If you are a user of Amazon Web Services, you probably know very well the AWS Management Console: it’s the main dashboard you manage your cloud infrastructure from. Nevertheless, chances are that you don’t know there is an equivalent app available for Android and iOS to achieve the very same task on mobile: it’s called “AWS Management Console Mobile App” (yes, very creative of Amazon). It’s a handy tool you can install on your smartphone or tablet to avoid having to use a browser while you are on the go and really need to do something on your AWS account.
Today, Amazon announced a brand new feature that will really make happy those of you who needs to manage AWS resources from several resources: it’s the multiple identities support.
The AWS Management Console Mobile App
Although the Amazon Web Services Management Console Mobile App is not a complete replacement for the classic web interface, it has a number of features that really come in handy when you are commuting or away from your keyboard and need to do something really urgent on your AWS infrastructure. For example, it allows you to manage EC2 instances, performing basic lifecycle operations like reboot, stop, start, terminate, and check EBS volumes and snapshots. Also, it allows you to check and review CloudWatch metrics and alarms, and to manage the ELB and view settings for AutoScaling and Route 53. On the data storage side of the force, it allows you to browse S3 buckets and object properties, and also RDS instances.
Despite being slightly more focused on view resources rather than editing resources, it’s still a very valuable resource to have a situation in control wherever you are.
Security is the key
One of the reasons why the mobile app is unbalanced that way is that you definitely don’t want to give full control of your whole AWS infrastructure to foreigners in case you lose your mobile device. Amazon gives some important recommendations about that, like securing the device with a password and creating and using a dedicated IAM user’s credentials to log in to the app. This way, in case you lose your device you can immediately deactivate the IAM user to prevent unauthorized access, without having to lock the whole account or even worse. Also, Multi-Factor Authentication is your friend here, especially if you use a hardware MFA device or a virtual MFA on a separate mobile device. In any case, provided you follow the best practices Amazon recommends, the mobile app can be not also a good assistant but a safe one too.
Multiple identities, finally!
This multiple identities feature was a long-awaited one. It’s quite a common case that Cloud Administrators manage multiple AWS accounts. So far, the AWS Management Console Mobile App has been of small to no help at all in situations like that, given that you could only manage one account per time, and had to log out and log in again every time you wished to manage another one. With this latest release, you can simply add as many accounts as you wish, easily switching between them without any need to log out. You can also sign in to the mobile app using your AWS access keys, and the dedicated IAM user trick I told you about here above is of course still available. I guess this news will make a lot of Cloud administrators happy! By the way, the new AWS Management Console Mobile App is already available from Amazon Appstore, Google Play and iTunes, just update your device to get it.