AWS Account Advisor
Introducing the Ylastic AWS Account Advisor, a tool for inspecting your AWS environment and identifying opportunities for optimizing your usage of AWS.
We built it to be very simple and intuitive to use. You pick the checks you want to include in each run of the advisor (this initial release has a total of ten checks), Ylastic runs the checks and gives you a nice list of things that it found. Each advisor run is saved, and at any time you can review past runs.
The checks are broadly divided into four categories:
- Cost Optimization - Opportunities for reducing costs by detecting unused volumes, elastic load balancers, elastic ip addresses and Route 53 zones. These checks will also display an estimated cost saving per month and per year from removing the unused resources.
- Disaster Recovery - Check your ability to recover from system wide failures by detecting volumes that are in-use but not being backed up to snapshots. The advisor will also flag volumes that have snapshots older than several days, as that may be an indication that the backups are getting stale.
- Fault Tolerance - Identifies situations that can impact your ability to recover from the failure of an EC2 availability zone, by checking if your elastic load balancers have distributed allocation of instances, as well as if you have instances distributed in more than one zone.
- Security Audit - Secure access to your resources by detecting security groups that provide public access to sensitive ports or port ranges, as well as S3 buckets that can be listed by anonymous users across the internet.
As you use AWS over time, cruft builds up, and you start having unused resources in your account that are just driving up your costs. One of the cool features of the advisor is to flag these unused resources, and give you an estimate of the savings that you can get if you get rid of them. The screenshot below is from one of our customers that helped us test the advisor. Those elastic IPs, old unused volumes and balancers add up pretty quick :-)
The advisor is a feature available in the Ylastic Plus version. Coming soon, the ability to run the advisor on a schedule, as well as enhancements and additional checks based on feedback from customers that have already been trying this out.
AWS Route53 Spending Analytics
You have all your domains nicely imported into Route53 using Ylastic. You have scheduled backups of your zones to the S3 bucket of your choice for DR using Ylastic. You do have those zones backed up, right? You can view an audit trail of all the changes/additions/updates being made to your zones in Ylastic. And now you can view the spending break-down for all of those zones in Ylastic Plus. View the spending for the current month, previous month, curent year or the last year.
Easily view the cost associated with each of the zones you are hosting in Route53. The chart also displays the total number of queries made for the displayed zones in the chosen time period.
More integrated cool tools for Route 53 in the pipeline. Manage your AWS cloud, the easy way!
Migrating Amazon Linux AMI between EC2 regions
You can now migrate Amazon Linux based AMIs between regions of your choice in Ylastic. Select your AMI, the region you want to migrate to, and that’s it.
Get an email when the migration is completed.
Launch an instance at your leisure from the new AMI and off you go.
Enjoy and happy holidays!!
EC2 Auto Scaling Management
Refreshed our auto scaling support to include all of the recent features released by AWS. Here is a quick run through of the various things that you can do with auto scaling on EC2.
Create auto scaling groups with a new easy to use wizard that also lets you set up policies and their associated alarms for scaling up/down your EC2 fleet.
View and manage all of your resources associated with the scaling groups.
Suspend scaling processes to investigate any configuration issues with your app and resume scaling processes when you are done.
Create and manage scaling policies and their associated alarms to setup the thresholds for scaling your fleet of instances.
Setup scheduled scaling actions to increase/decrease the number of instances in your fleet. You can also setup the scaling action to be recurring on a schedule of your choice.
Peruse cloud watch charts of group metrics for the scaling group of your choice.
You can still manage your auto scaling groups that are using the trigger mechanism that has been deprecated by AWS.
