Blue/Green Deployment and Canary Releases in AWS CodePipeline


Blue/green deployment and canary releases are popular deployment strategies that allow teams to roll out application updates with minimal downtime and risk. These strategies are supported by AWS CodePipeline, a fully managed continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) service. In this tutorial, we will explore how to implement blue/green deployment and canary releases in AWS CodePipeline to ensure seamless application updates and efficient testing.


  • An AWS account with access to AWS CodePipeline and the necessary services for your deployment (e.g., AWS Elastic Beanstalk, AWS Lambda).
  • An existing AWS CodePipeline pipeline or the ability to create one.
  • An application code repository hosted on a supported version control system (e.g., AWS CodeCommit, GitHub).
  • A deployment target environment or service compatible with blue/green deployment or canary releases (e.g., AWS Elastic Beanstalk, Amazon EC2 instances).

Step-by-Step Tutorial

Step 1: Set Up a Blue/Green Deployment

1. Open the AWS Management Console and navigate to the AWS CodePipeline service.

2. Select the pipeline you want to configure for blue/green deployment or create a new pipeline.

3. Add a new stage to your pipeline for deployment. Name the stage appropriately, such as "Deploy" or "Release".

4. Add the appropriate actions to your deployment stage based on your deployment target. For example, if you are deploying to an AWS Elastic Beanstalk environment, you can use the "AWS Elastic Beanstalk Deploy" action.

5. Configure the deployment action with the necessary inputs, such as the application name, environment name, and deployment settings.

Step 2: Configure a Canary Release

1. In your deployment stage, add an additional action to create a canary environment for testing the new release.

2. Configure the canary deployment action to specify the percentage of traffic to send to the canary environment and the duration of the canary testing phase.

3. Set up alarms and monitoring for the canary environment to track performance and any issues during the testing phase.

4. Configure automatic rollback conditions in case the canary environment exhibits poor performance or errors.

Step 3: Triggering the Blue/Green Deployment and Canary Release

Once your pipeline is set up, it will automatically trigger whenever changes are pushed to the source code repository. The blue/green deployment action in the pipeline will be executed, deploying your application to the new environment. The canary release action will gradually shift a portion of the traffic to the canary environment for testing, allowing you to monitor its performance before completing the rollout.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

  • Not properly configuring the blue/green deployment settings, resulting in deployment failures or incorrect routing of traffic.
  • Insufficient monitoring and alarms for the canary environment, leading to delays in detecting performance issues or errors.
  • Skipping or inadequate testing of the canary environment, compromising the reliability of the new release.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. Q: What is the difference between blue/green deployment and canary releases?
    A: Blue/green deployment involves switching traffic between two identical environments, while canary releases gradually roll out changes to a small subset of users or servers for testing.
  2. Q: Can I use AWS Lambda for canary releases in AWS CodePipeline?
    A: Yes, AWS CodePipeline supports deploying AWS Lambda functions and canary testing them by gradually increasing the number of invocations.
  3. Q: How can I monitor the performance of the canary environment during the testing phase?
    A: AWS CodePipeline integrates with AWS CloudWatch to provide monitoring capabilities, allowing you to set up alarms and track performance metrics of the canary environment.
  4. Q: Can I rollback a blue/green deployment or canary release in AWS CodePipeline?
    A: Yes, AWS CodePipeline supports rollbacks by leveraging deployment strategies, including automated rollbacks or manual approvals for rollbacks.
  5. Q: Can I perform canary releases with specific user segments using AWS CodePipeline?
    A: Yes, you can integrate AWS CodePipeline with AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) to perform canary releases with specific user segments based on IAM policies.


Blue/green deployment and canary releases are powerful strategies for minimizing downtime and risk during application updates. By integrating these strategies into AWS CodePipeline, you can automate the deployment process and ensure efficient testing of new releases. By following the steps outlined in this tutorial and avoiding common mistakes, you can implement blue/green deployment and canary releases effectively in AWS CodePipeline, enabling seamless application updates and reliable software releases.