Not Only EC2, 6 More AWS Services That Can be Reserved

Cloud Cost Management through Reserved Instance option

AWS, the pioneer of Cloud Platforms, has created three different pricing models which can suit an organization based on the life cycle stage they are in regard to Cloud usage. The first and most well-known model is the on-demand model under which resources are priced based on actual usage like hourly compute or storage, I/O capacity consumption etc. This pricing model is best suited when a company is not exactly sure of its usage pattern and is getting started on the Cloud Platform. Once the company is accustomed to the Cloud Platform and its benefits, it can upgrade to the next model -“Reserved instance”, to get 30-50% price reduction by committing the resource consumption for a one or three years’ time. The third model, “Spot Instances” is for buying resources to use only in periodic surges in resource demand.

While Reserved Instance Model for AWS EC2 is quite well known, AWS also provides the same pricing model for many other services as well. Let us look in-depth into 6 More AWS Services which can be consumed under Reserved Instance price model.

  1. AWS RDS

After Computing Power, the most used resource is database. Databases are a very significant portion of an enterprise’s resource capacity and as it is often run 24/7.  Hence adopting the Reserved Instance pricing model for RDS is a worthwhile investment. Amazon RDS Reserved Instances give you the option to reserve a DB instance for one or three year term and in turn receive a significant discount compared to the On-Demand Instance pricing for the DB instance.

It is important to note that RDS will be charged for every hour during the entire reservation term one selects, regardless of whether the database instance is running or not. There are two different factors that have to be considered while planning out Reserved Instances for RDS.

Commitment Term: AWS provides two types of commitment terms durations.

1-year term which is useful for production databases with predictable workloads

3-year term which is useful for stable production databases for long running applications

Payment Options: Once the commitment term is decided, there are 3 payment options to choose from, based on the percentage of upfront payment one is willing to pay.

No Upfront: In this model, no upfront payment is required at purchase. The discount is however lower when compared to other payment options. This is not applicable if the commitment term is 3 years.

Partial Upfront: In this model, a portion of the cost is paid upfront and the remaining hours in the term are billed at the established discounted hourly rate. This model strikes a right balance between upfront and hourly.

Full Upfront: In this model, the cost of the entire term is paid to get the best effective hourly price

  1. AWS DynamoDB

Amazon DynamoDB is a fully managed NoSQL database service that provides fast and predictable performance with seamless scalability. When using DynamoDB, the pricing is a flat, hourly rate service based on how much capacity is provisioned.  Like other services, DynamoDB Reserved Capacity also offers significant savings over the on-demand price of DynamoDB if the capacity is paid for in advance. One has to choose to commit a capacity model comprising of a fixed amount of Write Capacity and Read Capacity units. However, the cost is incurred even if the resource is not utilized.

  1. Amazon CloudFront

Amazon CloudFront is the content delivery web service that helps businesses to distribute content to end users with low latency and high data transfer speeds. AWS CloudFront Reserved Capacity gives you the option to commit to a minimum monthly usage level for a year or longer to receive a significant discount. AWS CloudFront Reserved Capacity pricing metric is based on volume of data transfer. The pricing begins at a minimum of 10 TB of data transfer per month from a single region. If the users commit to higher volume usage, they are eligible for receiving additional discounts.

  1. AWS ElastiCache

ElastiCache helps developers to set up, manage, and scale a distributed in-memory cache environment in the cloud. Developers can choose their cache engine to be either Memcached or Redis protocol-compliant. The key benefit of using AWS ElastiCache is that provides a high-performance, scalable and cost-effective caching solution, without the usual complexity of managing a distributed cache environment manually.

The reserved instance price model is almost same as that of AWS DynamoDB where Reserved nodes are charged an upfront fee that depends upon the node type and the reservation term years. In addition to the upfront charge there is an hourly usage charge

  1. Elastic MapReduce 

Amazon Elastic MapReduce is BigData Platform as a Service for large volume data analysis. AWS Elastic MapReduce is based on Apache Hadoop which distributes work across different virtual servers which are in clusters in AWS Cloud.

