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Common Issues with AWS

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is the most widely used public cloud solution in the world and is employed by companies of all sizes from small start-ups through to large multi-region enterprises.   The benefits of AWS, including pay-per-use; universal access to state-of-the-art computing resources and the ability to scale almost instantly based on business needs, are valuable to businesses and help improve operational performance. 

The skillset required to manage AWS is not widely possessed, and as a result, there are several common issues that many companies come across which need to be resolved.

In this article, we identify five of the most common problems that arise within AWS deployments and discuss how they can be resolved quickly to keep costs under control.

Oversized Instances

AWS offers a large range of instance types and sizes to accommodate nearly every software need.  In some cases, we find that rather than selecting the solution that is best suited for a specific business objective, users choose the most powerful available meaning that resources are wasted or underused.

Comprehensive analysis during the specification process for your AWS environment can avoid this issue arising, but accurate monitoring of usage can also identify the same problem once the deployment is live so that remedial action can be taken to change specifications and bring them in line with real-world needs.

Redundant Resource

AWS makes it easy for developers and the IT team to spin up new machines.  If these additional services are overlooked, they will continue to contribute to your costs after they are needed.

Proper monitoring of your environment to identify rogue machines helps to resolve this issue, and the implementation of clear processes and access control for deployment can help to prevent a build-up of resource that is not needed.

Not taking advantage of multiple availability Zones

AWS has a simple feature called “Availability Zones” which will distribute your workload across multiple data centres in the region you specify. This helps to lower the risk of an outage if there is a failure in one of the data centres.

Although many companies do not consider it as a requirement, at igroup we recommend all customers take advantage of the feature as it avoids downtime which can end up costing your business money.

Security

One of the biggest issues with data in the cloud is security. As with any other IT service, there are multiple ways in which data and applications can be compromised.

During the planning and specification process, all existing protocols for user access and control should be copied across to your cloud environment.  These should also be reviewed professionally to identify any weaknesses.  This is a key part of our initial consultation process.

Ensuring that application and anti-malware patches are installed in a timely manner is essential and should be part of your managed service process.

Scale

Managing hundreds or even thousands of virtual machines in the Amazon Cloud can present a major challenge to any organisation and without monitoring and controls in place to support this process, there can be significant financial and resource costs. 

Having systems in place that monitor your full environment and provide detailed usage and billing information helps you to scale in a controlled way with full transparency over costs that can inform better decisions about your ongoing cloud strategy.

Professionally managed, AWS can greatly reduce your IT costs and deliver significant performance improvements in your infrastructure and applications. If you would like to discuss how AWS can help your business, contact a member of the igroup team on 0203 697 0302.

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