Knowledge Base  /  Cloud Application Manager  /  Automating Deployments
Knowledge Base  /  Cloud Application Manager  /  Automating Deployments

Google Deployment Manager Template Boxes

Updated by Dénes Pál on Nov 29, 2018
Article Code: kb/1174

Using Google Deployment Manager with Cloud Application Manager

In this article:


With Google Deployment Manager you can automate the creation and management of Google Cloud Platform resources, by writing flexible declarative template and configuration files.


All Cloud Application Manager users using Google Compute providers.


  • An active Cloud Application Manager account
  • An existing Google Compute Provider configured in Cloud Application Manager

Getting started with Google Deployment Templates on Cloud Application Manager

Create or Refresh Provider

You need a Google Compute Provider already set up in Cloud Application Manager in order to use Deployment Manager feature. Go to the Provider's page and Synchronize it first.

Create a Deployment Policy Box

Go to Boxes -> New -> Deployment Policy and select Google Deployment. Fill the usual parameters.
You will need to select a provider if you have more than one Google Compute Providers configured.

New Google Deployment Policy Box dialog

A Default Zone can be configured in the Code tab of the Policy Box. For your convenience, the value of Default Zone property is automatically exposed to any Instances deployed with this Policy, as a zone variable. Of course its value can be overridden as a Template variable.

Create a Template Box

Go to Boxes -> New -> Template and select Google Deployment Template as type. Fill the usual parameters.

For Google Deployment template boxes you can include multiple template files and variables. If there are multiple template files for a Template Box, the first one on the top of the list is marked as the main template. The main template can be changed by re-ordering the template files by dragging and moving them with the mouse, or long-pressing and dragging on a touch screen.

Google Deployment Manager Template Box

At least one template file is required to Deploy a Template Box. New Template dialog can either:

  • Create a blank template
  • Upload a template file from disk
  • Import template files from remote URL

If the URL is a GitHub repository, the contents of that file or directory is automatically imported. If a template file with the same name already exists, it won't get overwritten, but duplicate names will block the deployment, so you need to delete old version template files manually.

Note that files from remote URLs can also be referenced from template files, and they get downloaded and parsed by Google.

Google Deployment Templates

Check the Google Cloud Documentation to learn more about Deployment Template files.

Warning: Please bear in mind that referencing resources with the same name from multiple Template Boxes and Google Deployment Manager Templates in general are very dangerous and can lead to undesired consequences.

If you happen to reference resources with the same name in multiple Deployment Instances, for example having a hard-coded name in a Deployment Template File and deploying it multiple times, the same resource is going to be modified by multiple instances at a time, which will lead to undesired consequences and a messed up state of resources. You can even accidentally delete a resource by terminating a deployed Instance, while a different deployment still uses the very same resource. Other times the termination of the Instance might get blocked, because it can not clean up a resource it has deployed, if a different instance has already deleted it.

A good practice to avoid these scenarios is to prefix the name of each resource with the name of the deployment, which happens to be the service-id in Cloud Application Manager.

- name: {{ env['deployment'] }}-vm
  type: compute.v1.instance
    zone: {{ properties["zone"] }}
    machineType: projects/{{ env["project"] }}/zones/{{ properties["zone"] }}/machineTypes/{{ properties["machineType"] }}

Box Variables

Box variables are exposed as properties for the templates, and can be referenced like {{ properties["zone"] }}. The zone variable is automatically crated at deployment time unless the Box defines one, and has the value of Default Zone property defined in the Deployment Policy.

Google also defines some useful environment variables automatically:

Variable Description
env['deployment'] name of the deployment
env['project'] project ID
env['name'] name declared in the upper-level configuration that is using this template
properties['zone'] Default Zone property of the Deployment Policy used
env['project_number'] project number
env['current_time'] UTC timestamp
env['type'] resource type declared in top-level configuration
properties['variable_name'] Box variables are exposed in properties

Variables can be referenced like {{ properties["machineType"] }} in Jinja template files.

Variables can be used only with Jinja and Python type template files. Yaml template files have to be renamed to jinja to use variables with them. If the main template file is a *.yaml, it is automatically renamed as *.jinja at deployment time.