The Unique Reserved Instance Pricing Policy of AWS Elastic MapReduce are as follows:

An On-Demand Instance should be specified in the cluster configuration that matches the Reserved Instance specification. The cluster should be launched within the same Availability Zone of the instance reservation

  1. Amazon RedShift

Amazon Redshift is a fully managed, petabyte-scale data warehouse service in the cloud. Amazon Redshift On-Demand pricing has no upfront costs and has an on-demand pricing scheme where users pay an hourly rate based on the type and number of nodes in the cluster. Users can save up to 75% over On-Demand rates by committing to a Reserved Instance for a fixed term ranging from 1 year to 3 years.

Your Cloud Strategy is optimal only when Reserved Instances are leveraged well and wherever applicable. Botmetric can help you manage your Cloud from Cloud Perspective through proactive advices based on Best Practices. Take a Complete demo of Botmetric to benefit from its capabilities.

The March Roundup @ Botmetric: Easier AWS Cloud Management with NoOps

Spring is here, finally! The blooming fresh buds, the sweet smell of the roses, and the cheerful mood all around. Earth seems to come to life again. Seasons are vital to the transition and evolution of our planet; it also serves the purpose of the evolution of human consciousness too. Likewise, transition and evolution of your AWS Cloud Management consciousness too plays a vital role in improving the lives — primarily productivity — of DevOps and cloud engineers in your organization.

Your AWS Cloud Management efforts carried out by your DevOps engineers and cloud engineers, either in silos or with an integrated approach, needs to be regularly monitored, nurtured, and evolved from time to time. And when we say AWS Cloud Management efforts, we include AWS cost management, AWS governance, AWS cloud security and compliance, AWS cloud operations automation, and DevOps practices.

There are, of course, a variety of AWS services at your disposal to engineer a fully automated, continuous integration and delivery system, and help you be at the bleeding edge of DevOps practices. It is, however, easier said than done.

Right tools at hand are what that matters the most, especially when you are swimming in a tide of several modules. With agile digital transformations catching up quickly in every arena, it’s high time you must ensure that your team’s every AWS Cloud Management effort count to get that optimal ROI and lowered TCO.

To that end, Botmetric has been evolving all its products — Cost & Governance, Security & Compliance, and Ops & Automation, with several NoOps and DevOps features that make life of DevOps engineers and cloud engineers easier.

More so, you get more out of your AWS cloud management than you think. Explore Botmetric.

In March, Botmetric rolled-out four key product features. Here’re the four new feathers in the Botmetric’s cap:

1. Define Your Own AWS Security Best Practices & Audits with Botmetric Custom Audits

What is it about: Building your own company-wide AWS security policies to attain comprehensive security of the cloud.

How will it help:  Audit your infrastructure and enforce certain rules within your team, as per your requirements. You can put the custom rules or audits on auto-pilot — no need to build and run scripts every time through cron/CLI. Above all, you can automate your AWS security best practices checks.

Where can you find this feature on Botmetric: Under Security & Compliance’ Audit Report Console.

Get more details on this feature here.

2. Increase Operational Efficiency by 5X with Botmetric Custom Jobs’ Cloud Ops Automation

What is it about: Writing Python scripts inside Bometric to automate everyday, mundane DevOps tasks.

How will it help: Empowers DevOps engineers and cloud engineers to run desired automation with simple code logic in Python, and then schedule routine cloud tasks for increased operational excellence. Help engineers free up a lot of time.

Where can you find this feature on Botmetric: Under Ops & Automation’ Automation Console.

Get more details on this feature here.

3. Unlock Maximum AWS RDS Cost Savings with Botmetric RDS Cost Analyzer

What is it about: It is an intelligent analyzer that provides complete visibility into RDS spend.

