The greatest incentive to move to the cloud is to reduce cost. Organizations invest a lot to that end, but that investment is for not if your cloud isn’t protected. Most often, these mistakes are attributable to either a misinterpreted security policy or cluttered, nearly illegible security rules.
Common AWS usage mistakes
Amazon Web Services (AWS) is the biggest public cloud around, yet what goes on behind the scenes remains a mystery. For heavy users, such as enterprise level CIOs, AWS’s “Reserved Instances” are a cost effective model to scale their cloud activity and benefit from the full service offering that Amazon provides. The infographic is based on analysis made by our Reserved Instance Decision Making Tool. This advanced analytics tool can help enterprise CIOs to capture the added value and benefit by:
- Ensuring that reserved instances meet cost and performance expectations.
- Identifying consistent onOn-demand Demand usage that can be shifted to reserved Reserved instances.
- Tracking Reserved Instance expiration dates and recommend actions for renewal and scale up and down.
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The following article was posted on GigaOm and was based on our analysis and cloud security insights that Newvem’s big data engine reveals. In this article, you will find 5 important low hanging fruits that you should recognize in order to have your Amazon cloud account secure. If you are an Amazon cloud services’ user, we invite you to connect your AWS cloud account to our non-intrusive service in order to know your cloud and learn more, not only your AWS security, but also about money that you’re wasting, point of failures (POFs) and poor performance yields.
AWS (Amazon Web Services) provides an excellent cloud infrastructure solution for both early stage startups and enterprises. The good news is that AWS is a pay-per-use service, provides universal access to state-of-the-art computing resources, and scales with the growing needs of a business. The bad news – AWS can be very hard for early stage companies to onboard, while enterprises usually spend too much time with ‘busy work’ to optimize AWS and keep costs under control.
AWS offers a diverse variety of instance types and sizes for their operation. Although flexible, we found that many users pick instances that are far more powerful than they actually needed, which can lead to unnecessary costs.
Besides picking instance types that provide (and cost) more than what you need, another common over-provisioning mistake is running too many instances in clusters or behind load balancers. Forgetting the on-demand aspect of the cloud becomes common – you don’t need to kick-off all the nodes of your cluster you may need on peak loads. You can add nodes as needed, and you can automate that too – AWS even has an auto-scaling functionality built in its platform.
AWS has a diverse list of instance types. From general-purpose servers to others more suitable for CPU- or memory-intensive workloads, of various sizes. I/O performance is also a variable. Without extensive application benchmarks, it’s a challenge to pick the most suitable instance type a priori. Frequently, users find themselves with instances that are too big for their needs, and pricier.
Choosing and provisioning instances that suit your operational needs at any time is one of cloud computing’s highlights – adding a new server is as easy as following a simple wizard. As a by-product of this flexibility, many times one gets to a number of compute instances growing very fast, much faster than expected. Sometimes it becomes difficult to keep track of all the instances that you have launched and identify those that are just sitting around without doing anything.
Stale resources can become a management nightmare in cloud environments. One of the important aspects of the economics of a pay-per-use model is the “use” – pay for what you use and don’t pay for what you don’t use. The details of what “use” is makes things a bit more complicated than they seem.
One of the handiest features of AWS is EBS Snapshots – the ability to create virtual copies of EBS Volumes at a specific point in time. Snapshots offer an adequate instrument to perform backups of EBS Volumes, and are also efficient: only the data blocks that have changed in the volume since your last snapshot are saved. It comes as a surprise that with such an easy facility for volume backups, we still find so many volumes with no or too few snapshots.