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AWS Automation using Python and Boto3

AWS Automation using Python and Boto3 – Detailed Guide

Check out this detailed guide on AWS Automation using Python and Boto3!

Web and mobile applications and software programs have become mainstream requirements for different tasks in various industries. Digital transformation has the attention of all enterprises as the source of competitive advantage in the future. Most important of all, businesses are turning towards the cloud for its extended assortment of value advantages.

AWS is one of the top choices for enterprises aspiring to shift to the cloud for various reasons, including cost-effectiveness and flexibility of infrastructure management. However, the recent attention on AWS automation using Python and Boto3 points out the underlying challenges in AWS infrastructure management. The following discussion outlines a detailed guide on the use of Python and Boto3 scripts to ensure the optimization of AWS cloud infrastructure.

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Understanding AWS Automation

AWS is the market leader in public cloud computing that allows formidable capabilities for utilizing algorithmic DevOps to ensure enhanced streamlining and management of cloud operations. However, the need for AWS automation using Python and Boto3 scripts is evident due to prominent challenges for the maintenance of cloud infrastructure. Enterprises face many challenges starting from the process of shifting their legacy infrastructure to the AWS cloud.

It is important to ensure the coordinated working of all services along with in-depth infrastructure assessment for addressing any task on AWS. At the same time, the DevOps footprint of various applications creates additional complexities for infrastructure management. As a result, enterprises face the risk of incurring excessive human resource investments along with the evident risks from human errors.

AWS automation with Python and Boto3 comes as the perfect answer to these problems in AWS infrastructure management. Language-centric libraries could be integrated easily in applications along with the facility for using them in easy to understand scripts. Therefore, professionals could use these capabilities of AWS automation for performing tasks that would generally require considerable manual effort.

Technological advancements in present times do not require any need for dealing with conventional, repetitive, and tedious manual tasks. For example, if a user is copying a massive number of documents from across different regions, and they realize that they have shifted some unwanted documents, they are liable to incur a huge cost. On the contrary, automation scripts could take care of these unwanted issues without the requirement of manual efforts or concerns of errors.

Is AWS Automation Reasonable?

Various DevOps engineers face issues regarding the wastage of time in manual operations for various tasks. For example, in the case of a task involving the upload of a specific file to various S3 buckets, professionals without any knowledge of coding practices are likely to approach the task manually.

Although manual uploading seems feasible when you have a limited number of buckets, what would be the position in case of requirements to upload a specific file to almost 10000 S3 buckets? This is the place where you should look for AWS automation with Python and Boto3. However, some skeptics may wonder about the feasibility of automation in all tasks.

As a matter of fact, if the time required for manual operations is less than the time required for writing automation scripts, then automation is not a good pick. On the other hand, it is important to perceive the automation process and its significance from a completely different perspective.

Users should assume automation scripts as a long-term investment with the time and effort for creating and configuring the scripts serving as sources of benefits in future use cases. You have to write the automation scripts once, and if similar use cases arise in the future, you don’t have to be concerned about them. The storage and documentation of automation scripts deliver promising advantages to other engineers for solving various issues with ease.

What is the Importance of Python and Boto3 in AWS Automation?

Now, let us address the most common question regarding the necessity of AWS automation with Python and Boto3 only. The response to this question has a striking reference to the capabilities of Python. As a high-level programming language, Python presents the least difficulty for learning and use in various applications.

Python is a human-readable language and does not involve complicated commands and syntaxes for solving problems. With formidable expertise in core concepts of Python, users could easily find favorable options to address highly complicated issues in AWS cloud automation. So, where does Boto3 come into the picture here? Boto3 library enables developers and engineers to leverage the best of Python’s flexibility to ensure AWS automation.

Boto3 is basically an AWS SDK, designed specifically for Python programming language. The Boto3 library offers a wide range of functions related to AWS services for addressing the required operations for cloud automation. Most important of all, Boto3 helps in creating, configuring, operating, and maintaining AWS services through Python scripts.

Furthermore, users can depend on AWS automation with Python and Boto3 scripts because of the regular updates by AWS alongside ensuring the facility of comprehensive documentation to support the use of Python and Boto3 for effective AWS automation.

