Are there serious problems with an EC2 auto-scaling AMI that automatically downloads newest server from git?

I’m converting some servers from manual scaling (with a load balancer) to auto-scaling. I’m currently using an Ansible script to manage upgrades, and I wouldn’t want an automatically created instance to not be using the newest version of the software. I created an AMI that will download the newest commit from a chosen branch on first boot.

I’ve since realized my approach is somewhat like “cowboy coding”, since AWS provides a mechanism to replace auto-scaling instances when there should be an update. (If using that, my existing update script would become obsolete, and I guess the update would entail creating a new AMI containing the new server version.)

Are there any serious problems with using the “cowboy” approach? I realize auto-created servers might end up with newer code than the other servers (if someone pushes but does not deploy their code changes). I wonder whether auto-scaling will cause Ansible scripts to fail if servers are terminated while being processed by Ansible. What have I missed?

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Author: piojo