10+ Things I Wish I Knew About AWS Before I Started

10+ Things That I Know Now. But That I Feel Stupid For Not Knowing Already

10+ Mistakes I'm Cleaning Up After

Re:Invent isn't just all about new services, it's also about learning from each others experiences


Quickest way to get someone from AWS to raise a ticket..

Always ask support where they found something in the documentation.

In the same vein, learn what is in the documentation and what is missing.

Use chat rather than raising cases

Estate Management

Split up your services into separate accounts.

Tag everything you can and have naming schemes and tags for everything else prepared.

Don't tag anything manually.

Use a combination of tagging and seperate accounts to manage billing.

Cloudformation as much as possible, automate the creation of the rest.

Get devs into the console.

Use Cloudwatch to track more than just service details but also account metrics.

Learn lessons from Amazon's design decisions and use them yourself.

  1. DNS used for HA
  2. Restrict information and access to thought who need it.


EC2: Disable fsck checks on instances.

EC2: Start tracking when instances are used, use this data to purchase the right RI's.

EC2: Make it easy for devs to look after their own instances with tools like Vagrant.

Have a plan to migrate data between accounts.

IAM: Continously question why a user requires a level of access.

IAM: Build tools that make it easy for you to roll keys.

Cloudformation: Keep your stack designs the same throughout all your environments.

Cloudformation: Write unit tests for your stack!

S3: Be conservative with your bucket usage, consolidate where possible.

Actively track your service limits from day one.

EC2: Sort out crediential management early on (SSH Keys, Database Passwords etc).

Remove direct access to services, manage them through config management.

Thanks, Questions?

Slides Avaliable on github: aughban/presentations

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