How will it help: Discover unusual trends in your AWS RDS usage and know which component is incurring the significant chunk of the cost. Get a detailed breakup of RDS cost according to AWS instances, instance types, AWS accounts, AWS sub services, and instance engine.

Where can you find this feature on Botmetric: Under Cost & Governance’ Analyze console.

Get more details on this feature here.

4. AWS Reserved Instance Management Made Easy with Botmetric’s Smart RI

What is it about: Automatically modify reservation as soon as there is a modification available without going to AWS console.

How will it help: Reduce the effort involved in modifying the unused RIs. Automate modification of RIs that occur multiple times a day as soon as the unused RIs are found. Saves that much amount of cost that could have been wasted due to unnecessary on-demand usage, along with wasted RIs.

Where can you find this feature on Botmetric: Under Cost & Governance’ RI console.

Get more details on this feature here. You can also read it on AWS Week-in-Review.

Knowledge Sharing @ Botmetric

Continuing our new tradition to provide quick bites and snippets on better AWS cloud management, here are few blogs that we covered in the month of March:

The Road to Perfect AWS Reserved Instance Planning & Management in a Nutshell

98% of Google search on ‘AWS RI benefits’ shows that you can get great discounts and save tremendously compared to on-demand pricing. The fact is, this discounted pricing can be reaped provided you know what RIs are, how to use them, when to buy them, how to optimize them, how to plan them, etc. This blog covers all the details how to perfect your AWS RI planning and management.

DevSecOps: A Game Plan for Continuous Security and Compliance for your Cloud

DevOps makes it possible for the code to deploy and function seamlessly. And where does “security” stand in this Agile, CI/CD environment? You cannot afford to compromise on security and turn your infrastructure vulnerable to hackers, for sure! So, here comes the concept of “DevSecOps” — the practices of DevSecOps. If you’re looking to bring Security Ops into DevOps, then bookmark this blog.

3 Effective DDoS Protection & Security Solutions Apt for Web Application Workloads on AWS

NexusGuard research quoting 83% increase in Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks in 2Q2016 compared to 1Q2016 indicates that these attacks seems to continue being prevalent even beyond 2017. Despite stringent measures, these attacks have been bringing down web applications and denying service availability to its users with botnets. Without a doubt, DDoS mitigation is pivotal. If you’re a security Ops engineer, then this blog is a must read.

5 Interesting 2017 DevOps Trends You Cannot Miss Reading

In 2017, there is a lot of noise about what will be the future of DevOps. Here is a look at five interesting 2017 DevOps trends  you cannot miss reading and what our thought leaders think.

Don’t Let 2017 Amazon AWS S3 Outage Like Errors Affect You Again

On February 28th, 2017, several companies reported Amazon AWS S3 Cloud Storage Outage. Within minutes, hundreds and thousands of Twitter posts started making rounds across the globe sharing their experiences how their apps went down due to this outage. No technology is perfect. All technologies might fail at some point. The best way forward is to fool-proof your system against such outages in the future, as suggested by Team Botmetric.

To Conclude:

Rain or shine, Botmetric has always striven to improve the lives of DevOps and cloud engineers. And will continue to do so with DevOps, NoOps, AIOps solutions. Get 14-Day Exclusive Botmetric Trial Now.

If you have missed rating us, Botmetric invites you to do it here. Until the next month, stay tuned with us.

Unlock Maximum AWS RDS Cost Savings Now with Botmetric RDS Cost Analyzer

Amazon RDS (Relational Database Service) is an easy to set-up, operate, and scalable relational database offering from AWS cloud. It provides you with six familiar database engines to choose from, including Amazon AuroraPostgreSQLMySQLMariaDBOracle, and Microsoft SQL Server. If you are a RDS user, then you or your peers might have experienced that it’s the second most largest figure in your AWS bill. So, if you’re looking for quick AWS RDS cost savings, then you’re at the right place.

