EBS Instances on EC2. If you are running any decent size in deployment on EC2, you probably have some of these or several of these in your fleet. How do you back them up? You create an AMI from an instance, using some kind of a script, and tag the resulting AMI and snapshots. Now that you have a backup for that instance, how do you actually find that backup? Search through a massive list of AMIs? Umm, that could take a while. That backup will go stale rather quickly, so you need to repeat and rinse the above steps, on some kind of a schedule. You also need to remove older backups. And you want these backups to also be in other regions, so in case someone trips over a wire and takes the current region/zone off-line, you can go launch instances from those backups in the region of your choice, and continue on. We have taken this whole process, and simplified it down to a single step. One scheduled task in ylastic - you specify the name tag value to look for in a region, how many backups to retain and the destination regions you want for your backups.
Here is an example scenario. We have 3 instances in production environment in our AWS account. We give them all a name tag, so it is easy for us to identify them. In this case, we name them all production-xyz. They are all running in beautiful Ireland.
We want to back up these instances to Ireland, as well as three other regions (Sydney, Tokyo and Virginia). That way we will have backup AMIs created from these instances in 4 regions. We run this once a day at 1 AM. This is just an example scenario and schedule :) We keep 10 latest backups in EACH region. What does that look like?
The task now goes off and backs up those instances. You can view ALL backups made for an instance across ALL regions. No searching needed. They are all in one place, easy to access and peruse.
If you want to launch an instance from one of these backups, click a button and off you go.
Manage your AWS resources, the easy way :)
Twitter notifications for those pesky Cloudwatch alarms :)
SMS notifications for those pesky Cloudwatch alerts :)
One of the things we find very useful is an overview of the resources in each service, along with the health of that service. Earlier versions of Ylastic had this functionality in a dedicated page, but that was quite cumbersome to use. You have to navigate to a specific dashboard page for the service, and that means you have to navigate away from your current page, quickly look at a few numbers, and then return back to where you were. This is a bit tedious, and unnecessarily complicated. We have a simpler and much more intuitive way to do this now in Ylastic.
On any AWS resource page (like instances, balancers, etc), you can get a quick overview of the service you are currently managing, along with the status of the service health. The numbers displayed are for ALL regions. You do not need to or have to do anything to specify a region or navigate to a region specific dashboard or anything. You want an overview, and you get exactly that, with a single click, and without changing where you are in your workflow.
Managing your AWS cloud environment the easy way :)
AWS Cloudwatch alarms are fully integrated with Ylastic and you can get notifications for any Cloudwatch alarm in any region to email, twitter or SMS. SMS can be sent to any US or most international numbers.
- New Alarms : Create a Cloudwatch Alarm in Ylastic, and click a button to choose integration with Ylastic - We take care of setting up all of the plumbing in order to make that integration happen. We create SNS topic and register Ylastic to listen to notifications to that topic. Whenever your alarm change state, a notification will be sent to ALL users in your Ylastic account who elect to receive notifications.
- Existing Alarms : Modify the alarm in Ylastic and click the button to integrate it with Ylastic.
You can view detailed cloudwatch charts for the AWS resource for which you have an alarm, as well as a quick overview of how that resource is currently performing. You can enable/disable alarm actions, view details of each alarm, modify the alarm, view ALL the alarms in ALL the regions in one place, filter by region, filter by text.
The whole process has been simplified down to one single step. Once the alarm is integrated with Ylastic, all users in your Ylastic account will receive notification for the alarm. If any users do not want to receive notifications, they can just disable it for their user account by unselecting the notifications checkbox on the Ylastic Settings page.
You can view and filter all the notifications for every cloudwatch alarm integrated with Ylastic, along with the addresses that were used for notification. All the information is in one place, easy to access and search.
Check it out and let us know what you think!
Introducing the new Ylastic. Main focus was on usability, performance and simplifying all interactions with AWS. The redesign is also prep work needed for the features on our roadmap :)
Intuitive and unified look
An interface that simplifies your interactions with the various AWS cloud services and presents an integrated overview of your environment.
Seamless multi region management
Improved management of AWS resources across regions. On any page, view all the resources in your AWS account in all regions. Filter resources by a specific region or search across all regions.
Easy to use multi factor authentication
You can now use any MFA apps on your phone - Google Authenticator, Authy, etc. Scan the QR code from the settings page with your app and you are all set. MFA is currently turned off for all users, so you can login and set it up.
Intuitive cloudwatch charts
Enhanced charting to improve usability. You can view them on the metrics page or by clicking the sparkline for any AWS resource.
We started Ylastic a while ago, and it was one of the first management consoles for AWS. The only services in existence at that time were EC2, S3, SQS and SimpleDB had just been announced. Then AWS started growing by leaps and bounds, and they started adding new services and updating existing services at a breakneck pace. Ylastic added services and features as they were introduced. Eventually the Ylastic console became rather large with all of these updates and enhancements. It was fantastic to add all of these new things, as it really helped customers deal with AWS in an easier way.
We have taken some time to step back from the existing application, and think through how we can simplify it further and make it even more easier to use. We want to build an absolutely easy to use and intuitive management interface for AWS. We want to make things easier, so you dont need to jump through lots of hoops in order to perform a single operation on your AWS resources. So with all of that in mind, we have undertaken a complete overhaul of Ylastic, going through each and every page, and every piece of functionality we provide, and streamlining it, and making it as intuitive to use as we can. We are right in the midst of this rather large task. We are hoping to release the new ylastic within a few months. As we progress, we are going to post some of the changes we have been working on. So here is the first one - a complete rewrite of how we launch instances. The idea here is to let the user launch instances without getting completely lost in all the options. Working on refining this even more :)
Updated charts in Ylastic for viewing your Amazon S3 spending. It is now easier to see the costs broken down by Normal Storage, Reduced Redundant Storage, and other operations performed on your S3 account, as well as by region where your S3 resources are being stored.
You can now view the estimated costs for any active auto scaling group which has instances running. An estimate is displayed for the month and for a whole year. If you are managing multiple regions inside Ylastic, the auto scaling page will display your groups from all of those regions, and the estimated costs total will be a total across the regions :)