The 15 Biggest Mistakes Made with Amazon Web Services

Well, well, well… While we’re busy building a great startup, the nice folks at Newvem wrote a blog post on the 10 biggest mistakes” made with Amazon Web Services.

We think it’s a good list but somehow seems a little too “simple”.

This is OUR list instead.

The 15 biggest mistakes made with Amazon Web Services.

1) Wasting money by running resources that you don’t need.

2) You think you’re not wasting money, but actually, some resources are running IN ANOTHER REGION. Unfortunately, AWS doesn’t allow to see how much you’re spending globally. If like us, you use multiple regions, you need to check every region.

3) You are not optimizing the type of EC2 instances you’re using. A medium is double the cost, but five times more CPU power, for instance (pun intended).

4) You are not using subaccounts or IAM. This can potentially be your biggest security mistake. We use a master account to create subaccounts, and then use the subaccounts to do the stuff. Plus, we limit permissions with IAM, especially to those credentials that we store on EC2 directly.

5) You are running MySQL on Amazon EC2. Come on, Amazon RDS rocks (it’s a MySQL on EC2, but it’s managed by AWS for a small extra cost). Use it, and forget about your DBA nightmares.

6) If you are using Amazon S3 to do backups, you might consider Reduced Redundancy (it’s about 2/3 the original cost of Amazon S3).

7) Always use server-side encryption on Amazon S3. You never know.

8) If you use autoscaling, make sure you don’t do mistakes, otherwise, things can go really bad, either your site is down, or you have tens of machines running and don’t know how to stop them.

9) One of the biggest mistakes is thinking that you can start with your own colo, and switch to AWS later. You won’t have the time, and it will hurt. Use AWS now.

10) If you don’t know about Reserved Instances and Spot Instances, it’s time to know. You can save significant amounts of money… And rest assured that your fierce competition knows about it.

11) The AWS folks regularly host online webinars. It’s free, and it’s a great way to learn about it.

12) They also have events everywhere in the world. We recently attended “Running a lean startup with AWS” in Italy, hosted by our friends at H-Farm.

13) Well, thirteen is always a bad, unlucky number. Let’s use it for the worst mistakes of all. Not using the Cloud (AWS, or any other Cloud alternative such as Rackspace, Azure) in the first place! Wake up, it’s the year 2012 and it’s time to learn Cloud Computing!

14) Underestimating the importance of security, which also means forgetting about the existence of Amazon Virtual Private Cloud, or VPC. For most companies, that’s the only way you could securely use a public Cloud.

15) Messing up with users. IAM is a good tool, but it’s not easy to manage all the details related to permissions, teams, etc. Sometimes it happens that the wrong guy has the permissions to do everything… And things go bad. Make sure that you set permissions in a very conservative way. Especially if your team is bigger than 5-6 people.
And since you made it to here, a “bonus mistake” for you:

16) Not knowing about ElastiCache (an automated cache system between your apps and your DB), Route53 (DNS), and even more importantly not using Amazon CloudWatch and custom metrics. Metrics are the single most important thing to help you avoid disaster, or at least prevent the worst outcomes.

Well, what do you think of this list? Does it make sense?

Stefano Bellasio

Written by

Stefano Bellasio

Stefano's a computer engineering guy that loves building products. He's the CEO and co-founder of CloudAcademy.com. All his experience is in the web hosting and cloud computing industry where he started other companies before. He loves talking with all readers of Cloud Academy blog, so feel free to email him at stefano@cloudacademy.com!


Related Posts

Alisha Reyes
Alisha Reyes
— January 6, 2020

New on Cloud Academy: Red Hat, Agile, OWASP Labs, Amazon SageMaker Lab, Linux Command Line Lab, SQL, Git Labs, Scrum Master, Azure Architects Lab, and Much More

Happy New Year! We hope you're ready to kick your training in overdrive in 2020 because we have a ton of new content for you. Not only do we have a bunch of new courses, hands-on labs, and lab challenges on AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud, but we also have three new courses on Red Hat, th...

Read more
  • agile
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • Google Cloud Platform
  • Linux
  • OWASP
  • programming
  • red hat
  • scrum
Alisha Reyes
Alisha Reyes
— December 24, 2019

Cloud Academy’s Blog Digest: Azure Best Practices, 6 Reasons You Should Get AWS Certified, Google Cloud Certification Prep, and more

Happy Holidays from Cloud Academy We hope you have a wonderful holiday season filled with family, friends, and plenty of food. Here at Cloud Academy, we are thankful for our amazing customer like you.  Since this time of year can be stressful, we’re sharing a few of our latest article...