With much delight, I’d like to introduce Botmetric RDS Cost Analyzer, an intelligent analyzer that not only provides complete visibility into RDS spend with a detailed breakdown according to AWS instances, instance types, AWS accounts, AWS sub services, and instance engine. All this, just so that you become a wise AWS user. Above all, you an figure out some unusual trends in your AWS RDS usage and discover which component is incurring the major chunk of cost.

What Affects AWS RDS Cost Savings?

On an average, AWS RDS usage accounts for 15-20% of your AWS bill. Moreover, most of the underlying services like storage, data transfer, instance usage, etc. are used in conjunction with RDS service for deploying applications on AWS cloud. So these major components affect your AWS RDS cost savings. There are currently six components that cannot be ignored:

Compute: RDS usage is charged per hour, just like EC2. And it varies based on the selected instance type.

PIOPS Storage: PIOPS is more expensive, however, it is preferred as it can be configured for high performance workloads running at up to 30 K I/O operations per second.

I/O Costs:  You will be charged for I/O usage used in media, if you have configured standard storage.

Data Transfer: You will be charged for data transferred out to other regions or out to the internet. Plus, you will also be charged for transferring snapshots across regions.

Snapshots: With AWS, you can take point in time snapshots of the storage, which is awesome. However, you’ll be charged for keeping snapshots beyond the time at which they are useful. This can result in recurring AWS RDS costs.

Availability Zone:  AWS RDS has the ability to have a fully managed high availability deployment and concurs multi-AZ support. This requires an instance to run in two different zones. So the average compute cost gets doubled.

How Botmetric RDS Analyzer Can Help Reduce AWS RDS Cost?

Botmetric’ Cost & Governance performs a deep dive of cost items associated with AWS RDS by instances, instance types, AWS accounts, AWS sub services, and instance engine.

 

Get Visibility into AWS RDS Analyze

 

[mk_highlight text=”Get Started with Cost & Governance RDS Analyzer Now” text_color=”#FFFFFF” bg_color=”#008080″ font_family=”none” align=”center”] 

See how Botmetric can help.

Know your AWS RDS spend by instance:

With Botmetric RDS Cost Analyzer, you now have the capability to discover spend in your RDS service across different RDS instance families. You can further filter it down with the choice of AWS account. Botmetric also provides cost break down by instance type, so that you know which instance type incurs the highest cost. You can also discover some unpredictable spend ongoing with a certain instance type.

Know your RDS spend by instance

Know RDS cost breakdown by sub-services:

If you wish to visualize split of individual costs associated to sub-services in RDS services, then we’ve brought together cost of data transfer, storage, and instance usage in Botmetric RDS Cost Analyzer, where you have the opportunity to understand the split of cost incurred by these sub services.

RDS cost breakdown by sub-services:

Discover cost split by RDS instance engine:

Botmetric RDS Cost Analyzer helps you realize which database engine is driving how much cost. This helps you understand your spending patterns among engines such as SQL, PostgreSQL, MySQL etc.

Discover cost split by RDS instance engine

Know RDS cost split by AWS accounts:

Using Botmetric RDS Cost Analyzer, you can filter spend based on RDS for individual accounts in your payer account to understand your AWS RDS usage.

RDS cost by AWS accounts

Export AWS RDS Cost data in CSV:

The best of all, with Botmetric RDS Cost Analyzer, you can export or download different breakdown of RDS cost into CSV files so you can circulate it among your team members and use it for any internal analysis. The data export option allows you to visualize the cost breakdown by instance types, AWS accounts, instance type, instance engine etc.

Export RDS Cost Data in CSV

Concluding Thoughts

Even though AWS provides a Simple Monthly Calculator to calculate AWS RDS Cost, you need to have complete knowledge and the dynamics surrounding your AWS RDS usage. With Botmetric RDS Cost Analyzer, you can easily analyze the current RDS spending with split by month, day, or hour, in formats you love, not just by instances, instance types, accounts, sub services, and instance engine. Why? So that you can get optimal AWS RDS cost savings. You can also export spend report in CSV file or get beautiful graphical view in either bar graph or pie chart formats.

