Amazon Web Services: 6 Features That Can Make the Difference

Amazon Web Services provide a huge number of services for customers, that helps basic start-up organizations to large enterprise customers. Amazon introduces or updates any new services as per their client needs. This strategy makes AWS a giant Cloud Computing provider.

Amazon Web Services Global Infrastructure
Amazon Web Services Global Infrastructure

For each service,  AWS will provide certain features to manage the respective services very easily and effectively like: Tags for categorization, security group “copy to new” feature to create a copy of the existing security group, reserved instances modification, changing the instance types, etc. But the uniqueness of some features is missing across all the services. I have listed some missing features below where Amazon should improve them for better management of the AWS resources.

Manage Tags
Manage Tags is a great feature to manage the tags from a single location and also create or update the common tags for all the EC2 services at one time like Instances, Volumes, Security Groups, etc. This Manage Tags feature is available for EC2 only, but if it was available for other services like RDS, Elastic Cache or VPC, it could have added a great advantage to manage their services very easily. You can learn more about tags from here.

You can read further on tagging best practices here. 

Modify the Reserved Instance Types
Amazon has launched the modify reserved instance types like dividing 1 m3.xlarge RI to 2 m3.large RIs or combining the 2 m3.large RIs to 1 m3.xlarge RI. This is a great feature when we make any changes to our instance types to distribute or scale our resources. But this feature is limited to EC2 only. It will bring more savings for customers if this feature was expanded to other services Reserved Instances like RDS and Elastic Cache. You can learn more about the Modify the Reserved Instance Types here.

You can read further on which AWS reserved instances you should choose here.

Security Groups “Copy to new”
We can easily create new security groups from the existing security groups using the “Copy to new” feature. It could have been great to have this feature for the Non-VPC RDS service. Copying the new security groups to other regions or accounts will add a great advantage when we set up an identical environment or DR environment etc. Also, copying the security groups to VPC will be another great feature.

You can read further on AWS Security Groups here.

Modify the Elastic Cache Instance Type
Modifying the Elastic Cache Instance type is not available, where it is a default feature for the RDS DBaaS service since it was introduced. This will help the customers to change the instance type to the new generation instance classes to take advantage of performance and pricing without changing the Elastic Cache End Points in the application configuration.

You can read further on Amazon Elasticache here.

Resources Events
RDS and Elastic Cache services will keep a record of the events that are related to the respective resources, where it will be helpful for customers to track the history of actions performed on the resources, like snapshots, reboot, security group change, etc. If AWS implements the same feature for EC2 too, it will bring great insight on the EC2 resources for the customers, where we can track the launching time, stopping, starting, restarting of instances, creation of AMIs, Volume Snapshots, etc.

There are a couple of other features Amazon should improve to give the best experience to their customers.

  1. Changing the EC2-Classic Security group of a running instance, where this feature is already available in classic RDS Service as a default feature.
  2. Accessing the EC2-Classic ELB Security group to restrict the traffic like VPC ELB’s.
  3. Events subscription for alerting the Amazon EC2 scheduled maintenance like RDS and Elastic Cache Event Subscriptions.

If Amazon implements the above features across all their services, it would give immense experience to the customers.

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Written by

Praveen Kumar Muppala

I have strong experience on Multiple Unix/Linux flavours, LAMP Stack, Monitoring Systems, Database, NoSQL. I love to explore the new concepts/services in Cloud Computing World. I have written 4 certifications in different flavours of Linux/Unix.


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