Read more
  • AWS
  • azure best practices
  • blog digest
  • Cloud Academy
  • Google Cloud
Avatar
Guy Hummel
— December 12, 2019

Google Cloud Platform Certification: Preparation and Prerequisites

Google Cloud Platform (GCP) has evolved from being a niche player to a serious competitor to Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure. In 2019, research firm Gartner placed Google in the Leaders quadrant in its Magic Quadrant for Cloud Infrastructure as a Service for the second consecuti...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • Google Cloud Platform
Alisha Reyes
Alisha Reyes
— December 10, 2019

New Lab Challenges: Push Your Skills to the Next Level

Build hands-on experience using real accounts on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud Platform, and more Meaningful cloud skills require more than book knowledge. Hands-on experience is required to translate knowledge into real-world results. We see this time and time again in studies about how pe...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • Google Cloud
  • hands-on
  • labs
Alisha Reyes
Alisha Reyes
— December 5, 2019

New on Cloud Academy: AWS Solution Architect Lab Challenge, Azure Hands-on Labs, Foundation Certificate in Cyber Security, and Much More

Now that Thanksgiving is over and the craziness of Black Friday has died down, it's now time for the busiest season of the year. Whether you're a last-minute shopper or you already have your shopping done, the holidays bring so much more excitement than any other time of year. Since our...

Read more
  • AWS
  • AWS solution architect
  • AZ-203
  • Azure
  • cyber security
  • FCCS
  • Foundation Certificate in Cyber Security
  • Google Cloud Platform
  • Kubernetes
Avatar
Cloud Academy Team
— December 4, 2019

Understanding Enterprise Cloud Migration

What is enterprise cloud migration? Cloud migration is about moving your data, applications, and even infrastructure from your on-premises computers or infrastructure to a virtual pool of on-demand, shared resources that offer compute, storage, and network services at scale. Why d...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • Data Migration
Wendy Dessler
Wendy Dessler
— November 27, 2019

6 Reasons Why You Should Get an AWS Certification This Year

In the past decade, the rise of cloud computing has been undeniable. Businesses of all sizes are moving their infrastructure and applications to the cloud. This is partly because the cloud allows businesses and their employees to access important information from just about anywhere. ...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Certifications
  • certified
Avatar
Andrea Colangelo
— November 26, 2019

AWS Regions and Availability Zones: The Simplest Explanation You Will Ever Find Around

The basics of AWS Regions and Availability Zones We’re going to treat this article as a sort of AWS 101 — it’ll be a quick primer on AWS Regions and Availability Zones that will be useful for understanding the basics of how AWS infrastructure is organized. We’ll define each section,...

Read more
  • AWS
Avatar
Dzenan Dzevlan
— November 20, 2019

Application Load Balancer vs. Classic Load Balancer

What is an Elastic Load Balancer? This post covers basics of what an Elastic Load Balancer is, and two of its examples: Application Load Balancers and Classic Load Balancers. For additional information — including a comparison that explains Network Load Balancers — check out our post o...

Read more
  • ALB
  • Application Load Balancer
  • AWS
  • Elastic Load Balancer
  • ELB
Albert Qian
Albert Qian
— November 13, 2019

Advantages and Disadvantages of Microservices Architecture

What are microservices? Let's start our discussion by setting a foundation of what microservices are. Microservices are a way of breaking large software projects into loosely coupled modules, which communicate with each other through simple Application Programming Interfaces (APIs). ...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Docker
  • Kubernetes
  • Microservices
Nisar Ahmad
Nisar Ahmad
— November 12, 2019

Kubernetes Services: AWS vs. Azure vs. Google Cloud

Kubernetes is a popular open-source container orchestration platform that allows us to deploy and manage multi-container applications at scale. Businesses are rapidly adopting this revolutionary technology to modernize their applications. Cloud service providers — such as Amazon Web Ser...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • Google Cloud
  • Kubernetes
Avatar
Stuart Scott
— October 31, 2019

AWS Internet of Things (IoT): The 3 Services You Need to Know

The Internet of Things (IoT) embeds technology into any physical thing to enable never-before-seen levels of connectivity. IoT is revolutionizing industries and creating many new market opportunities. Cloud services play an important role in enabling deployment of IoT solutions that min...

Read more
  • AWS
  • AWS IoT Events
  • AWS IoT SiteWise
  • AWS IoT Things Graph
  • IoT