Get Botmetric Cost & Governance today to check in what Botmetric RDS Cost Analyzer offers. See for yourself how it helps increase your AWS ROI.

5 AWS Tips and Tricks to Solidify your EC2 and RDS RI Planning in 2017

Almost 92% of AWS users fail to manage EC2 and RDS Reserved Instances (RIs) properly, thus failing to optimize their AWS spend. An effective AWS cost optimization excise starts with an integrated RI strategy that combines a well thought out AWS EC2 and RDS planning. To this end, we have collated top 5 tips and tricks to solidify your EC2 and RDS RI planning.

  1. Continuously Manage and Govern Both EC2 and RDS RIs Effectively. Don’t Stop at Reservation

RIs, irrespective of EC2 or RDS, can offer optimal savings only when they are modified, tuned, managed, and governed continuously according to your changing infrastructure environment in AWS cloud. For instance, if you have bought the recent Convertible RIs, then modifying them for the desired class. And, if you have older RIs, then get them to work for you either by breaking them into smaller instances or by combining them for a larger instance as per the requirement.

  1. Take Caution While Exchanging Standard RIs for Convertible RIs

Standard RIs work like a charm, in regards to cost saving and offering plasticity, only when you have a good understanding of your long-term requirements. And if you have no idea of your long-term demand, then Convertible RIs are perfect, because you can have a new instance type, operating system, or tenancy at your disposal in minutes without resetting the term.  

However, there is a catch here: AWS claims there’s no fee for making an exchange to Convertible RI. True that. But when you opt for an exchange, be aware that you can acquire new RIs that are of equal or greater value than those you started with. Sometimes, you’ll need to make a true-up payment to balance the books. Essentially, the exchange process is based on the list value of each Convertible RI. And the list value is simply the sum of all payments you’ll make over the remaining term of the original RI.

  1. Don’t Forget to Use the Regional Benefit Scope for Older Standard RIs

The new regional RI benefit broadens the application of your existing RI discounts. It waives the capacity reservation associated with Standard RIs.  With Regional scope selected, the RI can be used by your instance in any AZ in the given Region. Plus, you can have your RI discount automatically applied without you worrying about which AZ. If you frequently launching and terminating instances, then this option will reduce the amount of time and effort you spend looking for optimal alignment between your RIs and your instances in different AZs. In cases of new RI purchases, the Scope selects Region by default, however, with older RIs, you need to manually change the current RIs scope from AZ to Region.

  1. Leverage Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) to Reinforce EC2 RI Planning

CDNs reduce the reliance on EC2 for content delivery while providing optimal user experience for your applications by leveraging edge locations.  With CDNs, the cost of delivering content is limited to the data transfer costs for the services. In AWS, static content such as images and video files can be stored in S3 buckets. Your application EC2 instances can be configured in the CDN to be used to cache the dynamic content so you can reduce the dependency on the backend instances.

For CDNs that have a minimum monthly usage level of 10TB per month from a single region, AWS provides significant discounts. When the capacity request is higher, the discount also increases. If CDNs are included in the capacity planning for EC2, the usage requirement for EC2 itself can go down for your business thus reducing the need for RIs.

  1. Complement RDS RI Planning by Opting for Non-SQL Database and In-memory Data Stores

Just like CDN, in-memory data stores and data caches can reduce the reliance and utilization of RDS. AWS also provides RI option for AWS ElastiCache (the in-memory data store and cache service) and DynamoDB (the NoSQL database). The technical advantages of these database technologies over relational databases will contribute indirectly to cost optimization of RDS. Leveraging in-memory data stores can also speed up your application performance.