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Authentication of Users and Connection to Boto3 Library

The foremost aspect of any guide on AWS automation with Python and Boto3 at this point would be the practical applications of AWS automation. First of all, users have to establish a connection with AWS through Boto3 to start the automation process. Users have to rely on authentication credentials to ensure the creation of a Boto3 session in AWS. If an individual has to prove authentication for the Boto3 session, they must possess valid credentials such as a secret key and access key, or they should be a user.

Therefore, authentication is a crucial aspect in the initial stages of AWS automation while also implying the necessity for safeguarding user credentials and avoiding unauthorized control over the secret key or access key. In cases where you have to share credentials, roles, and policy restrictions could be helpful. Roles and policies ensure that a person will be capable of addressing a specific assortment of operations, followed by sharing a pair of access key with a value. Users can ensure Boto3 installation through the basic command “pip install boto3”.

Sessions for Starting AWS Automation

Users could find two distinct types of sessions for ensuring AWS automation with Python and Boto3. The two types of sessions are default sessions and custom sessions. Let us take a look at a brief overview of the two variants of sessions in AWS automation.

  • Default Sessions

The default session allows users for configuration of credentials through aws configure. Users can also place credentials in ‘~/.aws/credentials’ file for configuring their credentials with the following method.


aws_access_key_id= YOUR_ACCESS_KEY

aws_secret_access_key= YOUR_SECRET_KEY


Users can also ensure the configuration of the region and generate a key-value pair if you don’t have one. Without the specification of a session, Boto3 depends on the default session for connecting with AWS, followed by returning specific relevant session objects. Users can create a default session by accessing the credentials in the credentials file. The session object returned by the following code would be stored in the s3_client and s3 variables.

import boto3

s3 = boto3.resource('s3')    # for resource interface

s3_client = boto3.client('s3') # for client interface

The client and resource, in this case, refer to the interfaces for AWS that users can invoke and use for functions relating directly with services. The resource depicts a high-level object-oriented interface, while client is a low-level interface. Boto3 documentation provides a reasonable impression of the use of resources and client interfaces in AWS automation.
  • Custom Sessions

The second type of session in AWS automation with Python and Boto3 refers to a custom session. The custom session is generally applicable in use cases that demand changes in the region to facilitate multiple operations or utilize different credentials. In addition, custom sessions also support other additional functionality, such as the profile name and AWS session token. Here is an example of code for creating a custom session for AWS automation through Python and Boto3.

import boto3

sess =

Session(aws_access_key_id=ARN_ACCESS_KEY, aws_secret_access_key=ARN_SECRET_KEY,

region_name=region)  # if required

cloudtrail_sess = sess.client('cloudtrail')

AWS Automation Process with Python and Boto3

The final highlight of this guide on AWS automation with Python and Boto3 would reflect on solving automation issues with Boto3. After creating the Boto3 session, users can rely on Boto3 documentation to address all functions easily. The working of Boto3 starts with making a request that can be read operation or write operation. Then, Boto3 API returns a response in JSON format, and users have to parse it through common dict/list operations in Python programming language.

Recommended best practices indicate towards parsing of the response by leveraging code to achieve desired results. The most important step in AWS automation would reflect on the management of errors, particularly in critical operations. So, users should look for errors during making boto3 calls. The errors include incorrect or non-existent request parameters or discrepancies in the values considered as parameters.

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Final Words

On a concluding note, it is evident that AWS automation with Python and Boto3 is an extensive process. However, it is simple to learn and understand the process and using the boto3 documentation to improve AWS automation expertise. Cloud automation has changed many conventional operations in an organization’s infrastructure with various tools and automation scripts.

Therefore, the demand for AWS automation is evident for DevOps engineers and system administrators as well as other AWS professionals. Users can develop a script configured for a specific task and implement the schedule for a cron job for tasks. The cron job helps in the appropriate scheduling of automation tasks while ensuring the best advantages of automation for users. Enroll in the Automating AWS with Python and Boto3 training course and exploring more about AWS Cloud automation right now!

About Pavan Gumaste

Pavan Rao is a programmer / Developer by Profession and Cloud Computing Professional by choice with in-depth knowledge in AWS, Azure, Google Cloud Platform. He helps the organisation figure out what to build, ensure successful delivery, and incorporate user learning to improve the strategy and product further.


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