Update: You can now provision NAT gateways with CloudFormation.
Amazon recently announced their NAT gateway service which allows you to attach an AWS managed NAT gateway to you private subnets instead of managing NAT instances yourself. There is a full rundown of the differences, but for me the big win is eliminating the single point of failure of a single NAT instance without the complexity of a failover setup. It’s also nice not to worry about picking the right size of NAT instance.
We manage our VPC infrastructure with CloudFormation, which doesn’t yet have support for NAT gateways. However CloudFormation has custom lambda resources that can do pretty much anything. Even when CloudFormation does gain support for NAT gateways, hopefully this provides another example of how to create custom resources.