To Wrap-Up

You might have heard this several times: Effective RI planning optimizes AWS cost by 5X. True that. And the fact is there is no universal formula, a magic wand or a one-solution-fits-all that can provide perfect EC2 and RDS RI planning. Be it 2017 or 2020, the secret recipe to solid AWS RI planning lies in understanding your long term usage, application requirements and of course planning reservations for all resources. To know more, read Botmetric’s expert blog, 7 Stepping Stones to Bulletproof Your AWS RI Planning.

And if you find this overwhelming, then you should try Botmetric Cost & Governance that can optimize your cloud spend with smart RI capacity planning, without you managing RIs from your AWS console. And if you think, we have missed any of the key points that can help bolster up EC2 and RDS RI planning, then just drop in a comment below, or on any of our social media pages, Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn. We are all ears!

 

Automating on AWS Cloud- The DevOps Way

With innovations accelerating and increased demands of DevOps users, businesses are becoming more agile with each passing day. To smooth the progress of functional excellence and achieve overall business goals, organizations need to stay agile. This advancement is progressing downstream with the evolution of DevOps.

But DevOps isn’t as easy as it sounds. Deploying a highly efficient Amazon Web Services (AWS) environment without expensive configuration management tools is possible. But it requires serious efforts as there are chances of errors and mistakes.

AWS offers wide range of tools and services which can help you in configuring and deploying your AWS resources. Some of these tools are CloudFormation and ElasticBeanstalk. But these tools cannot manage your AWS environment fully. They can only cover the AWS objects created by you. They can’t deal with the software and various configuration data present on your EC2 instances.

While cloud is emerging as a hero for enterprises by giving them a great platform to manage their multifaceted software applications, enterprises look for more flexibility in their software creation practices. They have simply migrated from conventional models to agile or lean development practices. This move or let’s say it as a development has also spread to various operation teams and has shorten the impending gap between customary Development and Ops teams.

Providing a flexible and highly efficient environment, Amazon Web Services (AWS) has successfully facilitated the growth and profitability of its clients including Netflix, Airbnb, Etsy, and many more and these all embraced DevOps. In this post, we will try to deconstruct the elements of DevOps that have brought those successful impacts. We have provided here some of the best practices and practical examples.

How to make sure that your RDS/EBS data is being backed up timely? Do you keep a copy of your AWS snapshots across regions to be disaster recovery prepared? Botmetric offers Cloud Automation jobs for all these use cases and many more.

Here are some of the cloud automation jobs which will help you in saving time and advance your operational agility.

Take EBS volume snapshot based on instance/volume tags

Enable regular snapshots for your AWS EBS volumes. Use Botmetric’s Cloud Automation to schedule a job for creating snapshots automatically. This can be done for the EBS volumes having specified instance or volume tags. This would also help you to be DR ready.

Take RDS snapshot based on RDS tags

Enable regular snapshots for your AWS RDS instances. Use Botmetric’s Cloud Automation to schedule a job for creating snapshots automatically for the RDS instances having specified tags.

Stop EC2 Instances based on instance tags

Stop the instances which are not required anymore and save some cost. Botmetric’s Cloud Automation can schedule a job for your infrastructure which will stop EC2 instances automatically at specified time.

Start EC2 Instances based on instance tags

Start your stopped instances whenever it is required. Botmetric’s Cloud Automation automatically schedules a job which will start EC2 instances automatically at a specified time.

Create AMI for EC2 Instances based on instance tags

Use automation to create AMI for EC2 Instances based on instance tags automatically.

Copy EBS Volume snapshot (based on volume tags) across regions

Enable your data backups to be copied across AWS regions. Use Botmetric’s Cloud Automation to schedule a job which will automatically on specified periods copy EBS Volume snapshot based on volume tags from a source region to the destination region.

Copy RDS snapshot (based on RDS tags) across regions

Using Botmetric’s Cloud Automation you can schedule a job which will automatically on specified periods copy RDS snapshot based on RDS tags across regions.

