. And gets the most up to date image.

try {
$image_id = Get-EC2Image -Owner amazon, self -Region $region | where { $_.Description -eq $image_type } | select -first 1 -expandproperty ImageId
echo “EC2 Image ID Response:”
} catch {
exit 1

#Generate the instance, with all environmental variables provided from Jenkins build.

try {
$instance_info = New-EC2Instance -ImageId $image_id -MinCount 1 -MaxCount 1 -KeyName $public_key -SecurityGroupId $SecurityGroup_Id -InstanceType $instance_type -Region $region
echo “Image generation response”
} catch {
exit 1

#Let the user know things are working as intended and to please wait while we wait for the instance to reach the running state.

echo “Please wait for image to fully generate”
while($(Get-Ec2instance -instanceid $instance_info.instances.instanceid -region $region).Instances.State.Name.value -ne “running”) {
sleep 1

#Apply tags to the instance

echo “Naming Instance”
$tag = New-Object Amazon.EC2.Model.Tag
$tag.Key = “Name”
$tag.Value = “$instance_name”

New-EC2Tag -Resource $instance_info.instances.instanceid -Tag $tag -Region $region
echo “Tagging build information”
$tag.Key = “BuiltBy”
$tag.Value = “$builder”
New-EC2Tag -Resource $instance_info.instances.instanceid -Tag $tag -Region $region

$tag.Key = “BuildTag”
$tag.Value = “$BUILDTAG”

New-EC2Tag -Resource $instance_info.instances.instanceid -Tag $tag -Region $region

#Attach an elastic IP to the instance

try {
$ellastic_ip_allocation = New-EC2Address -Region $region
echo “Elastip IP registered:”
} catch {
echo “ERROR: Registering Ec2Address”
exit 1
#return $false

#Assign the elastic IP to the instance

try {
$response = Register-Ec2Address -instanceid $instance_info.instances.instanceid -AllocationID $ellastic_ip_allocation.allocationid -Region $region
echo “Register EC2Address Response:”
} catch {
echo “ERROR: Associating EC2Address:”
exit 1

#Send the elastic IP value to the EnvInj plugin:

$PublicIP = $ellastic_ip_allocation | select -expandproperty PublicIP
echo “Passing Env variable $PublicIP”
“ElasticIP = $PublicIP” | Out-file build.prop -Encoding ASCII -force

exit 0

In the next post I’ll cover prepping the AWS Environment, prepping the Jenkins Build and Key parts to look at to add customization for your environment.

If you want the whole project you can get it from my Github.

Part Two can be found here

Thanks for reading,


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2 thoughts on “Jenkins, Powershell, AWS and Cloudflare Automated Deployment.

  1. I cover that in an earlier post, it is a quirk when working with in Jenkins. The Jenkins plugin for powershell doesn’t do try catch correctly. It doesn’t recognize the catch as an exit at all. You need to declare the exit 1 for the build to stop and Jenkins to realize it errored out.

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