When using the cloud there are things you always have to think about. Infrastructure, cost and security are always on the forefront of every AWS user. This is where AWS Trusted Advisor comes in. An online resource to help you reduce cost, increase performance, and improve security by optimizing your AWS environment, Trusted Advisor provides real time guidance to help you provision your resources following AWS best practices. AWS Trusted Advisor is a service that comes with the support plan that goes with every account. Its purpose is to help the account manager in the following ways:
- Cost Optimization – Provides ways to reduce the overall cost associated with the services being used in AWS
- Performance – Gathers statistics on the usage of computational resources and provides a way to make them more efficient
- Fault Tolerance – Shows ways in which you can improve the architecture in case of failure
- Security – Gives a list of checks that can improve account and system security greatly if implemented
Trusted Advisor comes with every support plan that Amazon offers. Your mileage may vary however when using it with the Basic one. The checks in the Basic plan concern mostly simple security checks and the service limits.
The true power of Trusted Advisor comes when the account has Business or Enterprise level support. However that comes with a price. Some users might deem those support plans too expensive since they’re calculated as a percentage of the monthly AWS usage. For more information on all checks you can read Trusted Advisor Best Practices.
Trusted Advisor is a great tool for small teams and businesses because it can give you a good overview of the health of the system. Although Trusted Advisor provides a lot of checks, they are not detailed enough. The system is being improved constantly, but if you need serious metrics by which you can guide your account, it may not be sufficient.
There are custom tracking solutions that work on top of AWS as third-party services that can do the work that Trusted Advisor can, but that will carry additional costs with it. Enterprise companies will benefit the most from using these kind of services. As it stands right now I wouldn’t recommend a third-party service to a small team of developers or a new business.
The third option is to create custom CloudWatch/CloudTrail metrics that can aggregate the information you need. Be it computing power utilization or log information for a certain region. However due to the size and scope of AWS, this has to be left to the business to decide. Would they rather spend that money and time on developing and supporting their product or have more information on how can they improve their infrastructure.