Botmetric periodically copies your data backups across the AWS regions. With Botmetric, you can do so by scheduling a job for cross-region copy:
• Copy EBS Volume snapshot (based on volume tags) across regions
• Copy RDS snapshot (based on RDS tags) across regions

How Automation can help you further?

Auto-Healing with 24×7 DevOps Automation

Automate your most common and repetitive AWS tasks to save up to 30% of time. Detect and fix critical issues in just the click of a button.

  • Fix issues 10x faster, within seconds with ‘CLICK TO FIX’ feature

     

  • Automate start/stop of EC2 instances to save more time and avoid unnecessary expenses

     

  • Resolves problems in an on-demand/automatic basis to save cost and improve your operational agility.

     

  • One-click log activation of load balancers and AWS CloudTrail.

     

  • Quick ‘How-To-Fix’ guide to resolve audit issues

     

Implementing DevOps Automation can offer extremely helpful prospects and improve functional excellence with time-to-market. In addition to these, automation also helps in abridging expenses in several dimensions including manpower costs, resources costs, value costs, intricacy costs, and, most valuable in the eyes of all industry leaders, the time costs.

DevOps has progressed to become a key part of enterprise IT planning. The simple realistic way of managing security in cloud is developing very fast and changing swiftly to make it automation first. The Cloud Automation jobs being offered by Botmetric are helpful for all the use cases.

Take up a 14-day free trial to learn how Botmetric in your AWS Cloud infrastructure can simplify your Cloud automation tasks 10x faster.

With Botmetric’s AWS DevOps Automation, you can easily supervise your everyday cloud tasks with just a click. Not only this, but you can minimize approaching security risks while maintaining fast growth and quick time-to-market on the side of your production. Automation also helps you in reducing CloudOps overload. It eliminates repetitive and boring tasks and focuses on what matters for you business most. Automating your data backups not only frees you from the fear of losing them but also enable you to run your business smoothly. And as we rightly say as DevOps in Cloud is a match made in heaven, implementing the best practices will help you enjoy the freedom of saving up more time in automating your routine cloud tasks.

So what does the future hold for DevOps?  Tweet your thoughts to us.

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.

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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.

Start Automating Now! Signup for Botmetric.

AWS Cloud Performance Audit

Are your AWS resources under constant stress or over-used ? With a variety of resources being launched on your AWS cloud infrastructure on a daily basis, it is hard to keep track of your AWS infrastructure’s performance. Botmetric’s AWS cloud performance audit feature helps you in scanning your AWS infrastructure to find if there are any performance bottlenecks with respect to EC2, ELB and RDS.

Here’s the list of all the checks that Botmetric performs to improve the overall performance:

High CPU Utilization EC2 Instances

Botmetric provides a list of instances that has a daily average CPU utilization of more than 90% at least for 4 days in the last 14 days. This would be an indicator for you to add more instances and resources.

Over Attached Security Rules Instance

Botmetric provides a list of instances that has a large number of Security Rules attached. It basically checks for the instance that has more than 50 security rules applied. Botmetric also performs a thorough security audit.

Having too many security rules attached to an instance degrades the network performance. Hence, it is recommended to have less than 50 security rules per instance to avoid network performance degradation.

Variation in ELB Request Count

Botmetric provides information on variations in the request count on ELBs. It checks for the variations in a daily or weekly request count averages.

Variation in ELB Latency

Botmetric provides information on variations in the latency on ELBs. It checks for the variations in a daily or weekly latency averages.

Variation in RDS Storage

Botmetric provides information on variations in storage capacity on the RDS instances. It checks how much RDS storage has been increased or decreased by comparing today with yesterday and last week on the same day.

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Variation in RDS Connections

Botmetric provides information on variations in the number of connections made on RDS instances. It checks whether RDS connections are increased or decreased by comparing today with yesterday and last week on the same day.

Take control of your AWS cloud infrastructure performance now! Try Botmetric for free.