More goodies on the way. Enjoy :-)
Amazon EBS Snapshots in the EU-West Region
AWS has discovered a bug in their software that cleans up EBS snapshots in the EU West region. They are contacting customers that have snapshots affected by this bug. Here is the email that some of our customers are receiving:
Hello,We’ve discovered an error in the Amazon EBS software that cleans up unused snapshots. This has affected at least one of your snapshots in the EU-West Region.During a recent run of this EBS software in the EU-West Region, one or more blocks in a number of EBS snapshots were incorrectly deleted. The root cause was a software error that caused the snapshot references to a subset of blocks to be missed during the reference counting process. This process compares the blocks scheduled for deletion to the blocks referenced in customer snapshots. As a result of the software error, the EBS snapshot management system in the EU-West Region incorrectly thought some of the blocks were no longer being used and deleted them. We’ve addressed the error in the EBS snapshot system to prevent it from recurring.We have now disabled all of your snapshots that contain these missing blocks. You can determine which of your snapshots were affected via the AWS Management Console or the DescribeSnapshots API call. The status for any affected snapshots will be shown as “error.”We have created copies of your affected snapshots where we’ve replaced the missing blocks with empty blocks. You can create a new volume from these snapshot copies and run a recovery tool on it (e.g. a file system recovery tool like fsck); in some cases this may restore normal volume operation. These snapshots can be identified via the snapshot Description field which you can see on the AWS Management Console or via the DescribeSnapshots API call. The Description field contains “Recovery Snapshot snap-xxxx” where snap-xxx is the id of the affected snapshot. Alternately, if you have any older or more recent snapshots that were unaffected, you will be able to create a volume from those snapshots without error. For additional questions, you may open a case in our Support Center: https://aws.amazon.com/support/createCaseWe apologize for any potential impact this might have on your applications.Sincerely,
AWS Developer Support
Migrating EBS instances to an AMI in a different region
You have an EBS instance running in US east region. But you want to migrate this instance to an AMI in EU, for disaster recovery, testing, whatever. And you say want to do this simply and without major contortions, preferably via a GUI. We hear you :-) Ylastic now has the ability to migrate an EBS linux instance to an AMI in a region of your choice. Pick a few options, and click a button.
And receive an email when the migration is complete :-)
Route53 backup to S3
Ylastic can now backup all your Route53 hosted zones to S3. Each of your hosted zones will be exported to BIND zone file format and saved to the S3 bucket of your choice. Sounds complicated? How about as simple as select the zones to backup, pick a bucket and click a button.
We love simple, so we extended it to also give you the ability to schedule your Route53 backups on a recurring time period of your choice :-)
Manage your AWS environment, the easy way!
WRR balancing between EC2 regions with Route53
Route53 introduced a new feature that lets you configure DNS based balancing between EC2 regions. Yes, you heard that right. Between EC2 regions. How does this magic happen? By leveraging a new R53 concept called Weighted Alias resource records, that let you define multiple mappings between your zone apex and your ELBs, as well as assign weights to the mappings.
This works great, but do keep in mind that this is a round robin scheme and may not be suitable for all kinds of apps. This is a great start, and looking forward to more neat stuff from the route53 team. Enjoy :-)
Mapping zone apex to your ELB with Route53
This blog post is outdated. Route53 has since released new features and Ylastic has integrated them. Please check these posts for the updates:
AWS just released a nice feature named zone apex association for mapping the apex of your hosted zone in Route 53 with an elastic load balancer. No more jumping through various hoops and redirects to make queries for a domain such as xanthe.us resolve to your wonderful ELB in EC2. The magic all happens using the concept of Alias Resource Record Sets, which are aliases that point to DNS names in any Route 53 hosted zone. And here’s how easy it is to set it up with Ylastic.
Weighted Round Robin DNS based load balancing with Route53
Route53 now gives you the ability to balance request load by configuring a DNS record to return one of multiple possible answers according to some defined weighted round robin policy :-) Here is how one would setup three A records for the sub-domain www.xanthe.us with weights of 1, 1, and 3 (sum = 5). Route 53 will then select each of the first two resource record sets one-fifth of the time, and returns the third resource record set three-fifths of the time for all queries for www.xanthe.us. And how do we set this all up in Ylastic?
Yep. As simple as that.