AWS Cloud Management And Optimization Best Practices

This article has been contributed by Vijay Rayapati (CEO, Botmetric & Minjar)

The enterprise adoption of Amazon Web Services has accelerated over last 3 years among large customers across the world ranging from manufacturing to highly regulated financial services. As large enterprise companies adopt AWS as a key cloud platform for their IT systems, it’s important to put in place good cloud management best practices for a successful cloud adoption.

The overall cloud management life cycle can be broadly categorized into the following:

  • Provisioning and Configuration Management
  • Application Build and Continuous Deployment
  • DevOps Automation and Cloud Operations

Provisioning and Configuration Management

One of the key aspects of using Cloud infrastructure is to provision and configure software to make it usable. We recommend following 3 best practices for an effective AWS cloud infrastructure provisioning and configuration management.

CloudFormation Templates

You can take advantage of AWS CloudFormation service for provisioning your cloud infrastructure with one click. You can create base cloud formation templates to prepare your AWS accounts for production, QA and development purpose by configuring appropriate VPC’s and IAM resources. This will ensure that every new AWS cloud account will be sanitized based on your enterprise process and compliance needs for use.

Managed Environments

You can use managed environment services like AWS BeanStalk and OpsWorks instead of creating software configuration for your application using various technology stacks like .NET, JAVA, Python, PHP etc. This will reduce the DevOps and configuration management work for your IT teams.

Modern Configuration Management

AWS has great support for CHEF if you are looking for modern configuration management of software dependencies and configurations. You can also look at using Ansible for the light weight configuration management at speed and scale without overheads.

Build and Continuous Deployments

Cloud platforms bring agility through rapid and on-demand provisioning. However, the real agility can be realised when you can take your applications and software changes faster to end users. The following AWS Cloud services help you build and release software faster than you could do with traditional IT.

Build and Test Code Faster

By taking advantage of AWS CodeBuild service, you can compile source codes, run test suites and prepare software packages for release much faster than ever without worrying about managing the build pipelines and test automation infrastructure. This can help you reduce release times drastically without worrying about the required infrastructure to build and test hundreds of different applications in the enterprise landscape.

Automate Software Release Workflows

AWS CodePipeline service brings continuous integration and delivery as a service so companies can build, test and deploy software applications every time when there is a change or new code commit. This will enable you to rapidly test and deliver new features and modules at ease by preparing your software for different environments like PROD, QA and DEV etc.

Automate Application Release Deployment

You can look at traditional tools like Jenkins or Go.CD or leverage AWS CodeDeploy for automating the software releases into different environments in a predictable way once the software release packages are ready. This will reduce the manual release process, perform zero downtime deployments and can help you deploy across hundreds of servers in a matter of minutes. AWS CodeDeploy works with CodePipeline for deployment automation.

DevOps Automation and Cloud Operations Management

As a large enterprise, you will not be successful in cloud journey unless DevOps culture and automation are key priorities for your teams. The only way to effectively manage your enterprise cloud infrastructure will be by enabling your teams to take advantage of AWS SDK’s for your automation. This will go beyond provisioning, configuration, build and deploy life cycle to everyday operations management for monitoring, security and cloud management.

Modern IT Monitoring

Take advantage of modern softwares like Datadog for monitoring, New Relic for APM and Sumo Logic for log management across your applications running in cloud infrastructure. You can stream cloud events from CloudTrail into your log management system for centralised visibility into every change in your cloud infrastructure.

Reliable Security Management

Managing application and configuration security is customer responsibility in AWS cloud. You can leverage tools like TrendMicro, CloudPassage for your server and network level security while taking advantage of software from AWS marketplace for WAF or DDoS protection.

Effective Cloud Operations

Having deep visibility into your cloud spend and configuration compliance to meet business requirements is needed for your enterprise. This can be achieved using tools like Botmetric for enterprise wide cloud cost management and spend optimization with budgeting and governance controls. You can look at Botmetric compliance management of your infrastructure for CIS, PCI-DSS, HIPAA standards etc in the cloud and remediate any issues through intelligent automation for quick resolution.

In order to be successful in your cloud journey, you need to take advantage of Automation and Modern software for cloud management.

Opting for cloud is another step towards digital transformation, however organizations should understand two key factors time and talent which may vary and differ at each stage of cloud adoption. To fast pace at each stage you can choose a technology partner that can speed the process of adoption and do cloud for you. For phase1 and phase 2 premium consulting partner like Minjar can help organization to migrate and manage cloud. For phase 3 technology partners like Botmetric can help to streamline daily operations and provide best practices for better cost savings in cloud.