Amazon Web Services Launches Professional Cloud Auditing
Amazon Web Services is further attempting to diversify its cloud business beyond the Amazon EC2 infrastructure-as-a-service offering for which it’s best known. The company has launched expanded support options for AWS, including AWS Trusted Advisor, a professional services offering that audits customer usage of its cloud resources, and support for third-party operating systems and software.
AWS Trusted Advisor is relatively straightforward, at least on paper: Amazon’s team will recommend cloud best practices based on a customer’s specific usage of the Amazon Web Services ecosystem. It’s up to the AWS Trusted Advisor team to figure out a way to plug the customer’s security gaps, save the customer money or improve the customer’s performance.
Right now, AWS has eight “checks” that can continuously run against a customer environment, with more being added all year long. If you’re curious, Amazon’s Jeff Barr offers a deeper look into those eight checks and what, exactly they look for, in a blog entry. But long story short, AWS Trusted Advisor aims to make sure everything’s working at best efficiency in an ongoing fashion.
Meanwhile, the added third-party support enables its Premium Support-level customers to get help with not only the Amazon EC2 cloud itself, but also the operating system or software that’s running on the instance. That ranges from setup and configuration to troubleshooting, with support engineers available to walk customers through via desktop-sharing.
The list of supported third-party software, as per Amazon’s announcement:
“Windows, Ubuntu Linux, Red Hat Linux, Novell’s SuSE Linux, and Amazon Linux, as well as systems software including Apache, IIS, Amazon SDKs, FTP, Sendmail, and Postfix.”
Will either of these seriously impact a cloud service provider’s business? I don’t think it will. AWS Trusted Advisor really hedges on informing the customer of best practices – implementation is a whole different story. And any customer for whom third-party software support is a serious value-add likely doesn’t need much partner support in that regard anyway.