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Amazon AWS IAM – Several Tips and Practices

The cloud presents many security management challenges. Ensuring compliance, identity management, and other security best practices can be a challenging task. AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) is one of the tools that can be used to mitigate the risks associated with these challenges. In this article, I will discuss a few of the high points of IAM, including the different options and limitations that this AWS service brings together with its fascinating capabilities.

Many cloud computing users strive to apply security best practices to their cloud computing strategies. One of the best components that Amazon offers to manage security in their cloud computing service is their IAM mechanism, which allows an account owner to create users and manage their permissions within an AWS account.

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The Successful Cloud Lock-in!

Can a cloud vendor Lock-in be good for anyone? Yes, when they are backed up by exceptional successful service delivery.

I’ve talked a lot about vendor lock-in in my previous post  - The Devastating Cloud Lock-in on KnowYourCloud resources channel, so I decided to end this round up in a positive way – finally, lock-in can mean something good for both the cloud service provider and the cloud customer.

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The Devastating Cloud Lock-in

On LinkedIn there’s a discussion where the group members were asked to tell about the biggest challenge facing cloud and SaaS 2021. The thread includes more than 782 comments – and it seems that most of the comments are about the SLA, security and control.

I really don’t understand why security and service levels are big concerns. Yes, they are both important – but both should be fulfilled by the cloud as well as by the traditional outsourcing provider. I would add that it’s even more important for the cloud providers than their consumers. They face great risks if they don’t meet and maintain the required security and SLA. As we all know, it’s about being aware of risks and securing the proper data. 

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Consumption, Utilization and Elasticity: Basics

Lets start with a basic scenario where there is a sudden peak in the demand for an application service as the amount of clients’ requests increase. This event leads to a direct and immediate impact of the loa placed on the web servers that host the service. In the traditional world, the number of servers is fixed, therefore an overload adversely affects the application performance and the service may slow down or even be terminated. The IT team would want to restore the environment functionality and bring the service up as soon as possible. The immediate impact  of such an event on the business can be devastating. Starting with this simple understanding, we can move into the world of cloud computing use including resources consumption, while relating to the key differences between the traditional data center and today’s cloud technologies.

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Compute Utilization Efficiency (High Load)

Newvem continuously monitors servers’ CPU load and notifies on high CPU loads.  We consider an average CPU load of 80% and above as a high load. As high CPU load can lead to a major service availability risks, which results in service degradation. In order to protect the system one should consider changing the instance size or implementing a different scaling method. We suggest that you either:

  • Scale up your computer instances – vertical scaling; move your workload to larger servers.
  • Scale out your compute instances – horizontal scaling; use additional servers.
  • Auto-scaling – AWS offers the ability to dynamically and automatically scale up or down according to conditions you define. With Auto Scaling, you can ensure that the number of Amazon EC2 instances you’re using increases seamlessly during demand spikes to maintain performance, and decreases automatically during demand lulls to minimize costs. Auto Scaling is enabled by Amazon CloudWatch and available at no additional charge beyond Amazon CloudWatch fees.

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Compute Utilization Efficiency (CPU Load)

Newvem continually monitoring your servers CPU load and notifies you on high loads. High-load lead to a major down time risk, you might need to consider changing the instance type or implement a different scaling method. We consider an arbitrary of 80% CPU load and above as an high load and suggest that you scale up or scale out your compute instances (i.e. move your workload to larger servers or use additional servers).

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Amazon AWS storage basics: Stop the sprawl before it begins !

There is a common perception that cloud storage should not really worry you because it is very cheap and available at any time. Is that really true ? It is common to hear AWS consumers say that AWS storage = S3 – this is true but it is not the whole truth.

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High Availability of Your Expectations

The Service Level Agreement (SLA) discussion puts penalties and compensations on the table. Can we say that the compensation method the customer expects is the same as the Software as a Service (SaaS) vendor’s SLA provides? 

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The Challenges of an Effective Cloud

Clouds move fast, and change fast.  The advantage is having elastic, fast, and un-planned deployments. However, uncontrolled usage leads very quickly into footprint sprawl – cloud sprawl, overspend and unpredictable behavior.  Contrary to VM sprawl, where the virtualization environment provides natural containment, cloud sprawl can be rather chaotic and expensive – exactly for the same reasons we enumerated above: lack of visibility and control, unpredictability, new processes, and different practices.

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Predicting Costs on Amazon Web Services

By: Jeff Barr - Senior Manager, Cloud Computing Solutions at, Inc Learn how-to predict costs quickly and accurately. Barr presents his 5Ms model, gives specific application examples, and then prices the applications using the AWS Simple Monthly Calculator.