Eliminating Single Points of Failures on AWS Cloud

Being in the AWS Cloud definitely lowers the costs and  increases the uptime. It makes your infrastructure DR-ready by eliminating the Single Points of Failures on AWS Cloud. But despite tight security check-ins and contingent DR plan, outage happens. It is increasingly becoming important for businesses to introspect their cloud infra and spot the SPOF pitfalls early.

Cloud outage is inevitable. It can happen anywhere, anytime- be it in office, co-location or ‘in the cloud’.  Every time there is a cloud outage, it brings down the services. You may lose EC2 instances due to hardware breakdowns, security attacks, or human errors within your in-house team. Therefore, it is important that every part of your cloud be monitored and tracked regularly.

Given the fact that cloud failures can happen any time, there are ways through which Single Points of Failures on AWS Cloud can be eliminated, thus keeping your business run smoothly. Let’s dig in to some of the Single Points of Failures exposed in this post that can be eliminated.

This post is focused on eliminating the evident existence of Single Points of Failures on AWS Cloud. The best way to understand and avoid the single point of failures is to begin by making a list of all major points of your architecture. You need to break the points down and understand them further. Then, review each of these points and think what would happen if any of these failed. Let’s see some scenarios of the common Single Points of Failures  in AWS Cloud and how to prevent them.

Single NAT Instance in Network

NAT acts like a cable modem and connects your public network to your private subnets. If NAT instance is having any impact, it ultimately leads to your workloads getting affected. To prevent this, it is necessary to setup an HA NAT on another instance and make it Cross-Region.

Running all Workloads in single AZ Compute/Storage

Running /storing all of your critical workloads in one single availability zone is highly risky. If this particular AZ is attacked or gets exposed to any serious vulnerability, you will tend to lose all of your data at one short! To avoid this, take a backup of all your IT infrastructure modules, essential application settings, etc. it is highly recommended to periodically copy your data backups across the AWS regions.

With Botmetric, you can do so by scheduling a job for cross-region copy:

  1. Copy EBS Volume snapshot (based on volume tags) across region
  2. Copy RDS snapshot (based on RDS tags) across regions

This is perhaps the best strategy to survive from extreme cloud outages, even if failure occurs in an entire AWS region.

Single DNS and other DNS Issues in Network

To understand this better, let’s say your EC2 are in cross region but uses a single DNS Server which is in another region. If region housing DNS Server goes down, there is impact.

To prevent this, use Multi region DNS and make sure Time to live (TTL) messages are in short intervals to enable fast failover.

Not setting up for Auto-Scale Core Services

Suppose, you are running a Web Service Cluster that needs machines to be added on demand to cope with load. You can have a management server to do that. But what if that server goes down?

In such alarming situations of server going down, go for AWS Auto-scaling option which works with selective services such as ELB.

AWS Load Balancer – Cross Network

Many times it happens that after setting up your ELB, you experience significant drops in your performance. The best way to handle this situation is to start with identifying whether your ELB is single AZ or multiple AZ, as single AZ ELB is also considered as one of the Single Points of Failures on AWS Cloud. Once you identify your ELB, it is necessary to make sure ELB loads are kept cross regions.

AWS RDS within single AZ Database

Let’s say by default, your S3 Storage is in single AZ. If DC gets affected or if your data is wiped out, there is no contingency. To prevent this, it is required to have RDS in multi AZ. Also, make sure that you take snapshots of the cross regions, as a backup plan.

Manual Scale

Sometimes while running a Web Service Cluster, you need machines to be added to deal with load. Usually it is done by assigning a management server. But what if that server goes down? To handle this, you need to have AWS Auto-scaling option ready that works with only selective services such as ELB.

The next question arising here is how to spot the Single Points of Failures on AWS Cloud so that they can be prevented? The answer to this question is by following some best practices; you can very well spot them.

These best practices are:

  • Design your well architected AWS frameworks efficiently that is DR-Ready to face any cloud disruptions.
  • Make sure to run regular audits in your cloud for security, cost, DR, and performance. This will enable you to keep a track of your cloud and alert you way in hand, in case of any emergency situation.
  • Keep your tools ‘ready to test proactively’ for any type of failures.

By following these steps, you can be rest assured that your single point of failures can be pointed out and eliminated too.

How Botmetric Can Help You With SPOF?

Botmetric provides intelligent cloud insights. These insights help in running a widespread AWS cloud infrastructure audit and also perform detailed audits to produce a daily summary of significant audit violations. Alongside, you also get smart recommendations to rationalize your audit processes. The wide ranging features of Botmetric’s security audits automatically scan your AWS cloud infrastructure regularly and generate violations list. Following the violations list, you can implement new required security methods s well as tweak your active security plan. It makes sure that your AWS Cloud infrastructure runs resourcefully. This ensures your infra is entirely protected from any severe security threats and data violations.

Botmetric’s DevOps Automation offers very helpful forecasts to advance functional excellence and time-to-market. It offers facility to schedule Cloud Automation jobs for all the use cases and lets you easily manage your everyday cloud tasks with just a click. Not only this, but it also helps in alleviating your impending security concerns.

Keep yourself true to your design principle of building a well-architected framework in your AWS cloud, as well as automating your operations and you will be able to recover quickly from Single Points of Failures on AWS Cloud without heroic efforts. And like we always say, audit your cloud infra regularly, take a backup of ‘everything’, and adhere security best practices to harden your infra-security.

Take up a 14-day free Botmetric trial today to spot the SPOF pitfalls early! Run over 70+ audits to check if your cloud infra DR-Ready to face any cloud outage.

Until we’re back again, stay in touch with us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn for more updates!


  1. I really like the variations!


Comments are closed.