Output Variables

The corresponding feature is called Outputs in Google's Documentation. Any Outputs defined in templates are going to end up as output variables in Cloud Application Manager.

- name: internalIP
  value: $(ref.{{name}}-vm.networkInterfaces[0].networkIP)
- name: ip
  value: $(ref.{{name}}-vm.networkInterfaces[0].accessConfigs[0].natIP)
- name: port
  value: 80

Lifecycle Editor with template and output variables

Resources Deployed

The resources that have been created by the deployment are going to populate the Resources tab of the Instance, and will be deleted when the instance is terminated.

Resources deployed with Google Deployment Manager

Sample Template

The following template deploys a single virtual machine instance with a firewall rule.

To use this template in a Template Box, you need to define a mandatory variable named machineType with value of a valid
Google Compute Engine virtual machine type.
Here are some possible values to define it as an Option type variable: f1-micro,g1-small,n1-standard-1

Important to note that in the following template, the name property of each resource gets a derived value,
{{env['deployment']}} as a prefix, which contains the deployment-ID, and therefore gets a new distinct value
each time a new Instance is deployed. If we used static names for the resources, a second deployed Instance
would update the already existing resource, instead of creating a new one, and would delete the only resource
when terminated, leaving the remaining Instance referring to a non-existing resource, and therefore fail to
terminate in CAM. And also bear in mind the dire threat of unintentionally deleting resources.

- name: {{ env['deployment'] }}-vm
  type: compute.v1.instance
    zone: {{ properties["zone"] }}
    machineType: projects/{{ env["project"] }}/zones/{{ properties["zone"] }}/machineTypes/{{ properties["machineType"] }}
    - deviceName: boot
      type: PERSISTENT
      boot: true
      autoDelete: true
        sourceImage: projects/debian-cloud/global/images/family/debian-9
    - network: global/networks/default
      - name: External NAT
        type: ONE_TO_ONE_NAT
      - key: startup-script
        value: |
          #!/bin/bash -e
          apt update && apt -y install nginx-light
      - {{ name }}-tcp-80
- name: {{ env['deployment'] }}-tcp-80
  type: compute.v1.firewall
    - IPProtocol: TCP
      - '80'
    network: global/networks/default
    - {{name}}-tcp-80

- name: internalIP
  value: $(ref.{{ env['deployment'] }}-vm.networkInterfaces[0].networkIP)
- name: ip
  value: $(ref.{{ env['deployment'] }}-vm.networkInterfaces[0].accessConfigs[0].natIP)
- name: port
  value: 80

This template defines internalIP, ip and port output variables. You can check their output value in the Lifecycle Editor
of the deployed Instance.

To deploy this template

  1. Create a new Provider with your Google credentials, or Sync your existing provider
    (only need to do once if you have never used Deployment Manager with this Provider before)
  2. Create a Deployment Policy Box of Google Deployment type
  3. Create a Template Box of Google Deployment Template type
  4. Create a Box variable called machineType of Options type, required, list of values as f1-micro,g1-small,n1-standard-1
  5. Create and edit an empty template for the Box, and copy the template from above
  6. Deploy the box to get an Instance
  7. If all goes well, check out the Lifecycle Editor (for output variables) and the Resources tab (for list of deployed resources).

Consult Google's Deployment Manager documentation
to learn more about deployment templates.

Getting General Support

Customers can contact the Lumen Global Operations Support center (support desk) directly for getting help with Cloud Application Manager as well as any other supported product that they’ve subscribed to. Below are three ways to get help.


  1. Phone: 888-638-6771

  2. Email:

  3. Create Ticket in Cloud Application Manager: Directly within the platform, users can “Create Ticket” by clicking on the “?” symbol in upper right corner near the users log-in profile icon. This takes users directly to the Managed Servicers Portal where they can open, track and review status of issues that have been raised with the support desk. Additionally, this is how a TAM can be engaged as well.


  1. Provide your name
  2. Cloud Application Manager account name
  3. A brief description of your request or issue for case recording purposes

The support desk will escalate the information to the Primary TAM and transfer the call if desired.