Are your DevOps teams focused on delivering innovation faster, continually spinning up new services that drive the proliferation of (sometimes) unneeded cloud instances? Do your AWS resources stay active after the project is done, with the meter still running? Do you lack visibility into who, what, and why resources are provisioned? Is all of this driving up your AWS costs? If so, this blog is for you.
A study1 by 451 Research indicates that, while cloud unit costs may remain low, total cloud costs typically increase for two reasons:
In this blog post, we’ll talk about AWS Service Catalog – what it is, how it can help you centrally manage commonly deployed AWS services and provisioned software products, and support consistent governance and compliance while optimizing costs.
We’ll describe a use case, where one of our clients trimmed 20% of their AWS costs by implementing Service Catalog. (Your mileage may vary based on the extent to which your cloud consumption needs more or less governance.)
With AWS Service Catalog, you can create and manage catalogs of IT services that are approved for use on AWS – virtual machine images, servers, software, and databases. In practice, Service Catalog enables end users to request infrastructure and resources that are preconfigured and preapproved by the organization. The organization can grant access to a specific type of resource for a particular type of user, limit resource types and specifications, and control updates to the resources being requested.
What’s under the hood?
Our client wanted to reduce costs, improve control, simplify provisioning, and accelerate code deployments and product delivery. Their former process to provision resources for Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) instances was to make a request in Slack or via a ticket created in Jira, which then went to their on-call support team. The support team had to get approval, after which the resource was created manually through the EC2 console.
To accelerate resource provisioning, we created a portfolio for provisioning EC2 instances.
Using AWS CloudFormation scripts, we created two products in the portfolio: OnDemandEc2 and SpotFleetEc2.
Each product creates a script with versions that you can create including the updates to the script.
AWS CloudFormation provides control by defining:
Now, with AWS Service Catalog, since the products are already created, once the client adds the required resource values it only takes minutes to provision the complete stack. With this in place, the client decided to broaden the catalogs to provision other resources, e.g., Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) and Amazon DynamoDB.
If your business requires rapid innovation like most of our clients then you can help your teams go faster while also providing governance. Use AWS Service Catalog as your central management hub. It can simplify access and provisioning of preapproved resources while giving you improved control over your AWS environment (e.g., resource provisioning, cost optimization, compliance, and security).
Need help with AWS Service Catalog? The nClouds team is here to help with that and all your AWS infrastructure requirements.