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4 Tips for Getting the Most Out of the AWS Cloud


Investing in Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud infrastructure can be transformative for an organization. The average business experiences a 25% reduction in the annual costs of its IT infrastructure after transitioning to AWS, according to a 2022 study from the research firm IDC. For organizations to maximize the chances that they’ll realize these cost savings, they should be going into an AWS migration with a clear, comprehensive understanding of what AWS is capable of doing, how to unlock and utilize AWS to its full potential, and what are the organization’s specific goals for AWS. Some aspects of AWS will need to be configured using standardized best practices, while other configurations are unique to each organization and dependent on what the organization seeks to achieve with AWS. Let’s explore four essential tips that every organization should keep in mind to get the most out of its AWS cloud investment:

  1. Take advantage of security controls in AWS Organizations: AWS typically involves setting up different accounts for different users, each with its own set of services, as well as its own security and compliance requirements. A business’s ability to keep this operating environment secure can quickly become unwieldy. AWS Organizations enable businesses to consolidate all of their AWS accounts into “organizations” and then to centrally manage the security controls for all of their accounts. For example, if a set of accounts needs to meet a shared set of security requirements, they would be grouped as an organizational unit, with a policy attached to block access to services not meeting these security requirements. Similarly, an Organization feature known as service control policies (SCPs) can be configured to specify the maximum permissions that can be granted to individual AWS accounts. Significantly, even administrators of the accounts cannot override these security controls, providing a stronger layer of security.
  2. Adhere to best practices for building AWS landing zones: There’s never any reason to reinvent the wheel with AWS, and that’s especially true when building an AWS landing zone. A landing zone is a scalable, multi-account AWS environment for rapidly launching workloads and applications. Setting up a landing zone involves making complex decisions about account structure, security, and access management. AWS offers every business best-practices guidance for building these landing zones, and every business should be following this guidance closely. In particular, this guidance emphasizes a security-first mindset, where resources and workloads are isolated to reduce the scope of impact.
  3. Pay attention to data transfer charges: When architecting AWS, data transfer charges are often overlooked. Although there is no charge for inbound data transfers, data transfers from AWS to the Internet are charged per service, and rates can vary depending on the source, destination, and amount of traffic. The bottom line is that whenever the organization’s workload is accessing AWS services, it’s possible to incur data transfer charges. AWS offers multiple tools to help organizations estimate their data transfer charges, Including the AWS Pricing Calculator. AWS also offers the AWS Free Tier that enables organizations, under certain circumstances, to test their workload free of charge.
  4. Learn the difference between hard vs. soft quotas: AWS is readily scalable, and that presents a practical problem: AWS cannot endlessly scale for every customer. To provide an optimal AWS experience and protect the workloads of all AWS users, AWS imposes service quotas on all AWS services. These service quotas come in two flavors: Hard limits, which customers cannot change, and soft limits, which customers can request increases for. Thus, customers need to understand how these quotas work before deciding to scale one or more AWS applications. With soft limits, for example, a business typically requests an increase as it starts expanding its usage of applications. While quotas can feel artificially constraining, they help protect businesses from unexpected costs triggered by unintended usage.

AWS is a transformative cloud investment for businesses that take the time to understand what AWS is capable of and how they can optimally benefit from it. To get the most out of the AWS cloud, businesses should be taking advantage of AWS Organizations’ built-in security controls, adhering to business practices when building AWS landing zones, making sure they understand how data transfer charges work, and learning the difference between hard vs. soft quotas for AWS services.

To learn more about how to get the most out of cloud solutions like AWS, please check out Ippon’s in-depth white paper, “Assessing the Maturity of Your Cloud Strategy.” For more personalized support and guidance, please reach out to our cloud migration experts.

Post by Dennis Ruzeski
May 22, 2024 6:01:00 AM


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