AWS DevOps Automation : Gain Operational Efficiency

Public Clouds such as AWS provide tremendous flexibility and a rich set of Platform features for users. However, as one starts to scale up usage on AWS, day-to-day Cloud operations (Ops) could become a challenge.

Here are some reasons why Cloud DevOps automation on Amazon Web Services (AWS) is worth the investment.

  1. The Sheer number of Infrastructure attributes on AWS makes Ops challenging. Running Cloud Ops while staying on top of existing capabilities (contending with AWS new feature releases) is easier said than achieved. Moreover, AWS is not just about Infrastructure. Users have to deal with Applications, Infrastructure and the resulting workloads.
  2. AWS can be a complex ecosystem to tame and not everyone is skilled in Cloud Operational automation. Effective Ops Automation (where possible) needs an approach that melds skill sets with clear objectives.
  3. Developers and DevOps would love to free up their time for innovation (new features, applications, Business impact) instead of trying to manually solve Operations issues. Example: try multiple batch jobs manually on AWS at scheduled intervals.
  4. Manual DevOps approaches directly impact Time to Business Readiness. Let’s say you had to test out a critical upgrade for your e-commerce site across 50+ Instances and verify if your Operations is ready to support this rollout. An automated Ops approach to test and validate across reduce your time to get go live and increase overall confidence.
  5. Limited ability to track the Cost impact of Operational activities at scale. Example: Ability to schedule start and stop 50+ EC2 instances for an hour everyday and track the cost usage for that hour.

Fortunately, help is available. You could either invest in creating custom scripts to automate some tasks or use Cloud Automation products such as Botmetric to automate, track and resolve simple tasks. Here are five examples that you could consider automating using Botmetric:

Taking Automated Volume Snapshots for EBS and RDS:

In the event of Disaster Recovery, it would be important to have EBS (Enterprise Block Storage and RDS (Relational Database Systems) snapshots in place to aid recovery and restoration. You could either write a script to automate these tasks or use Botmetric, which provides a simple one click “ Cloud Fix” capability that can automate taking snapshots based on AWS volume tags or instance tags.

Enabling Termination Protection for AWS EC2 Instances:

Termination protection on AWS prevents accidental termination of EC2 instances. Imagine if you ran a Security audit and realized you have to activate Termination protection on 100+ EC2 instances! To automate this task, you could either write a script that detects and activates the protection or use Botmetric to discover, Visualize and automatically enable Termination Protection via a single click.

Releasing Unused Elastic IP Address:

Elastic IP addresses on AWS cost you money if unused. Botmetric can detect unused IP addresses across your regions and provide a one-click button to release unused IP addresses.

Run Batch Jobs at Scheduled Intervals:

If you needed to start and stop EC2 instances based on scheduled time of the day, Botmetric provides a simple way to schedule such jobs as alert users once the task is completed. Also, you can track the cost of the Workloads.

Removing Unused ELB (Elastic Load Balancers):

ELB are not cheap and often, customers don’t realize this until they have accrued a significant cost. You can use Botmetric to automatically detect and remove unused ELB.

All of the examples above could be achieved using manual approaches however taken in aggregate or done individually , these mundane yet repetitive tasks take a significant toll on your DevOps teams.

We strongly encourage users to automate where possible either by writing custom scripts or by using Cloud Automation platforms such as Botmetric. As a reference, our own experience tells us automating Start and Stop of EC2 instances reduce Operational fatigue by an order of 5X and gives back significant hours to Developers and DevOps teams which they can invest in creating better products rather than doing mundane EC2 start/stops.

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