Configuring Stack Notifications - Tutorial

Welcome to this tutorial on configuring stack notifications in AWS CloudFormation. Stack notifications allow you to receive updates and notifications about your CloudFormation stacks, such as stack creation, deletion, or failure events. By configuring notifications, you can stay informed about the status and progress of your stacks and take appropriate actions when needed.

Example of Configuring Stack Notifications

Let's consider an example where you want to receive an email notification whenever a CloudFormation stack fails to create or update.

Resources: MyBucket: Type: AWS::S3::Bucket Properties: BucketName: my-bucket-name Notifications: - Type: AWS::CloudFormation::Stack Properties: StackName: MyStack NotificationARNs: - arn:aws:sns:us-west-2:123456789012:MyNotificationTopic NotificationTypes: - CREATE_FAILED - UPDATE_FAILED

In the above example, we define a CloudFormation resource of type AWS::S3::Bucket. We also configure stack notifications by adding a Notifications section. We specify the stack name as MyStack and the Amazon Resource Name (ARN) of an SNS topic where the notifications will be sent. We set the notification types to include CREATE_FAILED and UPDATE_FAILED events.

Steps to Configure Stack Notifications

  1. Create an Amazon SNS topic or identify an existing one to use for stack notifications.
  2. Add a Notifications section to your CloudFormation template, specifying the stack name, notification ARN, and desired notification types.
  3. Ensure that the appropriate permissions are set to allow CloudFormation to publish notifications to the SNS topic.
  4. Create or update the stack using the CloudFormation CLI, AWS Management Console, or AWS SDKs.
  5. Monitor the notifications sent to the specified SNS topic to stay informed about the stack events.
  6. Take appropriate actions based on the received notifications, such as investigating failures or initiating remediation steps.

Common Mistakes when Configuring Stack Notifications

  • Not configuring notifications for important stack events, leading to a lack of visibility and delayed response to failures or issues.
  • Providing incorrect or non-existent ARNs for the notification topic.
  • Missing or incorrect permissions that prevent CloudFormation from publishing notifications to the specified SNS topic.
  • Overlooking or ignoring notifications, resulting in unattended stack failures or updates.
  • Not reviewing and monitoring the notifications effectively, leading to missed critical events or delays in response.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Can I configure multiple notification topics for a CloudFormation stack?

Yes, you can specify multiple notification ARNs in the NotificationARNs property. This allows you to send notifications to multiple SNS topics.

2. Can I customize the content or format of the notifications sent by CloudFormation?

No, CloudFormation notifications are pre-defined and include standard information about the stack events. However, you can create SNS topic subscriptions with custom filtering and formatting options to further process or transform the notifications.

3. Can I receive notifications for specific resource events within a stack?

No, stack notifications are at the stack level and provide information about the overall stack events. However, you can configure resource-level notifications for certain AWS resources by using their specific notification mechanisms.

4. How can I manage the volume of notifications received for a stack?

You can use filtering options within the SNS topic subscriptions to control the types and content of notifications received. This allows you to focus on the most relevant events for your stack.

5. Can I configure notifications for CloudFormation stacks created by AWS CloudFormation StackSets?

Yes, you can configure notifications for stacks created by StackSets by specifying the notification settings in the StackSet template or using the AWS CLI or AWS SDKs.


Configuring stack notifications in AWS CloudFormation is an essential step to stay informed about the status and events of your stacks. By setting up notifications and monitoring the received events, you can proactively respond to failures or updates and ensure the smooth operation of your infrastructure. Understanding how to configure and utilize stack notifications is crucial for effective stack management and troubleshooting.